“Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:8
I was asked by someone recently what I thought was a major hindrance to prayers being answered.
Like everything else in my life it seems that I learned things the hard way. Sometimes I repeated doing things, that God was not pleased with me doing, over and over. I repeated lessons that God was trying to teach me because I was often rebellious and didn’t learn the first time.
If you are reading this God wants to use you in the Kingdom. After baptizing of the disciples, the next thing Jesus told them was that He wanted to make them fishers of men. He wants to use us to help lead others into the kingdom, and that means we have to be honest in our testimonies. In fact, the most successful ministers are those who use the testimony of their growth issues in ministering to others.
I believe that a lot of my prayers were delayed because God knew that I was not totally surrendered to Him. If I was in a position to minister to others and I still had a lot of garbage in my own life, sooner or later those things would come out and ruin my testimony.
Several years ago God began to speak to me about going into the “Holy of Holies,” with Him. In the Old Testament God speaks of the requirements for temple priests regarding entering the “Holy of Holies.” He wanted these people to be set apart, different from the ones they would minister to. I believe He is asking the same of believers today. The time is too short to have people confused by the behavior of so-called believers that still love the world more then God. Look at the damage already done to the church by all the married ministers that have had affairs. Many fell because of these men. Yes, God forgives them, God always forgive, but damage was done to those who made the mistake of looking to “men” before God.
He wanted my ministry to grow, but first He wanted to make sure that I was no longer double minded with one foot in hell and the other foot in heaven. I needed to surrender some things that really didn’t belong in a Christians’ life.
Truthfully, I fought double mindedness for years. I loved to party at the clubs. I loved to dance and drink and have a good time. For years I told myself that it was okay for a Christian to participate in those things, because after all didn’t Jesus himself go into the bars to minister to the sinners? I thought I could still be a Christian and bring folks to Christ even in a bar. But the truth of it was that most of the time the sinners were bringing me to their level rather them me bringing them to Christ.
I can remember going home and the next day feeling so guilty. The Holy Spirit had convicted me often in these clubs that this wasn’t where I was to be. The last time I ever went into a club I remember on the way home the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said, “What if this was the time Jesus came back for the church, would you be raptured while drinking and carousing in a club?” Honestly, that touched me in a way nothing else had.
So about sixteen years ago, I quit going to clubs. I still was doubled minded in a lot of other ways. As time went on God began to work on holiness in my life a little bit at a time.
I am not perfect, far from it, but as much as possible these days I try to keep my feet grounded in God’s Kingdom. I am not powerful enough to do that on my own. It takes soaking in prayer and asking God to cover me and my mind with the blood of Jesus daily.
God tests us. He wants to see if we are going to be true to Him and His word before He puts us in places of ministry. If we call ourselves Christians are we truly surrendering to Christ? Do we take up our cross and bear it each day like He did for us?
If you prayers go unanswered I would ask you, humbly, to take a look at your life. Things that might have felt fine before you were saved no longer should be in your life.
Some of these things are drugs, excessive drinking, telling dirty jokes, sex outside of marriage, dressing immodestly, gossiping, lying, and stealing. The list goes on and it is specific to each and ever person’s life.
When God can trust us with blessings, and when He knows we will use those blessings to benefit others, THEN AND ONLY THEN, does he give them to us. Like any other parent God wants His children happy. He knows though that giving us things when we are not ready to use them for the Kingdom will only hurt us and other Christians in the long run.
What we did yesterday, or even a minute ago, no longer matters. We ask God’s forgiveness and we repent and we move on. God never withholds forgiveness. NEVER.
The people who are without God are judging us on a daily basis. They look at us and if we are still steeped in some sin, just as they are, they see no need to come to Christ. They also believe us to be hypocrites and truly a lot of us are.
I have learned that nothing feels as good as totally surrendering your life to God. To give up things that we secretly find pleasurable in order to follow Christ offers us bigger rewards in the spiritual realm then we can ever begin to imagine.
Tomorrow could be too late. Give it all to Him NOW, and trust Him to keep you close to Him in total surrender.
Friendship with the world and the worldly things it offers is spiritual adultery. Give that a thought. Pray about it, and ask God to walk you out of the valley of double-minded behavior.
In His Unconditional Love,
Ministering Wisdom Learned in the Crucible Of Fire to Christian Believers