An undivided mind
Have you ever been apprehensive to give every part of yourself to the Lord? Uttering the words, "Have your way in me" is sometimes so difficult. If you're like me, you may find yourself asking Him other questions such as, "Can I please commit to something else?" or "Can I work on this part of my heart first?" But we all know that's not how our relationship with our Father works. Of course He is so, very patient with us when it comes to change, but if we want to live fully in Christ, we must allow Him to have His way in our lives and hearts.
Giving God full control allows us to become who we really are in Christ. When He has full control, His will sometimes directs us to do something that we may think is impossible or out of our reach. For those things He will never fail at giving us the guidance, direction and strength we need to proceed, but I believe some of the most life-changing, heart-wrentching, biggest steps He will require of us is the seemingly small, every day kind of directions that mold us into the image He has created us to be.
Yes, while they may be small tasks or alterations, they are flat out hard for us humans to do on our own!
Most of us probably don't like change or going against our routines. Those are the things that are hardest for me. I made a comment to a friend not too long ago that if something doesn't fit on my to-do list or in my calendar, it probably won't happen. A simple statement of truth to a close friend, yet it waned on my heart for a few days after I said it. When things happen like this, the best thing to do is take it to God. He lovingly showed me that this is not HIS way of living. When we plan our daily lives so that we don't have room to be flexible for Christ, we miss opportunities that He has for us. We may miss out on blessings (for others as well as for ourselves); we may miss learning a lesson God had intended for us; or we could be missing out on a key direction that would point us to fulfilling our destiny.
It stops you in your tracks when God has to redirect us away from something even when we didn't negativity intend to go that way, but I am so thankful that God is so loving to take the time to guide our steps in the way we should go, even in simple, every day things.
I came across a verse the other day during my quiet time that seemed to jump off the page at me. It hit my heart in such a way that made me want to study it for a few days, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Psalms 86:11- Teach me your way, Lord, and I will live by your truth. Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.
Those words "undivided mind" seemed to come alive for me as I pondered this verse for a few days. I just love how one small verse that seems hidden among the ones surrounding it has so much to offer us. It's like finding buried treasure that has been lying there just for us. I began to look deeper at this phrase by breaking it a part to see what it's true meaning was. It seemed simple enough in itself, but I knew there was something more to it. I wondered what exactly an "undivided mind" was. What was it like? I looked up the definition of what "undivided" means in the good ol' Webster's English Dictionary, and found that it means to "concentrate on or devote completely to one object."
Whoa!!! To "devote completely" is a pretty powerful statement. In other words, this verse could read, "...Give me a completely devoted mind to fear your name."
I sat there thinking about how I could completely devote my mind to the Lord every day. Once again, it may seem like such an easy statement as it rolls off the tongue, but when you start to think about what it truly means to our daily walk in Christ, you begin to see just how difficult it might be at times. Like those times when your energy level is running on E, and you just want a breather; or when every one around you needs something from you, and you have zero time left to give yourself; or how about those times when deadlines or due dates are drawing closer and closer, and you don't quite know how to accomplish everything. These are the times that I find it most difficult to say, "Lord, here I am, completely devoted."
It's so easy to give God your "undivided mind" on days when its all smiles and rainbows and sunshine, but those days will not always be there, and, honestly, they are few and far between.
So, how can we make sure that even on our worst days, we are still giving him our undivided mind, our completely devoted mind?
As I prayed that this would be my mindset every day, the Lord gave me three things to help me out:
1. Start the day with Him-
Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you."
Giving your day to the Lord right from the start allows Him to have control. You are no longer doing your daily routines and tasks alone, but with the one who knows it all. I am speaking from experience when I say that I can always tell a difference in the days that I get up just a little earlier and spend some time with God. The mornings don't seem as rushed which I hate that feeling of rushing and trying to catch up throughout the entire day. My patience level seems fuller, which is always needed as a parent! My attitude is tuned to positive, which helps me face anything that comes my way with a clearer perspective. I could go on and on, but simply giving your first minutes of the day to God will create that undivided mind Ps. 86:11 is talking about.
2. Stay focused-
Hebrews 12:2 "Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith..."
There are so many potential distractions that pop up throughout the day, it can sometimes be easy to forget who we are actually living for. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, like it says in Hebrews will combat against any interruptions that could cause frustration, stress, anxiety or anything else that would break our "undivided mind" from the Lord. Staying focused on God throughout the entire day, yes, even the few hours that loom before bedtime, will allow you to see the beauty of each part of your day instead of the ugly. It will also allow you to accept God's abundance grace which is so often needed when problems arise. Keep your focus on Him by inviting Him into each and every aspect of your day. Whether it's going into the grocery store or going out to dinner with friends, He is present. Whether it's sitting in traffic wishing you were surrounded by better drivers or sitting at the playground watching your toddler enjoy the sunshine, He is present. Staying focused in such situations will create that "undivided mind" the psalmist wrote about in Ps. 86.
3. Allow Him-
Ps. 16:8 "I always let the Lord guide me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
Like I mentioned above, distractions are everywhere, and, if allowed, could possibly ruin the day leaving a feeling of distance between us and the Lord. But in Ps. 16, we see that if we allow God to be our guide, we won't be shaken. I like how this verse says, "I ALWAYS let the Lord guide me." Always, as in the dark times we struggle to get through and in the good times where it's easy to follow God's direction, and have a thankful heart.
I looked up synonyms for "undivided" and discovered that words like "wholehearted," "engrossed," and "concentrated" mean the same. If my goal is to have an "undivided mind" for Christ, I can't be shaken; I must be concentrated and wholehearted, which means I need Him to be my constant guide, but in order to do that, I have to allow him to do his thing in me!
The Lord wants our minds and hearts to be completely devoted to Him. Once we begin to give Him time each day, stay focused without getting distracted and allow Him to be our guide, we will, no doubt, begin to see His plan and purpose in our lives.
I encourage you to strive every day for the "undivided" mindset explained in Ps. 86:11. Choose to be completely devoted to Him, and see where He takes you.
I hope that this boosted your heart as much as it did mine!
Feel free to share your feelings along with any scriptures that you find to be uplifting! I would love to read them as well! If you have any other ways to stay in an "undivided" mindset throughout your daily routines and activities, please share below!
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Author- Marianne Logan-Johnson
I wanted the create a space for encouragement. I have so much about parenting and momming to write about, but I will leave that for the other page on my website. This page is for those who need a pick-me-up to get them through their day. I will be posting mini devotionals that anyone, not just moms, can apply to their everyday lives, and see the positivity it adds to your day! I hope you enjoy, and get just as much encouragement out of these mini messages that I do! Happy reading!