Our small group discussion covered a wide range of areas where we often find it difficult to keep God foremost in our thoughts. Those areas include work, where we often find it difficult because of restrictions on discussing religion and fears of having our viewpoints alienate others. Another area was the discussion of finances, and how that can often stand as a violation of the first commandment as we put too much emphasis on saving/keeping money. We agreed there is a delicate balance in being responsible to our family with our money and being loyal to God with our money. A third area was a general discussion about what role God has/wants in our non-work or leisure time. Again, the group agreed that God is looking to be part of our lives in all aspects.
Without a doubt, we all struggle in remaining single-minded for God. The challenge is to remember the ultimate reward is not found during our earthly lives.
This chapter was a welcome comfort as our group has been discussing this exact subject as a part of each week’s discussion on the various chapters of the book, Believe. We consistently focus at least some of our time together each week discussing how we can put God first, and how we can better incorporate WWJD, into our daily living. Admittedly it is an ongoing struggle for everyone, but we take strength in that we share our victories with, and learn new practices from, each other. We grow closer as a group with each passing week of shared study and religious intimacy. God has truly blessed us in this regard – as in many others.
What a wonderful discussion we had on the topic of Single-Mindedness on God. We shared different types of distractions that rob your time that could be devoted to fellowship with God. Randy Frazee spent time talking about self-distractions, which of course we all create. We added the distractions created by the world and other human beings, as well as the distractions Satan creates. There are a lot of distractions trying to steal our time with God!
So realizing there’s only so much we can control in our lives, we talked about setting boundaries to protect the private time we want to devote in communion with our Lord. The point was made that once people are trained to understand where your boundaries lie, less distractions mean greater focus on God which is our calling. One member commented about very general categories of people, as in, See and Do, See and think about it and then Do, See and think about it a long time, take a nap, and maybe get around to it. A point extracted from the humor of the categories was that everyone has a different capacity for Doing and still protecting the privacy of their time with God. Also, two persons that are in relationship with each other, i.e. marriage, have different capacities for Doing and have to find balance individually and with each other’s boundaries. A good example of this was portrayed in the movie, War Room, with the prayer closet. So, we identified the need to focus on God, minimize distractions, and set protective boundaries around that precious time with the Lord.
How do we put aside distractions which prevent us from maintaining full focus on Christ. We discussed the idea of praying over our planners. Are all the “to-do’s” on our list in line with God’s plan for our lives? Do we focus on God’s “big picture” when making appointments? Are the “priorities” on our calendars a means to serve others in order that we bring Glory to God? By maintaining an attitude of single-mindedness, we better equip ourselves to do God’s work. We become more aware of opportunities to tell others about our faith, and ultimately lead non-believers to Christ.