September 19 I Saturday
2 Corinthians 11:16-33
“…give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name.” —Psalm 86:11
How can we live with an undivided heart? Many of us have our hearts all over the place; we could be reading this devotion and wondering what to eat for dinner. James 1:8 says, “...a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” Later in his letter, James writes, “… purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). Everything else begins to fall into place when we single out our heart, focusing on God as Jesus tells us, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?... But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:25, 33). Jesus reveals the antidote to double-mindedness is to seek first His kingdom.
It is a pursuit to seek and live with an undivided heart. It is not a passive thing, where we can just sit back and expect it to happen. The Apostle Paul shares his wisdom with us, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Paul admits that he has not arrived where he wants to be; in other words, he is not perfect and does not pretend to be. But all his life, he does one thing. This does not mean that Paul was boring without wider interests, such as business to be involved in, a family to be concerned about or hobbies to spend his time on. Rather, in the midst of Paul’s business, family and recreational life, there is an undergirding backbone and spinal cord to everything––this one thing.
What is this “one thing?” Paul’s answers, “forgetting what is behind.” It is not easy to forget what is behind, and sometimes it is like a ball and chain pulling us back to relive the past. Yet, the one thing we ought to do with an undivided heart is to forget what is behind and strain forward to what is ahead, pressing on towards the goal which God has called us heavenward in Christ. Paul lived his life seeking first the kingdom of God in all that he did.
Like Paul, we purify our hearts from double-mindedness by forgetting what is behind and striving forward, seeking first the kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord God, this “one thing” I desire to do is seek first Your kingdom. Help me to forget what is behind and give me an undivided heart to strive after You. Thank You, Lord.