2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”
God says that no leader should be double-hearted, double-tongued, or double-minded. The Apostle Paul said, “I finished my course.” God has a course for each of us especially those who lead us. The success in life is not how big a church his men pastor, or how famous his men are, or how much money his men acquire, or how much power his men have. The success or failure is determined by one thing, did God’s men finish the course set before them?
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
God planned my course for life as well as your course for your life. God also has a course set for every person who lives or has ever lived or ever will live. Success or failure will be determined by how you finish. If you live a normal life you will be seventy years of age someday, or probably older than that. You and I will face God one day sooner or later. How can we ensure that we will finish our course, be a success, and not a failure at the end?
DO NOT BE DOULE-MINDED
A double-minded person is unstable in all his ways according to God’s Word. To be single-minded means you have found your one great purpose in life. It also means that you are giving your all for that one great purpose of your life.
God is saying that wherever you are you are to give it your all. Enter the word “passion.” So it is not only the purpose, but also the passion within the place of service that will help keep you single-minded.
Since 1972 I have never been where I should not have been geographically. I have not always been what I should have been, but I have always been physically where I should have been. When I left General Motors, Fisher Body Division, to attend Bible college, and then left Bible college to pastor in Illinois, and finally left the pastorate in Illinois to pastor in East Texas, I have never physically been where I was not supposed to be.
When I walked onto the campus of the Bible college, that was the day I was supposed to be there. When I walked off that campus, that was the day I was supposed to leave. When I stepped onto the grounds of Faith Baptist Church in Bourbonnais, Illinois, it was the day I was supposed to be there. When I left Illinois to come to Longview, Texas, to pastor the Longview Baptist Temple, it was the very day I was supposed to go to Texas.
How can that be? I have been single-minded for all of those three decades of my life. God knows what is best for my life and your life. Every one of us ought to allow God to control us. Quit being double-minded by being single-minded.
- Figure out what God wants and do it.
- Do not change your mind about what God wants.
- When a need arises on the journey fill it.
- When trouble comes on the journey overcome it.
- When evil comes on the journey overcome it with good.
- When corrections come or chastisement on the journey, take it and keep heading for the finish line.
- Keep you eye on the finish line.
Thirty-nine years later I am still on course. I have been single-minded when it comes to the King James Bible, soul winning, standards, being an independent Baptist, Holy Spirit fulness, bus ministry, local church, local church missions, the old-time religion, and a pastor led church.
I feel so sorry for some churches because every time the pastor goes to a conference and returns home he changes every thing with the poor people wondering who are we this week with security fleeing out the window. Decide what you believe and believe it. Never revisit your decision by being a single-minded leader.
Look at the pictures of our church summer camps of fifty years ago and compare it to today’s church summer camps. Someone has become double-minded. The Nazarenes, Pentecostals, Assembly of God, Methodist, and even the Catholics used to have standards. Someone changed!
The music has changed, fashions have changed, Bibles have been perverted, and doctrine has changed all because someone became double-minded. How can we be assured that we can successfully finish our course? Simple answer, by being single-minded! Find out what God wants and do it regardless.
DO NOT BE DOUBLE-HEARTED
Single-minded means doing what God wants you to do. Single-hearted simply means doing it like God wants you to do it. How can we successfully finish our course? Do not harbor secret loves. Have a fixed heart! Do not possess two loves. Single-minded people with a single-hearted love will be more assured of successfully finishing their course than the double-minded and the double-hearted will.
Find God’s purpose and do it. Quit exchanging his purpose every time you attend a conference. Then allow God’s purpose to be baptized with your entire devotion. For thirty-nine years I have been an ordained independent Baptist preacher. I have with single-mindedness done what God wanted me to do. I have with single-heartedness done what God wanted me to do with devotion. I have given God all of my energy, emotion, and devotion.
I have refused to allow any one to steal my heart, my emotions, and my devotion. The reason some leaders do not have any zip, any energy, any zeal, any excitement, or any thrill is because they are double-hearted. Something else has stolen their emotions, devotions, and heart. Basically, they are double-hearted. To finish your course successfully means you have done what God wanted you to do and you have done it like God wanted you to do it.
Give it all you have and do not let someone or something steal a part of your heart. God allowed Longview Baptist Temple to see over one million souls come to Christ in the Ark-La-Tex area in my three decades of ministry. That did not just happen! All that God has given to that church did not just happen! Please forgive me for saying this, but if I had been double-minded and double-hearted there would be no million souls saved.
DO NOT BE DOUBLE-TONGUED
What does that mean? It means while you are doing what God wanted you to do, like God wanted you to do it, then make sure you “say” what you are supposed to say. Do not be double-tongued. Check out my sermon tapes or CD’s of 35 years ago, 30 years ago, 25 years ago, and you will find I am still saying the same thing today. My message has stayed the same!
How can a leader successfully finish his course? Be single-minded and do what God wants you to do. Be single-hearted and do what God wants you to do like God wants you to do it. Be single-tongued and do what God wants you to do like God wants you to do it and tell every one what God wants you to do and how God wants you to do it. Then, my friend, you as a leader will successfully finish your course.
Dr. Bob Gray Sr.
Longview Baptist Temple