Updated: May 18, 2020
Do you consider yourself a multitasker, or a single-task focused person? There is a big difference in the way work gets done, depending upon whether you use multitasking skills or single task skills.
I want to share a story that provoked this teaching. It’s the ultimate example of focusing on a single task! We have a Hungarian Vizsla, a hunting dog, named Caleb who runs around our fenced back yard freely every day. There are all kinds of critters for him to chase down in the yard. We have voles and moles, raccoons, rabbits, groundhogs, armadillos, deer, snakes, and, last but not least, a variety of birds. In our yard, we have a giant Arborvitae tree (actually, we have eight of them in the backyard.)
Two weeks ago, a bird built a nest in one of the trees and laid her eggs. She had three baby birds. The way she spun the nest is a mystery to me. I got the chance to look at it before the babies were born. It was perfect!
The Bible talks about birds.
Ezekiel 31:6 says, “All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth to their young, and under its shadow lived all great nations.”
Another reference in Matthew 8:20 reads,
"And Yeshua said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Once the eggs were laid, and the babies were born, I got a chance to see them. Standing on the edge of my patio I am eye level with the nest. They were so cute. Their eyes were closed, and their mouths were open - waiting for their mom to feed them.
The Fun Begins...
Even though our dog Caleb could not reach them, he could sense and smell the newborn chicks. For two weeks Caleb’s attention was solely on the nest and the mother. Every time he went out, all he wanted was to bark at and chase the mother bird. It was quite a show to see her dive-bomb him to keep him away from the nest. He was so focused on the bird that he wouldn't even go to the bathroom when he was out there. His single-minded determination was to get the bird, disrupt her nest, and take control of his yard as soon as possible. After all, he is a hunting dog, and his back yard is his territory.
As I watched this whole scenario unfold the last two weeks, I felt a quickening in my spirit to share the story. I felt the Lord saying that He wants his sons and daughters to focus on Him that way; the single-task focus of seeking Him and finding Him, and doing so with all our hearts.
Deuteronomy 4:29 - But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Matthew 7:7 - Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
Are we up to the challenge of relentlessly pursuing HIM with everything inside of us until we find Him? Are we up to putting our complete focus on Him? The answer is YES!
Seek Him - Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Proverbs 8:17 - I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me." We have to be the one to choose; whether out of a loss, crisis, or any other reason, the choice is ours. Once we make this choice, we do everything we can to seek Him through spiritual motivations. It’s the condition of our heart that speaks the loudest. When I sought Him out over twenty years ago, it was because I felt alone and was afraid of dying. I was motivated to seek Him out.
Grow in Him - Hebrews 6:1 "Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Messiah and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God." The next step after we seek Him, it to mature in our transformation of self. The old is passed away, and behold the new comes forward. We must continuously feed our spirit to grow, mature, and advance. We need spiritual nutrition to grow.
Rely on Him - Jeremiah 17:5-9 "Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?"
Have we completely given up control and turned everything over to God? The initial reaction is one in the flesh, so we have to overcome the flesh and rely on Him in the spirit. That’s a minute by minute decision! How do we do this? Through seeking, finding, and growing in Him! It’s constant. That’s why we can’t miss a beat. We must stay focused.
Surrender to Him - Romans 12:1 "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Job 11:13-15 Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins, even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless." CEV (Contemporary English Version) Surrender and submission go hand-in-hand. Of course, the Messiah’s sacrifice is the greatest surrender of all time! However, Abraham gives one of the best completely human examples of submission that I have known. It’s the tenant of Judeo-Christian faith!
Genesis 22: 1-19 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes and saw the place from afar. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; I and the boy will go over there and worship and come again to you.” 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. So they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together.
9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called the name of that place, “The Lord will provide”;as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” 15 And the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” 19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they arose and went together to Beersheba. And Abraham lived at Beersheba.
Abraham surrendered and submitted to God to the point of sacrificing his one and only son! He knew beyond doubt that God would provide! Abraham was obedient with every cell of his being! Through his relationship with God, he sought Him; he grew in Him every day; he relied on God and the final step; he surrendered to him! Wow! What an example for us all.
What a magnificent relationship we can have with our Heavenly Father!
Let’s take a look back at the Bird’s Nest story and like our dog Caleb and the bird, determine to have a single-task focus to grow our relationship with our Father.
Let’s pray: Father, I thank you that you have given each of us the motivation and drive in the spirit to pursue you above all else and you promise when we do — you will allow us to find you when we seek you with all our heart (with a single-task focus). Amen.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) of the Holy Bible. Photo courtesy of Proven Winners-www.provenwinners.com