Singleness of heart produces singleness of mind (focus). The biggest spiritual battle we are in is the battle of the mind.
Christ himself taught about the heart. He said that out of the heart proceeds, evil (or bad) thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness and blasphemies. (Matt.15:18-19)
While the above things mentioned can be the literal acts, more importantly, they can be done from the battlefield of the mind. As Christ taught, we can commit murder in our heart by hating our fellow man. We can commit adultery and fornication in our heart through lust. (Matt.5:21-22, 27-28)
We can even commit “theft” in our heart and not even physically do the act. How? By coveting our neighbors (any one close to us) stuff. If someone has something that we want, and we dwell upon it, it could conceive in our heart and thus become sin.
So it all comes down to the heart. We need to get alone with God and shut the door. Come to God and take inventory of our heart. He already knows what is in there, but we need to ask Him to reveal to us our hearts. Because it is deceitful, if we don’t take inventory, we will be deceived by it, plain and simple. If we are not careful, we will be led down a road that might be long and windy.
Singleness of heart.
Christ taught on the “Lamp of the body” in Luke 11:33-36. He said that the lamp of the body was the eye. The word here means, the eyes of the mind. He says that if it is good (clear or healthy) than our whole body is full of light. But, if the eyes of our mind is bad (evil or unhealthy) then our bodies are full of darkness.
So it is either “light” or “darkness”.
Now, if we see another translation of the word “good” in verse 34 as “single”, it opens up another understanding. Singlemindedness which is produced from singleheartedness. Remembering that our minds (or thoughts) stem from the heart.
If our “eye” of the soul be single, it will be clear. There will be no confusion. No double-mindedness. Because of this “singleness” we will see (understand) things as they are meant to be, spiritually. Thus our whole being (our souls), or whole body will be full of light. There will be no darkness.
Endeavoring to have a pure heart will keep our minds pure of thoughts. When sin or darkness is in our heart, it produces wrong desires, wrong directions and wrong motives. We get off track when our hearts are not “full of light”. Darkness or sin, prevents us from walking in the understanding of the Lord, which is “light”.
We must walk (live) in the light as Christ is in the light. Full obedience to this light.
The mind follows the heart. Why? Because it stems (or comes from) the heart.
Some good understanding of the word “heart” is needed. In Hebrew it means, inner man or inner part. Mind, will or understanding. In Greek it means, the soul or mind. The fountain or seat of our thoughts, desires and affections. The middle, central or innermost part.
The early church knew what it was like to have “singleness of heart”, thus the power came down and the Lord added daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:41-47). Another meaning for the word “singleness”, is “simplicity”. Simplicity of heart. A simple heart. Not cluttered. Not all stuffed up. One that is single hearted in devotion to the Lord.
An emptying out of our heart needs to take place routinely. Why? Because stuff creeps in. This could not only be sins, but any useless clutter. Thus, emptying the room of any clutter so we can be free and single to our Lord. Becoming (because it is a process) simple and free to serve our Lord in single-hearted devotion.
So, we need to take inventory and clean the house where necessary, spiritually speaking. Get rid if any clutter and things that are of no use spiritually to us. This will free us up in our thought life too. Our minds are cluttered, because our hearts are cluttered. Slow down and do some house cleaning.
God bless you as you too do some cleaning!