Time to Focus on One Thing
by Adam Wittenberg
Is it possible to focus on one thing? Can a single-minded life make us stronger? Will a one-thing lifestyle build our faith and equip us to prevail in our distracted world?
If you don’t believe society is distracted, look around you. People are constantly on their phones and digital devices, talking, texting, and tweeting about whatever interests them. Tempers flare and rage ensues; there is precious little peace or civil dialogue.
Social media isn’t the problem, per se (you might even be on it right now). What is problematic, however, is the constant need for distraction, for stimulation, and for something outside of ourselves to make us happy. In such a life, we are never at rest. Our spirits know no peace, and quiet becomes our enemy. This is not good ground for the soul.
Sadly, much of the Church has bought into the culture of distraction. We think that making our services (and conferences) more entertaining is the answer—to have a better light show, smoke machines, and louder sound. While the Lord can move through a well-choreographed event, He’s not limited to that. Sound is good (we’re told to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord”), but if we can only hear Him when the volume is turned up, then we may be lacking that inner, quiet communion that God desires to have with each one of us (Matthew 6:6).
So many leaders in the Bible spent time alone with the Lord, often in a quiet place. David hid in caves from Saul for years, and before that was a shepherd in the fields. Moses lived 40 years in the wilderness. Jesus Himself often withdrew to deserted places to pray to His Father (Luke 5:16). He had a dynamic ministry, performed miracles, and was the one and only Son of God, and yet He found it necessary to take time to pray alone, to commune with His Father. Focusing on this one thing really defined Jesus’ ministry. “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner,” He said in John 5:19.
Jesus did not come to build His own fame but the kingdom of God. Yes, His name is famous because He is the point of entry to the kingdom and the Lord of it, but He did not seek a big name for Himself on earth—He wanted hearts, not numbers. That’s why He repeatedly told people after He healed them not to tell others (examples include Mark 1:43–44 and Matthew 9:30). He wanted people to search Him out with their hearts, not simply be attracted to a “big name.”
It is the same today. Many people gathering in a building or room is not a measure of success if God doesn’t have preeminence and people’s hearts aren’t being changed by Him. Big-name speakers are good, but sometimes fame can become the focus more than meeting the living God. There’s just no substitute for Jesus. As Peter said in John 6:68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Let’s stop seeking many things. Our culture (and even the Church) screams “bigger,” “better,” “faster,” “more.” But what if the Lord is slowing us down, causing us to focus on what matters most—the kingdom, reign, and glory of His Son?
The Call to One Thing
It is with this heart that we invite you to Onething 2018. Past conferences have included worship, teaching, and significant times of ministry and encounter, but even we have felt the need to re-center on the One thing—not many things—that really matters. If we’re not connecting with Jesus, it will profit nothing. (“For without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5)
And so we’re calling men and women, those desperate for a transforming touch from God, those who know He is their greatest need, pleasure, and delight (or want Him to be!), to join us for our annual four-day gathering this December. Onething is for those who aren’t seeking a conference high but a set-apart time of encounter where the Lord directs the ministry and shows us what’s next.
In this time of crisis—political, moral, spiritual—nothing but intimate fellowship with Jesus Himself will empower us to thrive in the midst of unprecedented pressures and opportunities. But in the midst of intense trials, the greatest harvest in human history will come in.
Let’s gather to seek the Lord together. “The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force” (Matthew 11:12). The call is to fight distraction, sell out to Jesus, and let Him direct us how to respond. We are confident He will move as we dedicate these four days to Him.
When is the last time you set apart prolonged time for God?
Join us for Onething 2018, December 28–31 in Kansas City. Information and registration details can be found at ihopkc.org/onething. Group rates are also available.
A Detroit native who was raised in Vermont and Connecticut, Adam worked as a newspaper journalist until 2012, when he moved to Kansas City to complete the Intro to IHOPKC internship. Afterwards, he earned a four-year certificate in House of Prayer Leadership from IHOPU and is now on full-time staff in the Marketing department at IHOPKC. He also serves in the NightWatch (overnight prayer hours) and is active in evangelism. He, and his wife Stephany, have a vision to reach people everywhere with the good news of Jesus Christ.