As we have left 2017 in the rear view mirrors of our lives and have embarked on 2018, let us look forward with focus and a sense of hope. It is important for us not to have fractured and divided attention. So often people from all over the world go into the New Year saying that they want to change their lives for the better one way or another. However, because of a lack of focus, many of these resolutions fall by the wayside.

God calls us all to a life of focus. The Apostle James in James 1:8 tells us that “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Now, the MIND generally speaks of the Seat of Reflective Consciousness, comprising our Will and Desire. When you read this in the context in which it was written, you see that it addresses the person who goes to God in prayer, but approaches God in doubt and unbelief. Verse 7 says that this man or such a person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. In essence, because this type of person is restless in his position; his belief, he lacks focus or singleness of mind and because of this lack of focus, he CANNOT be taken seriously by the Lord in his request. This Double Mindedness speaks of a person who is torn between the carnal & the spiritual; the one who is not willing to give up the things of this world in order to lay hold of the heavenly reward that God has for him if he completely surrenders to Him. This double mindedness also speaks of a double heart that is full of uncertainty; the one who lacks sincerity and purity of heart concerning his request; the one who honors God with his lips, but whose heart is far from God. This type of Person lacks focus and can have no expectation of receiving anything from God.

While 2017, no doubt, held many challenges for you that you may have thought you would never overcome, I encourage you to pause for a moment and know that the fact that you are reading this blog message, and the fact that you are yet alive means that You Made It!! You Overcame! Look back on the blessings, troubles, discouragement, disappointments, obstacles and yes, mistakes of 2017 not with a sense of despair, but a sense of gratitude that they did not have the power to take you out. Look back on 2017 intent to learn the lessons woven into those blessings, troubles, discouragement, disappointments, obstacles and mistakes with your mind made up to do better, be better, strive harder, and be more yielding to God’s will, discovering your God given purpose and walk in it. Have singleness of mind and stay focused, not on the past, but on the present that’s right before you and the future hope that’s waiting on you.

~Dr. DeShonda Bailey, Lead Pastor