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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Unstable As Water

Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; ~Genesis 49:4a

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. ~James 1:8


I enjoy looking at the ocean water from the shoreline. When the water is placid, it tends to be calm, predictable, and it appears safe. However more often than not, ocean water tends to be very fluid and moves about according to the tides. Ocean water can be safe to look at one moment, and then it can become turbulent and treacherous. Jacob described his eldest son, Reuben, as being as unstable as water. Instability is the inability to be certain, confident, decisive, and predictable. Although Reuben was the eldest and presumed to be the most experienced of Jacob’s twelve sons, he sadly was a man who fit the characteristics of a doubleminded man. He was a man who was always wavering, divided in interest, and doubtful. This morning, I want to caution us on the danger of being doubleminded.

A doubleminded man is ungrounded in his ways.

Being ungrounded means a person does not have a firm foundation. This is a person who is lacking in vital facts. This is a person who is lacking in a stable relationship. He is indecisive about God, about his faith, about his family, and about his relationships. He will tell you one thing and do another. He is not grounded in the wisdom of God’s Word. He makes decisions based on feelings or hearsay. He is not grounded in matters of faith. Faith believes Who God is. One day he believes God is great; the next day he thinks God has failed him. He can be easily swayed into a wrong direction or doctrine. He is not grounded in truth and veracity. He does not keep his word and is someone who cannot be trusted. He tends to backslide and disappoint the people around him on a constant basis.

A doubleminded man is ungodly in his ways.

Being doubleminded is an indicator of instability with one’s desires, tendencies, and choices. In short, a doubleminded person is characterized as lacking godliness in his life. He is carnal and sold under sin. Peter said the following about this kind of person: "Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children." Reuben was characterized as a man who defiled his father’s couch. Being ungodly means a person does not choose God. His morals, scruples, and reliability is highly questionable and not to be trusted. James said the doubleminded man is unstable in all his ways. Every aspect of his life tends towards sinful decisions.

A doubleminded man is ungainful in his ways.

Jacob told Reuben, “Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel.” He is completely unprofitable. He is not fruitful in his spiritual life. He is not faithful in his responsibilities and relationships. He is not forthright in his speech and conversation. He is not friendly in his disposition. God cannot bless an unstable life. God cannot bless an unstable marriage. God cannot bless an unstable testimony. Being unstable and doubleminded places a person at risk of job loss, relationship loss, ministry loss, and a wasted life.

So, is there help? Yes! James said, “Purify your hearts, ye double minded.” Decide to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word, and develop your character, conscience, and convictions. Make yourself accountable to your pastor, your parents, and to a faithful person whom your pastor approves of. Determine to go from being unstable to being someone who is stable!

Have a strengthened God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Revelation 9-12

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