To Be Amazingly Singleminded

Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?” But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Matthew 12:22-28

I love the part in these verses that states, “Jesus knew their thoughts.”  How amazing is it that right now, this very second, Jesus knows your thoughts?  He knows the thoughts of believers and non-believers.  What would He think about your thoughts right now?  Are they focused on the worries surrounding the election in the United States?  Are they worried about new virus-related shutdowns?  Are your thoughts of your precarious finances or your failing marriage?  Or, are they thoughts of how God has come through for you before and today is no different?  He has shown the way; he has opened doors before and this issue you face right now can be placed securely in His hands.  

The “people were astonished and said, ‘Could this be the Son of David?’”  How often when God paves the way to solutions we might not have ever dreamt, that we even ask the question, “could this be Jesus?”  Or do we stand firm in single mindedness and state, “Thank you Lord.”? The Pharisees were so afraid of losing their power and control they wanted to be convinced that Jesus was healing with Satan’s power.  And although when our prayers are answered we might not think Satan had something to do with it, how often do we just shrug and think of it as a coincidence?

I’ve written before of the struggles I have with my parents.  They are non-believers.  My father has stated he is an atheist.  And to put it mildly they are miserable.  They lead small, scared lives.  I was led this year to pray vehemently for them.  When I pray for them, I imagine the wall they have securely built around themselves.  A nice, sturdy brick tower.  I’ve asked God to break that wall down, to soften their hearts.  I know I can’t do it.  It must be God’s actions.  And last week I had the chance to see their faces peeking through a few bricks that had been displaced.   I’ve offered to assist them during this difficult time of isolation.  I’ve brought them meals, puzzles, a Kindle.  I’ve offered to buy a meal service for them.  But each time I’ve been met with annoyance.  But last week I received a desperate text from my mother.  She explained they haven’t been eating right and are very lonely.  So, I made up some meals and delivered them.  They were so grateful.  That may sound normal.  But grateful isn’t normally in their vocabulary.  I lost track of how many times they thanked me.   As I drove away, I caught myself thinking like someone of this world – “well, finally they allowed me to help.  I could’ve been doing that all along.”  I forgot that this was not my doing.  A few blocks away I stopped my car and I prayed.  I prayed a grateful prayer to the Lord on High – the only way those bricks could’ve been removed.  I don’t know if my parents will reach through and try and shore up those bricks again.  But for that day, that moment, I thanked God for allowing me to do His works and be His hands.  It was truly amazing.

“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

James 4:6-8

We can’t continue to have one foot in for Jesus and one foot out.  Because that equation is actually both feet out.  In math, a positive times a negative is always negative.  The covenant with God is based on trust.  And when we vacillate between trusting Him and not, we allow Satan or worldly “solutions” to chip away at our peace. 

Patterns are pointers.  They can very much reveal where a person is headed.  Positive patterns tend to produce productive outcomes.  Negative patterns can’t help but produce negative impact.  Obedient patterns tend to produce closeness with God.  Disobedient patterns can’t help but produce chaos and destruction.

Lysa Terkeurst, Trustworthy

So, when take for granted the miracles that Jesus works in and around our lives, what we are saying is we don’t trust that it’s Him.  Think of King David.  He was promised the kingdom but not only was it many years before he was made king, he had a target on his back by King Saul.  Put yourself in his shoes.  Many of us may have just given up and thought either God was lying or we misunderstood.  And, at the moment David had a chance to kill King Saul, he sought God’s counsel and remembered His promises.  But what if on the day he were crowned he said, “Finally, I struggled and I fought and I accomplished this.”   David instead said,

Because of your promise, and according to your own heart you have brought about all this greatness to make your servant know it.  Therefore, you are great, O Lord God.  For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

2 Samuel 7:21-22

Take a moment and read the full text of 2 Samuel 7:18-29. You will read of a man amazed by the greatness of God.  A man amazed by the goodness of God.  A man amazed by how God is so trustworthy.  May we, this week in the midst of our fears and struggles and joys be so amazed.  May we stop the car, sit down, stop thinking and look up to the heavens and say “I trust you fully God and I know that it is YOU at work.  I thank you for prayers fulfilled.”

2 thoughts on “To Be Amazingly Singleminded

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