But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. James 1, verses 6-8.
James is talking about the people with genuine doubts. I once knew a man who said he could never believe in God because he doubted the whole idea of original sin. I know people who ‘have a problem’ with the creation account and, when you dig, have more than a few other prides and questions about Jesus as well. I know folks who openly reject Christ because ‘He allows all this bad stuff to happen.’
James is definitely talking about them. In this one case, I’ll judge: such outlooks are unhealthy. Such views are toxic. We need to flee from them because they can pull us away from God’s straight and narrow. James is talking about such things.
James is also talking about you and me. We DO doubt; we do worry. Got skin? Got sin. Every time you or I fail to put our trust in Jesus, we walk in sin. We do it by second guessing. We sin by relying on ourselves and our gut instincts first instead of asking Jesus “what are You telling me here” first. We are like those waves on the sea that ebb and flow but never seem to go anywhere…except that the sea is cold, deep, and seemingly endless…just like our path in sin. In that condition, we break down. As James says, we are unstable and double-minded, still denying God His chosen and desirable path to help us for His Kingdom’s sake.
Yet that path isn’t bottomless. When we rely on ourselves instead of Christ, we can sink. Eventually, we hit bottom. Even the Titanic sits somewhere, decaying at the bottom of the deep. That can be us. For our own good – so that we might learn to come back to God and ask first of Him – God can turn us over to the fruit of our sins. Dismay, disaster, depression, cascading consequences, selfish indulgence that never leads to satisfaction: are these better than the path of walking in Jesus? Better think quickly because those things await all of us who reject Him.
Dependence on our sins is not independence. Real freedom is found only in Christ, and the better way is simpler. A friend of mine tweeted today “Love God, love people.” It starts with that. Love Jesus by asking Him “what are you telling me? What do you want me to do?” Do it in things large and small in your life today. Open the dialogue. You’ll find He’s already talking with you.
My Lord my leader, guide me in Your path today. Help me to be stable in You, to always consult You first, and to walk where You are leading me.
What are you worried about today?
Why are you worried about it? What’s causing it?
What are you prepared to do?