SINGLE-MINDED. : having one driving purpose or resolve : determined, dedicated.
That's the definition and it's also a topic which our Believe Group has been considering this week. The single-minded Christian is one who has accepted his role in living for God, through being driven, determined and dedicated. I actually believe those are some attributes that God expects from the people who really love him.
In the sermon at church this past Sunday, we were reminded of some Bible examples of being single-minded. One was in the story of Peter seeing Jesus walking on the water and asking the Savior to bid him to come out there, too. Peter had the faith to take the first step and things were going well for him in doing the impossible, until he took his eyes off of Jesus, and became concerned with the sea and its waves.
The preacher on Sunday told us we, too, find in that story, the basic reason for experiencing the setbacks and sometime defeat in our attempts to serve God. I jotted down a few notes from the sermon and there were some familiar phrases being used. Here's a few of them:
"I didn't stay focused." "I became disconnected from my priorities." "My spiritual compass was pointing one direction but I was going another direction."
See how all three of these phrases play into the Magi, traveling to Bethlehem seeking to worship the new-born King. Their focus that evening was on the brightest star which they followed to reach their desired destination. Had their trip ended in a failure to find the stable in Bethlehem, perhaps they could have been described by one or more of the phrases above. We can say, however, they stayed focused, they maintained their priority, they followed their spiritual compass.
Then the preacher told us about King Jehoshaphat, and I think this example of single-mindedness really struck close to home with me. Here was the King, and he had just been informed about a large invading army that was on its way to destroy him. The seriousness of this attack brought King Jehoshaphat a tremendous challenge but he led the people to turn to the Lord. Their changing directions and trusting in God is our example of them being single-minded. They focused on the priority of following God.
The Jehoshaphat story is recorded in 2 Chronicles 20, and is a good read in order to get the whole picture. No doubt the king and his advisors were experienced leaders, trained in methods to fight and win battles, but the only thing they could do now is turn to God. In the middle of the story, there is a statement that we still use to this day. "We don't know what to do!"
Their success came in the very next statement. "We don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you (God)." That's your success and mine, too. Through all troubles and trials which come our way, with countless experiences of our failure of being able to control adverse circumstance, we as God's people should be ever focused on His will and dedicated to be under His control. The principle works in all areas of our lives, the little things as well as the huge challenges. Stay focused!