This verse about the doubting man reminds me of the situation in Acts 12. Peter was imprisoned, and the church was earnestly praying to God on his behalf. Peter was miraculously freed from prison by an angel in the night. When he realized that he was no longer in chains (for he previously thought that he was merely seeing a vision), Peter went to a house where many people had gathered and were praying. Rhonda, a servant girl, came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter's voice, she was so overjoyed that she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” Yet instead of being overjoyed as well, the people who were praying told Rhonda that she was out of her mind. Finally, she convinced them to look themselves, and the Bible says that those who were praying were “astonished” to see Peter at their door.
How often do we same the same mindset? We'll ask the Lord for something, and then be “astonished” when he actually gives it to us. I believe this is what James was talking about when he wrote these two verses. The man that doubts God when he asks for wisdom is double-minded and unstable, for he does not have faith that His Father will answer his prayer.
Throughout Ignite, I have been constantly praying that God would change me, stretch me, mold me, and shape me into who He wants me to be. I have prayed for Him to further break my heart for what breaks His, and make me more like His Son. Overall, my prayer has been that He would set me on fire so that the world may catch the flame, be set ablaze, and glorify our Father who is in Heaven.
Why then, did I not expect to be burned? Did I not think that He would actually answer my prayer and fan the flame in my heart? I do not want to be “unstable in all my ways”. I need to constantly remember that in order to be on fire, it is going to hurt. I will be scorched and burned as a living sacrifice on the altar of my God. However, I will rejoice in His faithfulness to hear my cry, and take courage. For among the flames is a heart that is being further transformed into one like His.
2 Timothy 4:5
“As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”