Links Daily Devotional

The Ultimate Apprenticeship: Forsaking Double-Mindedness

Come near to God and he will come near to you… purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8, NIV)

One of the best performances I have ever seen on a golf course was Jason Day’s play at Whistling Straights last year at the 2015 PGA Championship. I can picture him standing behind every tee shot closing his eyes to visualize the great shot he was about to hit. The driving exhibition he put on was incredible. Visualization of only great shots propelled him to great results; he did not see anything negative when he closed his eyes. He didn’t see the bunkers, tall rough, or water hazards that could potentially derail him from becoming victorious.

Every situation you are in is meant to make you more glorious, like Jesus.Jesus taught a very similar principle to his followers. He taught that we cannot serve two masters and that we cannot love both the world and God; this was an underlying theme of his teaching. He wanted us to know that the Kingdom of God has arrived and is coming into our lives and that his Kingdom can only result in a victorious outcome; the world leads to death. Often our limitation in this is our sight. We fail to see what God sees and is up to. When Jesus announced his ministry in Luke 4:18 he claimed that one of the reasons that he was sent was that the blind will see. Throughout the gospel accounts we see him calling out the Pharisees for being blind. This is of course a spiritual blindness to what heaven is doing, not a physical blindness.

Under pressure, what do you see? Do you see what heaven is doing on your behalf, or does your faith begin to crumble and you grab hold of the wheel to take back any possible control that the enemy wants you to think you have? Do you see your old flesh tendencies or your new nature?

In Romans 6:11 we read that we should “consider ourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus.” That’s our new identity in Christ. That is the purpose of our apprenticeship to him. He wants to teach us to be Christlike. That’s why he put himself in us and us in him. It is Christ in us that is the confident expectation of glory, according to Colossians 1:27.

This means that your starting place in all things guarantees your outcome, and that God wants to teach you to see what he is up to. Your starting place in all circumstances is determined by your connection with God. I am confident that there is never any frustration in the throne room of heaven about any of your situations. I don’t see the Trinity asking, “Now, what do we do?” or saying, “We’re really stumped about this one!” No. God doesn’t get tired, weary, anxious, depressed, fearful, or anything else that we feel in our flesh; rather, he is singularly focused on a victorious outcome. The amazing promise of the Gospel is that he came to fill us with all the things of heaven; however, our double-mindedness prevents that. We are focused on trying to make two lives work: our life in the flesh and our life in the spirit. That is the double-mindedness that James warned us about in today’s verse and that Jesus taught against.

If you take anything away from today’s lesson, I hope it is the confidence that every situation you are in is meant to make you more glorious, like Jesus. That means you will be more connected to him and more confident in your starting place in his victorious Kingdom. Sometimes we get so connected with our situation that we miss what he is doing with us and for us to perfect us.

Every issue you face is in Christ because you are, and it has already been assigned an outcome that God wants to generate for you. That is Good News!

Josh Nelson
September 26, 2016
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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday-Friday at www.linksplayers.com.