The Pushmi-Pullyu

In the children’s story of Doctor Doolittle, he finds an animal like a llama or antelope with two heads at opposite ends of the body, called a Pushmi-Pullyu (“push-me-pull-you”). When it wanted to move, both heads tried to go in opposite directions. Each mind had its own idea of what to do!

Can you relate to this dilemma?

Do you find yourself being pulled in two directions, unable to commit to one or the other? Or do you aim for one thing, but find yourself internally conflicted and end up without reaching your goal?

Often the conflict is so deep within, it may be difficult to identify the hidden source.

I notice in John 5 that Jesus asked a sick man who had been an invalid for 38 years if he wanted to get well! On the surface, it may seem ridiculous to ask. But the truth is, not all people want to be healed. If this man were healed, he would have to change his entire lifestyle. He would be expected to go to work and provide for his own needs, instead of relying on the generosity of other people.

I once heard a story of a preacher who asked a woman in a wheelchair if she wanted to be healed. She said she did not! She liked that her husband had to wait on her hand and foot.

Ambivalence is what the Word calls being double-minded. James 1:8 says a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Double-mindedness is not a word that resonates with faith or determination.

Singleness of mind indicates sincerity, focus, and agreement with one purpose.

Here is an interesting prayer request:

(Ps 86:11)Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.

“Unite my heart”, he writes, because “part of me does not want to walk in truth”.

At times of internal conflict, on some level when you are not being honest with yourself, you feel ambivalent. There is a struggle– Yes! No!

Perhaps you say you want to succeed in business, or expand your circle of friendships, yet for some reason, your efforts are not producing what you hoped. Take a deeper look inside: How does not producing work for you? On some level, are you afraid or opposed to winning? Do you believe deep down that people who are successful in business are greedy and corrupt, or that people who are popular are manipulative and self-centered?

If so, you certainly do not want to be one of those people, and so you will find your best efforts are foiled, aided no doubt by forces in the spirit realm.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemy.

Here’s a suggestion: Make two columns on a piece of paper and label one “Why I want to… (fill in the blank)” and the other “Why I don’t”. List as many reasons as you can think of. The “Why I don’t” column may take a bit more thought, but prayerfully consider the changes that will happen if you succeed. Perhaps, you are concerned how people will treat you if you succeed. More may be expected of you than before, or you may have to give up some convenience, security, or comfort. At times, we will need to relent from holding an offense or a position for the benefit of the Kingdom.

As you make your list, the hidden Pushmi-Pullyu of your heart will begin to be revealed. Once you face the reasons for the double-mindedness, you can then weigh the cost and decide which direction to take and how to proceed.

Fulfilling Your Assignment

(Eph 2:10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

You were intended to fulfill your God-given assignment. We, the Body of Christ (but also the lost), need you to do what God has given you to do. We need your gifts, your passion, your wisdom, your success!

“I’m just waiting on God” is often an excuse that hides fear or selfishness. Remember the words spoken to Joshua as he was commanded to take the people of Israel on into the Promised Land:

(Josh 1:6-7) “Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous…”

Your success is our success!
May His Kingdom increase in your life!