Summary: Faith is the Victory but there are enemies of faith that steal our victory. This sermon deals with one of them "A Divided Mind"
ENEMIES OF FAITH – A DIVIDED MIND
Faith is the victory that overcomes the world – but there are enemies of faith which we need to look at in order to combat them – the first we are going to look at is “A Divided Mind”
James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
Double-minded man = two-spirited, i.e. vacillating (in opinion or purpose)
Unstable = uncertain
His ways = a road; by implication, a progress (the route, act or distance); a mode or means:--journey, (high-)way
In other words a divided mind cause us to be uncertain – lacking – unable to maintain a victorious life – one of the main cause of a divided mind is worry -
We have an old English meaning for the word, “worry” which gives us the best definition of what the word really means: It means to keep on messing with it...to keep bringing it back up...something that has your attention that you should leave alone. The bible doesn’t use the word, “worry”...it uses the words, “careful”, or “cares”. The Greek words that are used are – merimano and merimna. The definition for there words are: to be anxious about - ’care, anxiety, worry’ its root is the means "to divide, to separate." Positively merimano conveys the idea of focused care. Negatively it conveys the idea of distraction in occupying the attention of the mind.
Man was Created to be Single Minded – Matthew 6:24-34
Matthew 6:24 No one is able to serve two lords; for either he will hate the one, and he will love the other; or he will cling to one, and he will despise the other. You are not able to serve God and mammon.
The word "able" in this text is the Greek word duvnamai and means "ability" or "capacity." Jesus is saying that a human being has been created with a capacity to serve only one lord or master. He cannot and does not have the capacity to serve two.
Jesus says, "You are not able (do not have the capacity) to serve God and mammon. The word mammon is from an Aramaic root meaning "materialism." Here Jesus personifies mammon as being the god of materialism. Materialism involves both physical things as well as ambitions and desires for them. Jesus is saying that a human being is created with the capacity to serve either God or the material realm, but is unable to serve both.
Therefore Seek First God
Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Notice how 25 starts: Therefore - meaning "On the basis of the truth I just stated." Jesus follows this with His teaching on not be anxious about the things pertaining to life because a human being has been created with the capacity to serve only one realm or master. He then presents four commands:
• "Do not be anxious for your life..." We are commanded to not have the attention of our minds occupied with the things about our life, even the necessities.
• Look ("To consider, to study") at the birds of heaven, that they do not sow, nor do they reap, nor do they gather into barns, and your heavenly Father is feeding them; do you not differ more than they?
• Observe ("To examine, to observe") the lilies of the field, how they grow; they do not labor nor do they spin; but I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself as one of these. And if God clothes in this way the grass of the field, which is existing today and tomorrow is being cast into an oven, will He not much more clothe you, little faith ones?
• "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Since we have been created to have the capacity to seek and serve only one master, we are commanded to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness. Since our Father knows that we are in need of earthly things, they will be given to us by God while we focus our attention on the things of the Lord. Note that He did not say we would get what we want, but that we will have our needs taken care of.