Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11
We are called to be one-kingdom people, which means developing an undivided heart.
Yesterday we looked at this Psalm and considered what it means to fear God only. I mentioned that I was most blessed by reading this Psalm backwards. For me, cultivating a holy, reverent fear of God immediately challenges my divided heart. If I truly fear God, the motivation to divide my heart between the Kingdom of God and the things of this world would be driven away from me.
I believe what the enemy was able to accomplish in the Garden of Eden was to drive a wedge in the heart of the first couple. They had been created with the awesome opportunity to love God and God only. It’s unthinkable that they would do anything else. The great German theologian Karl Barth describes the fall as “the impossible possibility.” Although it was possible, it was also incomprehensible. Yet the enemy succeeded by turning Eve’s attention away from complete trust in God and onto the prospect of placing her own needs and desires on the throne of her life. As she contemplated what it might be like to “be like God” her heart became divided.
We re-enact that sin every time our divided heart convinces us to play the Lord over our lives and grab control for ourselves. Once our hearts are divided, once we seek to have loyalty to two kingdoms with two different lords, we will experience fear, stress, anxiety and worry that were never intended to be in the heart of a child of God.
How do we reclaim an undivided heart? For me, it comes through worship. That is, it comes from a willful act of total submission to the sovereign God and Creator of all things. It really comes back to a holy fear of God; that awesome, overwhelming understanding of God’s ultimate control of all things. From that fear comes trust, faith and a deep-seated desire to walk according to his will in obedience and joy. When that kind of reverence and worship overwhelms us, it will drive from our heart every competing loyalty.
Where has your heart been divided?
There is a saying in politics but if you want to know the real reason why someone speaks, acts or votes in a certain way, “follow the money.” I believe there is a parallel here in this lesson. If you want to figure out where in your life you have compromise, conformity and disobedience, “follow the fear.” What you fear will lead you back to what you love, what you worship, and in what (or whom) you put your trust. So the challenge in this lesson today is to follow your fears, your stresses your worries your anxieties back to their source. When you arrive there, acknowledge your undivided heart and pray that the fear of God and God alone may overwhelm you.
Gracious and Loving Lord, I confess to you today that I have a divided heart. I have allowed the things of this world to creep into my spirit, to become the object of my focus, the center of my attention and the source of my fear. If I follow my fear it leads me back to so many things in my life that I have not submitted to you. I don’t know why I hold on so tightly when you offer me freedom. I deeply long for an undivided heart. I pray that you would begin to work in me to help me reclaim such a heart, and let that work begin with a love and fear for you that drives out everything else from my spirit. Lord, give me an undivided heart. In Jesus’ name. Amen.