I was thumbing through Psalms the other day and came across this verse that I loved and hated at the same time. Psalm 86:11 reads, “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”
I thought, “Yes, Lord! Give me an undivided heart!” What a powerful prayer. How delighted the Lord must be when we desire to completely give our hearts to Him.
Then it dawned on me why this verse is necessary… our hearts are divided.
My stomach turned. Shame and sadness came over me. Too often my heart is divided.
Part of me wants to serve the Lord for the right reasons – to see His Kingdom grow, to bring Him glory, to show others His grace and love.
But part of me wants to serve Him for wrong reasons – to impress people, to feel significant, and to secure blessings.
Another part of me doesn’t want to serve Him at all because sometimes doing so requires too much sacrifice of time, money, and comfort. It requires me to be willing to change and grow in difficult, painful ways. I can’t always see the benefits of serving the Lord, but the hardships are often crystal clear. As a result, sometimes I simply don’t want to serve Him.
The verse says, “…give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” In other words, give me an undivided heart that I may appropriately respect Your power and position.
The parts of my heart that are focused on me instead of the Lord got that way because I lost sight of God’s deity. When I am more worried about what people will think of me when I teach a Bible study instead of what they will think of Him, I’ve stopped fearing His name. I’ve gotten so focused on standing in awe of myself, that I’ve stopped standing in awe of Him. When I am more concerned about my personal comfort than obeying the Lord, I’ve stopped respecting God’s authority.
I need to ask God for an undivided heart – a heart completely and solely focused on Him – so that I will properly respect Him. It is out of that respect for Him and His power that I will then be willing to listen to His instruction and walk in His truth.
So true! Thanks again for opening up a precious passage with power and transparency. I am right there with you, struggling to have the proper perspective on the wonderful God we serve and struggling to give up my overly positive perspective of myself.
It’s weird. God loves me deeply and and couldn’t think more positively of me, especially since I am in Christ. But if I think too highly of myself I really mess things up. Being confident in His love and humble in my weakness is quite a dance.
That’s a slick answer to a chaglenling question