I’m not certain, but writing this blog could be distracting me from what I had planned to do today…which was to continue to write on a study I’ve been working on for 3 years in John 4, particularly on the woman at the well.
Up until a few weeks ago, I wasn’t motivated to finish this study…it was just one of many things I’ve started over the years but lost steam somewhere along the way…except I’m learning when they are Jesus-led things, He has a tendency to bring them back up…seemingly to say, ‘Hey, I was going somewhere with this.”
After our Pastor’s second message from this particular text, I brought up my Word Doc “Woman of the Well.” I changed the AT to OF on purpose…the purpose being, Jesus found me at the well and has transformed me to a woman of the well through His mercy and grace.
It was in one of those tender moments when I was in the agony of my sin and shame and cried out to Jesus to make my words true…to bring harmony on my insides…in thought, word and deed.
To let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to Him…because sometimes in the church we learn the right things to say long before we are truly living them with our whole person.
The devil thrives on division. Not just division among people, but division inside of us…inner division. It’s clear from scripture the struggle is real.
“Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in Your truth, unite my heart to fear (Honor with great respect) Your name.” Psalm 86:11
This is King David. David recognized his heart was fragmented and pulling him in different directions. He knew a divided heart meant trouble and instability.
James also tells us…
“For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:7
James is talking about those who doubt and are divided in their mind, will and emotions. (Heart and soul) The problem here isn’t the doubt but that the person who is doubting is saying they have faith when they really don’t. There isn’t harmony in what is coming out of their mouth and what God knows to be true.
God needs our honest confession if we want a united heart and a single mind that walks in humble confidence…away from confusion and instability.
God knows our heart fully…completely…more than we know it and more than anyone else could know it. (1 Kings 8:39) This is both comforting and concerning. It’s comforting if we look to Ephesians 1:18…
“Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,”
This is Paul’s prayer… that our hearts need to see…the truth about God and us…so that we may know…know intimately that we are His, that this “calling” is no joke, and He’s got more life for us than we can imagine.
This person James is talking about…the one doubting, simply needs to confess their doubt and ask God to help their unbelief.
A heart united in doubt is still a united heart and is honest about the state it’s in. God works through honesty…because if we are saying one thing but believing or doing another…our inner man is divided.
Mark 9:24 is a father’s honest confession about his unbelief. He told Jesus about his son’s quandary and that the disciples couldn’t help him. Jesus tells the man, “All things are possible for the one who believes.” The father cried out, “I believe, help my unbelief!”
Isn’t that an odd confession? Or is it an honest heart-felt confession that means…
“Jesus, I want to believe but I really do have doubts. I can’t lie to You. I could tell you I believe and have no doubts but it wouldn’t be true. Instead of just saying the right thing in this mess, I need You to help me believe.”
This father was crying out for a united heart and a single mind. He wanted to wholeheartedly believe Jesus had the power to heal his son…and so the story ends, Jesus helped the man with his doubts and his son was set free.
Maybe…just throwing this out there… maybe Jesus can do more through an honest confession of doubt and a willingness to believe than a mouth that declares bold things that aren’t true on the inside where Jesus sees?
St. Augustine’s words, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you,” speaks to those with divided hearts…double minds and the struggle to enjoy the rest Jesus died to give us.
“Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.
There is no rest with a divided heart and double mind…the inner struggle is real and exhausting. It’s also concerning because we don’t understand that while we are saying and doing the “right’ things, we have no peace and rest. We don’t know what to do with our inner struggles, doubts, sin and the emotions we deny. The thought of honest confession of doubt, fear and struggle doesn’t feel safe.
Can I suggest that maybe we’ve been sold a bill of lies that has kept us from honest confession and true heart, mind and emotional healing? That instead of pulling up our spiritual bootstraps and pretending, Jesus made a way to bring our doubt and fears to Him and with the faith of a mustard seed believe that He will help us…because now, we are no longer in denial about what’s true on the inside?
We need vision. We need to ask Jesus to help us see what He sees. When we see, two truths become apparent as Timothy Keller explains:
“The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”
It’s in this place we find rest. Sin grieves us and shows us we are not drinking from the Living Waters of true satisfaction and trust in Jesus and yet, Jesus remains faithful as our thirst for Him increases and deepens through repentance and turning back to Him.
I proclaimed for many years, “Jesus, You are enough.” I wanted that to be true but when temptation came, He wasn’t enough. I wanted more, something immediate and something tangible. He wasn’t enough to wait on, stay faithful to in thought, word and deed and to deny my flesh in order to honor Him. Eventually, my behavior revealed my words weren’t true. To say He was enough while drinking from polluted waters revealed my divided heart and double mind. Jesus was never fooled. He knew the truth about my restless, doubtful heart. When I finally came into agreement with Him that He really wasn’t enough and I needed Him to help me, He sent help from Heaven….and you know what? When we are honest, help just keeps on coming…He doesn’t grow weary helping us…He knows we need it, everyday.