What we’re going to do this morning is coach around the theme for this week, which is single-mindedness. A true coaching session is a conversation, which is difficult in this setting, but we’ll make it work. One of the great things about coaching is that it often creates space for God’s Spirit to speak - which is what we desire this morning.
Perhaps one of the greatest hindrances to reaching our full potential in Christ is a lack of contemplation and listening - the lack of asking questions and taking the time to hear. Hopefully, we will do both this morning - so, let’s invite God to help us think and listen.
Christians live in this constant tension - pulled in two directions - between Spirit & flesh; God’s Kingdom and our kingdom; God’s will and our will …. We’re in a constant battle to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. I think we often find ourselves feeling the tension of division and not knowing how to always manage it. Of course, a kingdom divided cannot what - stand.
God wants us to stand. He wants us whole, stable - spiritually and emotionally. He wants us to love Him the way He loves us. That’s why He says love me with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength because that’s how I love you. He loves and His focus is undivided. He is mindful of us. His thoughts are fixed upon us - and He asks the same in return.
“You shall have no other gods before me.
What image of God do you have when you read or hear that command? What’s His tone of voice? Do you have that image?
I’m going to guess that many people have the Charlton Heston / KJV image - “YOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS …!” If that’s you, you have GGS - Grumpy God Syndrome. You’re going to filter a lot of your theology, your decision, your life through Grumpy God Syndrome. Whatever God says He says because He’s grumpy.
What if Exo. 20:3 is a marriage vow, said out of love and relationship rather than grumpiness?
Do this - God is speaking to you and He says, “(your name), you shall have no other gods before me.” Rephrase that as a wedding vow. Q - What do you come up with?
Mine - “I’m faithful to you - be faithful to me. I am all yours. Be all mine.”
Q - How does that change your view of God - and His love?
Q - What does that tell you about Gods’ focus? His commitment? What He desires in the relationship? What does that tell me about my focus?
Today’s Believe topic, again is “Single-mindedness.” Single-mindedness implies what?
God desires for His children to be whole – undivided individually and corporately. He desires for us to be single-minded. Now, the key idea for the week is this:
“I focus on God and His priorities for my life.”
Q - How true is that in your life?
Q - How would you reword that statement to better reflect the reality of your life?
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Q - What are God’s priorities?
Q - What are God’s priorities for you? Anything stopping you …? To answer accurately, we need to hear from the Holy Spirit and perhaps from someone we trust.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Q - What was Jesus’ priority?
Q - How did Jesus discover His priorities?
He created space. If we want to know God’s priorities for us - we must create space to discover and hear.
Q - What are three things you can do to create space to increase focus on God and to discover His priorities?
Q - Pick one you can do in the next two weeks
Now, Randy Frazee says,
“To be single-minded means to have one desire that trumps all others.”
Q - How does a single-minded person behave? Live?
It’s important to understand that having one desire doesn’t eliminate all other desires, but this main desire overrules all others. Difference between linear and centered.
So the big question here is - Q - what is that one desire of my heart that overrules everything else?
Jesus doesn’t let us get away with fluffy answers.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Q - Describe treasure? What might it be?
Q - What is most important to me is where my __________________ (time, money, energy, thoughts …) will be.
My life is fashioned around my treasure. If that is true, and I believe it is …
Q - What is my greatest treasure?
Q - What would other people say I fashion my life around?
Q - What is the question I ask the most? What do I seek the most? God-centered or me-centered?
Paul fashioned his life around his treasure.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Q - Who was Paul focused upon? How do you think he got that way?
How do I become or stay single-minded? How do I consistently focus on God and His priorities for my life? Randy says this:
“The spiritual practice of single-mindedness is all about determining our priorities to ensure we are practicing our faith, living out our beliefs and accomplishing God’s will for our lives” (Frazee 226).
I like that he said, “The spiritual practice.”
The idea of spiritual practice is that spiritual maturity is not given to us - it must be developed in partnership with God.
So, think about your spiritual practices or disciplines.
Q - How are the spiritual practices that you currently engage in adequately helping you focus on God, His priorities for your life and for developing spiritual maturity?
What’s working? What’s not working? What needs to change?
Don’t get in a rut. A little personal insight - my prayer life … talked to my coach ….
Q - What are you missing?
Randy goes onto say, “The spiritual practice of single-mindedness is all about determining our priorities …
Q - How do you determine your priorities - daily? Relationally? Career-ally?
Q - What role does God play in determining your priorities?
Q - How well do your priorities match with Scripture?
For example -
Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
Q - In what ways do you intentionally arrange your life, schedule … to ensure you are practicing your faith?
The spiritual practice of single-mindedness is all about determining our priorities to ensure we are practicing our faith, living out our beliefs and accomplishing God’s will for our lives” (Frazee 226).
Q - Why the word “ensure?”
Q - In what ways are you accomplishing God’s will for your life? In what ways are you not? Anything need to change?
I’ve never met a joyful or peaceful Christian whose focus is divided.
1 Thes. 4:3 & 7
1 Thes. 5:23-24
1 Peter 1:13-16
What is a new awareness for you?
What did the Lord say?
What changes will you make?
Who will you invite in?