“I hate double-minded men, but I love your law. You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:113-114 (NIV)
The psalmist put double-mindedness in direct opposition with loving God and following His Word. It’s where we get the idea of being “two-faced.” Double-minded people approach life as if they have two souls—one for God and one that dabbles in the world. The Bible, however, repeatedly warns that vacillating between God and the world is a dangerous way to live.
It’s what Elijah had in mind when he asked God’s people, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21 NIV). Many professing believers are no different today, trying to follow a form of Christianity and the world’s ideology. But it’s impossible to walk with our feet on two separate paths. That’s why James equates friendship with the world with double-mindedness (James 4:4-10) and warns that “a double-minded man [is] unstable in all he does” (James 1:8 NIV).
So how do we guard against being double-minded? Like the psalmist, we need to approach life with a singular focus that’s rooted in Scripture. That means looking to God for refuge from the world’s chaos. Too often, we try to escape the pressures of life in pleasure or entertainment. But that’s just diving deeper into the world’s way of thinking, which is diametrically opposed to biblical thinking. The only true safe haven and harbor of rest for a believer’s heart, mind, and soul is in the presence of God.
Wavering in our commitment to God isn’t usually an issue when we’re sitting with an open Bible. That’s why we have to take up the shield of faith as we step into each new day (Ephesians 6:16). His Word protects our minds and guards our hearts. It sustains us through the day-to-day troubles of life and upholds us when the storms of life rage (vv116-117).
Having a singular focus also helps us to recognize and stay away from anything that God calls evil (v115). Loving God and having reverence for His Word are not compatible with dabbling in things that have no eternal value. One day, God will simply discard all the world’s wickedness like rubbish (vv118-119).
Prayerfully read through Psalm 119:113-120, and ask yourself, “Am I vacillating between God and the world?” It’s impossible to walk two separate paths at one time. Why not accept Elijah’s challenge today? “How long will you waver? If the Lord is God, follow him.”