What’s Your “One Thing?”

Ellen Dykas

One thing have I asked of the Lord,

that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

In my last post (Living a Life that Becomes a Life Well-Lived), I was sharing thoughts on how to live now in such a way that our lives would end having been lived well, and David’s words here in Psalm 27 give us (me!) more clues about what this means. It’s to know what your “one thing” is going to be. David said that his “one thing” was to dwell in the house of the Lord, or as we might say now from our vantage place of being “in Christ,” to faithfully abide in the Lord Jesus. David said that he wanted to dwell in the Lord’s house so that he could:

  • Gaze upon the Lord’s beauty
  • Inquire of the Lord  

I like the way that Pastor John Piper often has said in his teaching ministry, “Let your passions be single!” He’s speaking of a devoted and undistracted life, for and towards Jesus Christ, of making sure that our “one thing” is faithfulness to Jesus; abiding in Jesus as we love and know and seek to obey his word.  When our “one thing” becomes a part of many things, or when our “one thing” is SELF, comfort, pleasure or the affection and/or sexual attentions of other people, then we find ourselves living an Anti-Psalm 27:4, that goes something like this:

One thing I have sought after and asked of the Lord and that is
‘Please leave me alone God!’ I mean, I want your attention but not now, ok?!
I want to build and nestle inside a home of my own making… where it feels good,
and no one bothers me about what I’m gazing at.
I’ll inquire of you, Lord, but later ok?
I don’t mean to offend you, Lord, but I just need (fill in the blank) this right now and you…
well, you just don’t seem as real as him/her/it/this.
I love you Lord, but I NEED him/her/it/this.
Sexual sin and disordered relational entanglements are “one thing” that offer to us an instant payback of sexual and/or emotional pleasure; a comforting distraction that dulls and temporarily erases our inner pain and heartache. When our “one thing” isn’t Jesus, so many other things will rush in to fill the void, and entice and tantalize and seduce and woo and offer to us a form of life.  But it will be death in the end.  

How do you focus on your “one thing;” to live fully for Jesus amid all the struggles of this life?  I’d love to know what helps you do this.