I have a full time job in the city where I work for a mid-sized company which employs almost 80 people. I believe that God uses every venue and situation to bring us a greater understanding of His work within us, and our daily grind is certainly one of the best classrooms. About a year ago He drew my attention to a greater understanding of what it means to be 'single-hearted'.
One weekday morning, as the owner of my company was getting his coffee, he started sharing with us, (me and another co-worker), an idea that he had for getting greater exposure on the internet and how we could use our webpage more effectively. I could hear the excitement in his voice and witnessed his level of energy rise as he shared this new marketing idea. This was a consistent thing for him, coming up with a new concept or a new way of approaching something that he wanted to hash out with one of our management team members at least once a week. I chuckled to myself thinking, "He really eats, sleeps and breathes this stuff".....
That was when the Lord turned on the light - THIS is what it means to be single-hearted ! This is what the Lord is waiting for in me: that I will eat, sleep and breathe His teachings, His authority, His joy and hope, His amazing love - and His way.
Our human nature is LOOKING for something to be passionate about. We want to feel strongly about something, deeply desiring the focus of a purpose or a cause. However, everything around us is clamoring for our attention - hoping to feed our desires and become that focus of our longing.
"Where your heart lies, there also lies your treasure".
Now, I'm not talking about those things that we have a short-lived desire to do - (go on that long-awaited trip, finally learn to play the piano, attend that 50 year family reunion, etc). I'm referring to where my heart LIVES and derives its greatest joy ! This is what Jesus is referring to in Scripture when He says, "No man can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one, and love the other: or he will sustain the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew: Chapter 6, Verse 24.
What am I passionate about ? How committed am I to focus upon His movement and His dreams for me ? Do I dream about making more money and having an easier life, or is my heart fixed on 'things above' ? What is the reason for my joy, my hope ? - "sanctify the Lord Christ in your hearts, being ready always to satisfy every one that asks you a reason of that hope which is in you." 1 Peter: Chapter 3, Verse 15.
I recall a conversation I had with my brother about 20 years ago when we were discussing what he wanted to do with his business management focus in school. He shared with me something he heard during a radio interview with Gloria Estefan, (remember her ? great singer ? beautiful voice ?). During the interview, Gloria shared a declaration that I heard with all of my heart, "You can do anything you want to do, and be whatever you really want to be, depending on how much of yourself you want to give to it." Aaaaaahhhhh - single heartedness.
I've thought so many times about how focused my father was many years ago when he decided
that he really needed to 'detox' his digestive system. For two full days he kept himself from eating any solids, and maintained a 48 hour diet of clear or almost clear liquids. With all of his strength and all of his good intentions, he was able to stay on water and tea for two full days. I was amazed. I was floored at how someone could remain on such a staunch diet for the sake of cleansing their digestive system - and yet I deeply struggled to fast for ONE DAY for the Lord.
I realize that the enemy has a part in all of this, indeed. The last thing he wants is to see me do something sacrificial for God, and his plans to sabotage any such actions should be expected. But I also feel that the Lord wants me to get up again tomorrow and start afresh, doing everything in my will to be united with Him. Otherwise I become a branch that sways in whatever direction the wind carries me, and it doesn't take all that much to break me from the trunk of the Tree all together. Oh, how quickly we give up !
In God's most patient and gentle ways, He continues to encourage and nurture the tiniest seeds of faith within me, hoping that I will some day have that zeal, that commitment, that 'don't leave home without it' type of excitement for His plans and dreams for me. And even though the spirit of the world makes so many other things seem much more exciting and fun, grace is always ready to reveal the Truth. If my heart is fixed on the glory and grace of my beloved Father, then everything dims in light of this powerful reality.
So I pray for each of us, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, that NOTHING takes up residence in our hearts which will rob Him of His rightful place....
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord". Romans, Chapter 8 verses 38 - 39