Imagine something with me for a sec….imagine you’re a parent, and your child just came and asked you for something…doesn’t matter what it is, but for this story’s sake, let’s call it a bicycle. Your child just came to you and said, “I want a bicycle. I know you can get it for me, so I’m just letting you know.” You tell your child that you will get him or her a bicycle just as soon as you can, and to please be patient.” You think that’s it, but a couple months later, your child comes to you and says, “well, it’s been a couple months, and I don’t see a bicycle, so I’m going to assume you’re not going to get me one after all. So I’ve decided I don’t want one.”
Now, you know your child really does actually want one, so this attitude of saying he doesn’t sounds kind of manipulative, doesn’t it? Not really. This is actually a condition known in the Bible as “being double minded.” Now, I wasn’t totally sure what double minded meant, so I looked it up. Basically, it’s being indecisive, unsure, and unresolved.
your child changing his mind about wanting a bike is a part of that. Your child doubted that you would actually get him his bike, so “shifted with the wind” and changed his mind. He didn’t stay resolved that, “my mom or dad said I would get a bike, so no matter what happens, I’m going to be patient and I know I’ll get my bike.”
Now, who knows a couple kids or 5 that actually act like this? Do you think as that child’s parent that you would get the bicycle for your child under those circumstances? I didn’t think so. I wouldn’t. Especially if my child kept changing his mind on whether he even wanted one.
Now, think about this…do you do this to God?
I have before. I know I have. I wouldn’t really say it’s a good thing. God knows our hearts, and knows what we want and need before we even ask, so why would we change our minds about what we want, in order to try to manipulate God into giving us things? That doesn’t make a lick of sense to me. James says to remain steadfast, never doubting. He who doubts is unstable, and won’t receive anything from God.
That’s a paraphrase, but I think I made my point. Faith is unwavering knowledge that God will do what He has promised. If you don’t have faith, you will waver, you will be tossed by the seas, and you will be double-minded.
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Now, faith isn’t just a feeling. Faith is an action. To go back to the child analogy for a second, you have promised your child a bicycle. Said child comes to you a month later and says, “I know you promised me a bike. I just wanted to say thank you for trying to do it as quickly as possible. I know it has to be in your timing, but thank you in advance. I’m so excited!” THIS IS FAITH. This is knowledge that you will get your child his bike, and acting in gratitude, even though he hasn’t seen anything that indicates he’s getting his bike, except your word. THIS IS TRUST. He trusts that you aren’t lying to him, and he trusts that when you are able, you will provide this want for him.
Now, your child telling you that in true gratitude? I don’t know about you, but I’d work HARDER to get my kid his bike!
God is good, and God is just, but God is also a parent. He isn’t Bruce Almighty, who just hits the “yes” button on every single prayer. He does what he thinks is best for us. And if that means waiting a few months or years to give us something, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to get it. Just means we need to learn to be patient.
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Until Next Time,