“You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.” says the prophet Isaiah, in the scripture, Isaiah: 26:3. This is the path and the way to single-mindedness in the Lord Jesus Christ and deep, complete, abiding in Him. God’s powerful presence in our spirits and His purposes in our lives become almost effortlessly– paramount, foremost, fervent, first.
It is a lovely focus on Jesus that is so complete that a believers’ heart, thoughts and practically every action becomes in harmony with God’s will. Oh self-will does raise it’s head. And often. Yet it is our choice to bring a wandering, drifing, soul back into heavenly alignment. Being submissive to Christ, is actually true freedom. True power.
Regarding the single-mindedness of which Isaiah speaks–when it is accomplished–the personality, “ego” and self, are at rest because the person is a surrendered and gloriously sold-out vessel. Single-mindedness in almost any worldly pursuit brings phenomenal success. Single-mindedness in Jesus brings Him fully and wondefully into our being. We become beautiful extensions of Him. Triumphant living is guaranteed. We serve a winning God.
Every desire of the Father God through our unquestionable trust in the Lord is able to express itself and bear fruit in our lives. Victory is absolute. The Lord is at the helm of our lifeship. All good things flow from His living waters expressing, rippling, reverberating into our lives.
Obedience is sweet, not an oppressive, awful thing. The Prince of Peace quiets the mind and chaotic thoughts. A fragrant peace pervades the soul. What is broken, split or fragmented. Heals. Single-mindedness in Christ such a beautiful goal. I thank our administrator here for suggesting this powerful verse–Isaiah 26:3–as one of the scriptures that best expresses the attribute of single-mindedness, its’ importance in our Christian lives and well, the point of this article.
King Jesus Himself began His earthly ministry with a quote from the Book of Isaiah, so He thought a lot of this Old Testament prophet!
What is double-mindedness? Ah, definitely the opposite of peace in Jesus! Well, let’s see what the Bible says about it in the Epistle of James. James was the oldest half-brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55) and he witnessed Christ’s appearance following the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:7). In his chapter in the Bible, James–who did not believe his brother, Jesus was the son of God and the Messiah of ancient prophesy (at first)–eventually became a fervent believer in Christ. In James 4:8 he writes:
“Draw nigh unto God and He will draw nigh unto you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.” (There is the heart-mind connection again, the Bible emphasizes, that I wrote of in an earlier article post!)
So that is pretty straightforward, but to explain it in todays’s English, it’s a mind with predominate thoughts going in two (often more!) directions. It is not a “made-up mind” or a firm decision. It is often being way outside of our purpose in Christ and off on some self-directed tangent and trajectory. God in His mercy prods us back to the center of His will and it’s up to us to hear His voice and to choose to go where He leads.
Double-mindedness by it’s very nature is not single-mindedness. Which is praying without ceasing, checking our thoughts and ways often and abiding and aligning with the Will of God.
Furthermore, double-mindedness unfortunately plays into the plans that the author of confusion and chaos–the evil one has for us. And his plans for us are not good! In fact, he wants to confuse, abuse, rob, kill and destroy us. And it’s often when we become self-directed or listen to the whisper of the enemy–no matter how subtle–that we become wishy-washy and double-minded. Or we flit from here to there never finishing anything. And amounting to. Nothing much. It’s often a slow and subtle, reptilian creep into our lives that begins the destruction.
Subtle is exactly how the serpent works, which is how the evil one snaked his way into Eve’s Glorious Garden Life with God and eventually got to Adam, too. The serpent works in the shadows: hidden, steathily, covert then gradually hazy, then evident, obvious, controlling, possessing and destroying. God eventually rescued Adam and Eve, because of their sorrowfulness and repentance.
We must be constantly aware and fine-tune the “dial” of our thoughts to not collect static from other “stations” outside Our Father who art in Heaven. There is much clamor in daily living, but we must remember, he made us His vessels.
We are temples. We are gates, portals and receivers metaphorically like radio receivers and best communicate with our Creator when tuned to the exact frequency to hear and receive what God has for us. We want a clear connection so we can listen to Him speak into our lives. Bringing our thoughts to the obedience of Christ is essential as God says through Paul in his writing of 2 Corinthians 10-:3-5:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought–to the obedience of Christ.”
Double-mindedness will also cause us to being tossed to and fro on the rocky seas of life. A roller coaster ride and not for our amusement, but our confusement. “Confusement” is not a word, but it seems to work here!
Brother James also had something to say of this aspect of double-mindedness that leads to a roller coaster life. James 1:6-7 says:
“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. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing from the Lord.”
Whew! The Lord is not going to honor our confusion with a blessing! That’s what James is teaching. Seems harsh, but our confused and double minds rickashay, change often, don’t commit to anything, dabble everywhere and color way outside the lines of what God has planned and designed for us.
We also have to not only bring our own minds under submission, we are at constant war with the enemy of our souls and with powers and principalities. As if we don’t have enough to do! That’s why we desperately need God. Need His guidance. Need His loving direction.
Who can keep a hedge of protection around our bodies, minds and spirits and put a guard on our hearts and minds? Only God. That is the meaning of praying without ceasing. It’s a way of life, a way of thinking, a lifestyle of prayerfulness that anchors us to Jesus, the Lover of our Souls.
Double-mindedness is part of the strategy that the evil one uses to attack and snatch a soul. So it is serious business to guard our minds and our hearts. Not easy business, but serious. And some days our mind feel so at one with Jesus that we just flow, totally connected to His Power, so we don’t have to constantly be wary of think about being on guard. We just are. In Him.
At other times, we may feel under constant attack. There is not only no flow, there is a hitch in every move, a stumbling block on every corner. Oh, but our mighty Lord Jesus, is not just gentle, He is a fearsome warrior with an army of heavenly angels who beat back the adversary and the devil’s evil legion.
How does double-mindedness and ending up far from God happen to us? Simply when we are steaming ahead on human power, usually self-absorbed, self-directed, self-congratulatory, self-wishing, you know wrapped up in self, and self-ish–thinking thoughts, that are not Godly ones, aren’t from the mind of Christ and are far, fah (!) from His purposes for us.
Usually when we act without praying or fasting or when we deliberately act and choose outside our Father’s will. Sometimes it is when we are totally under the enemy’s mind control. Simply when we are not keeping our minds on Christ–the Author and the Finisher of Our Faith.
We may go through another storm, choppy waters, or tread water, but as we check in with God He will say, “You are on the right path, move ahead, or wait, or I’m working, you’ll see.” It’s a quiet assurance when we still our minds to listen to Him. Thoughts become orderly. Direction becomes. Clear.
If you don’t keep your mind on Christ, you can end up on a ledge with no where to look but down. You can end up far from your vision. Lightyears from God’s purposes for you. Far from your dreams which He honors and gives us –the desires of our hearts as we “seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.” As we seek to please Abba Father Jesus. Our Creator and Savior.
Someone said don’t be so concerned with designing your purpose or seeking it. Just look at what God is doing, look at His desires and how He wants to see others saved, delivered and set free–and join Him. See the wave of the One who “walks on the wind” and ask if you can join Him and come up higher.
Ask Him which of your talents, gifts and fruits of the spirit are best-suited for what God is doing and join Him and that is His will for you. Join HIS will, not fashion your own and ask for His approval afterwards. Which leads to double and triple-mindedness. You simply don’t know self-directed exactly where He wants you to go.
Ask Him to lift you up and take you where you need to go. Sometimes you don’t even have to ask! He simply lifts you and places you in a new circumstance and you wonder the meaning of it all. God is working! He has a master plan that He weaves in such beauty, power and intimacy, and places you in the tapestry of that Masterpiece.
You are in the artwork of the Author of our lives. The Finisher of our Faith. And as we see the beauty of His plan as it unfolds, we simply have to pray to flow with the One who creates and sees all. If you step outside His plan, repent, then pray for re-adjustment. He is happy to help His children do so.
God wants the best use of our time and talents. He has invested so much in us, and would like to see a return on His investement! And He does it according to His riches in heaven and the treasure we send up ahead. Single-mindedness on Christ as in the single-mindedness of Isaiah 26:3, is essential to accomplish His plans, purposes and will for us to fulfill our destinies in Him.
Some may think that single-mindedness seems “one-note”, but it’s anything but. Single-mindedness brings a sound mind, sound body, and a glorious spiritual symphony in tune and in tandem with our Lord Jesus Christ. A life that is rich, interwoven, exciting, powerful, and oh so very beautiful and harmonious. We must in everything. Keep our minds. On Jesus.
at 8:46 am on September 12th, 2014