Monday, December 08, 2008

Two More "Dragon" Questions

Last week we finished up our "Dealing with Dragons" series having to do with the addictions in our life. As usual, we got a couple questions from Sunday's teaching, which I really enjoy.

Q. You used the scripture from James about being "double-minded". What does it mean to be "double-minded"?

A. The verses you are referring to are from James 4:7-8, which say, "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.(NIV)

The primary point I made from these verses is that we cannot resist temptation, so the Bible teaches us to resist the devil. If we try to resist temptation, we will always fail, because temptation deals with our immagination. It is like telling someone not to think about zebras. They will of course, always think about them. But when we realize the source of the temptation and resist the devil, we will win.

To be double-minded, literally means to be of "two minds". In the context of these verses, James is telling us that we can't be of a mind to serve God and at the same time choose to give into temptation. We need to make up our minds and become of one mind. A double-minded person simply hasn't made up their mind to do what verse seven and eight are commanding him to do.

Q. 2 Can you explain a little more about the verse in I Corinthians dealing with temptation?

A. Sure. The verse you are referring to is 1 Cor 10:13, "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it." (NIV)

This verse is good news because it first tells us that the devil cannot read our mind, because it says we are tempted by what is "common to man", which means the devil does not tempt us specifically according to our weaknesses. There are some general things that the devil will tempt us with, then he will watch to see where we fall, and then hit us there again.

It also says that God is faithful and will never allow us to be tempted above what we can handle, which tells us that God does know us well. God will also make sure that every time we are tempted, He will give us a way of excape, or a way out. If we take the escape route, we will continue to confuse the enemy and our temptation battle will be won.

So the choice is ours, as to whether we give in or not. We can no longer use the excuse that the temptation was just too strong, because God has promised He will make sure it never is.


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