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No Wavering Allowed!

You'll find the following definitions if you look up the word “waver” in your dictionary: “Shake with a quivering emotion, become unsteady or unreliable, undecided between two opinions or courses of action, irresolute.” If we think of wavering in terms of indecision or irresolution, all of us, at times, have wavered. It might be as simple as indecision about two breakfast options, something more weighty, like a car or house purchase, or whether or not to buy shares in a particular stock. In other words, wavering is an accepted part of our physical lives. It happens.

But in the spiritual realm, where a man's walk with God is concerned, there are two specific areas in which God allows no wavering whatsoever. In our King James translation, the word wavering is found twice. The words without wavering have to do with our PROFESSION of faith in Christ (Hebrews 10:23). The words nothing wavering have to do with our PRAYER life (James 1:6). Let's examine these passages.

In Hebrews 10:23, we read: “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;).” The phrase without wavering is the translation of ἀκλινής (aklinēs), a combination of the negative particle (without) and the verb κλίνω (klinō), “to bow, incline, recline.” Have you ever heard someone say he was “inclined” to do this or that? He meant to say he was leaning toward one option more than the others. In the book of Hebrews, the writer repeatedly admonishes his Jewish readers (1) to remain steadfast in their persuasion that Jesus Christ is the total sufficiency for their spiritual needs, and (2) to avoid backsliding into a felt need to re-embrace the Law as a necessary component of righteousness. The ONLY inclination for any believer, whether Jew or Gentile, is the Lord Jesus Christ. The believer should bow to (incline himself toward) Jesus ALONE. 

The admonition to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering is rooted in the very nature and character of God, who has made promises to the believer and is faithful to make good on EVERY one of them. An underlying theme in the book of Hebrews is "the provocation” (3:8,15). In Numbers 13, God sent twelve men to spy out the Promised Land for forty days, to give them a taste of what he had promised. Two of the twelve—Joshua and Caleb—reckoned God who promised the land was able to deliver according to his promise. The other ten men saw the apparent obstacles to conquest as TOO BIG for God and his promise to overcome.

Instead of being inclined to believe God and move forward by faith, they were rather inclined toward unbelief and a return to Egypt. God's divine irritation and indignation with the unbelief of that generation resulted in forty years of wilderness wandering—one year for each of the forty days God allowed them a glimpse of the glory to come—and the death of every Israelite over age twenty at the time of provocation. For the professor of faith in Christ, to waver is to repeat the error of Israel in provoking the Lord. It's dangerous business!

In James 1:6, we read: “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” The word wavering is the translation of διακρίνω (diakrinō), “to separate thoroughly, discriminate, make a distinction.” It is translated doubt on five occasions. The idea is that of a petitioner dividing the possibilities of prayer and into things he believes God CAN do and those he thinks God CANNOT do. It's like parting the Red Sea and placing what you believe possible with God on one side of the divide and what you think impossible with God on the other. The word nothing is μηδείς (mēdeis), “not even one.” In terms of our prayer life, the possibilities should be a one-sided affair. NO wavering is allowed. There are NO exceptions, not even ONE!

This dividing asunder of the CAN's and the CANNOT's is dishonoring to the Lord Jesus, who said, “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). In addition, it leaves the doubter vulnerable to the winds of life, which drive and toss. The verb is like is εἴκω (eikō), “to be like, resemble, simulate.” The verb is a perfect tense, signifying a permanent condition as long as wavering persists. The verb is coupled with three predicate nominatives in the present tense. The verbs driven and tossed are passive voice. An expanded translation: “For the one who is continuously distinguishing between what God can and cannot do has simulated a wave of the sea, one who is being continuously driven by the wind and one who is being continuously tossed (by that same wind).” We all know that winds determine waves. When a man doubts, he becomes a wave driven by the wind. When he believes without wavering, he determines (controls) the speed and direction of the wind in his spiritual life. Which of these two options appeals to you?

The scripture prohibits wavering in two key areas of our spiritual lives: our professing and our praying. If and when wavering takes place in either realm, spiritual trouble lies ahead. We can avoid wavering by (1) trusting God's faithfulness to deliver on his promises in Christ, and (2) believing all things are possible to him that believeth.


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