“How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m in single-minded in pursuit of You; don’t let me miss the road signs You’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, God; train me in Your ways of wise living. I’ll transfer to my lips all the counsel that comes from Your mouth; I delight far more in what You tell me about living than in gathering a pile of riches. I ponder every morsel of wisdom from You, I attentively watch how You’ve done it. I relish everything You’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.” – Psalm 119:9-16 (MSG)
“I’ll let you finish what you’re doing, I want you to listen to me.” Have you ever needed someone’s undivided attention? Have you watched, frustrated or impatient as the person you need to speak to fidgets and ignores you as you speak? Sure, you have. At home, there are times when I shout requests from another room. Terry responds, but typically doesn’t listen. I can’t see what he’s doing and although he hears my voice, he is focused on his activity. It’s only when I have his attention that true communication takes place. When I’m trying to get Ozzy, my dog, to do a specific task—to lie down in a specific place or wait in a spot as I walk away. He often becomes confused and agitated in his eagerness to please me. It’s in those moments, I take his head in my hands, look him in the eye and calmly say, “Listen to me.” That act causes him to focus solely on me and my commands. Does God have your full attention?
The Psalms’ Message of Single-Minded Pursuit of God
Today, this Psalm speaks of being single-minded in the pursuit of God. Are you a single-minded person? I am not. I have always lived my life with many irons in the fire, juggling activities and pursuits. I’m skilled at multi-tasking. I’m sad to say, the instances when I am most single-minded are when I’m tired or hungry. Coming home from work exhausted, my bed is the only thing on my mind. After a morning of working in the garden, when my mouth is dry and my muscles weak—all I can think of is a drink of water. There are times when I can feel the gulp of water travel the entire way from my mouth to my stomach—that’s thirst!
5 Steps from Psalm 119
Am I as driven to God and His ways as I am to my comfort? OUCH. You can ask yourself that question—I won’t meddle. David wrote of the pursuit of God and His plan for life. That sounds drastic. That sounds intense. How does that happen? David wrote a short list,
Reading the road map
Watching the signs
Banking on the promises
Training the lips
Delighting in wisdom
It’s a short list but it contains tall demands—demands that require single-minded focus. I feel God’s hands on my face saying “Listen to Me” when I read this. I have to ask myself, “What things distract me from a single-minded pursuit of God?” Father, redirect my attention to You and Your plan for my life. When the problems and activities of life distract me, guide me back to You.