Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:7-8.

My grandfather, Ed Taliaferro, homesteaded in New Mexico in 1911 south of Tucumcari. On our recent trip to New Mexico, we drove south of Tucumcari for about 20 miles and then west for another 20 or so miles to arrive at the location of what used to be Ruth, New Mexico until it was abandoned in 1917. It is isolated to say the least. We met one vehicle driving a 60-mile loop.

My grandfather’s homestead was five miles south of Ruth located on the county line. He once told me why he sold out to some ranchers who wanted the water rights. About half of the year, he lived in Tucumcari and the other half he was on his homestead “proving it.” He had gone back to Tucumcari and was visiting the barber when the barber told him the bad news about his girlfriend, “She’s two-timing you, Ed.” That is when he made the decision to sell out and move back to Oklahoma.

We used to know what a two-timer was but to refresh our memories the American Heritage Dictionary defines a two-timer in this way: “To be unfaithful to (a spouse or lover). To deceive; double-cross.” The Bible uses another hyphenated word, “double-minded” to refer to a spiritual two-timer.

We human beings become more than a little agitated when our spouse, or our girlfriend, or boyfriend cheats on us. In fact, people have been known to do far more radical things than selling out and moving away. There has been many a song written about the cheating heart of the two-timer.

What about God? Is God jealous of our faithfulness? In the Old Testament, it is clear that God is jealous. In Deuteronomy 4:24 we are told, “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.” In Exodus 34:14 we read, “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” The apostle Paul dealing with the issue of false apostles says to the Corinthians, “I hope you will put up with a little of my foolishness; but you are already doing that. I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:1-3).” Paul says that he has a “godly Jealousy.” He was concerned about those in the church at Corinth becoming double-minded spiritual two-timers.

Double-mindedness is a growing issue for Christians today because we are exposed to more and more temptations. We are constantly bombarded with worldliness through continual access to some form of media. We have television, Internet, satellite radio, cell phones with Internet access, Ipods and countless other music/video capable devices.

If you are spending more time with the world than you are with your God it may be that you are a two-timer. If so, James gives us the formula for change. We need to humble ourselves before God by submitting ourselves, our will, and our time to His will. We need to resist the devil and the world by turning off, and turning down some of the ungodly messages being beamed at us. Then we need to cleanse our hearts and purify our hands. We must repent. Turn from the world and turn back to God. Turn from being a two-timing cheater and become a fully committed lover of our Lord. If we will confess our sins, agree with God that our two-timing is wrong then He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)Now, is the time to begin anew living in righteous obedience to Him. Will you make that commitment?

(Spiritual adultery is still a problem in the 21st Century.)

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