Teach me your way, Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.“ – Psalm 86: 11-12
Before I became a pastor, I was a Christian Ed Director and youth leader. One Wednesday night at youth group worship, we had youth sharing what God was doing in their lives. One high school youth, named Brooke, read from Psalm 86, which is a Psalm of David, asking for help in times of trouble. As she read, verses 11-12 from Psalm 86, the words just seemed to jumped off the page penetrating my mind & heart. The Word of God really is living and active as Hebrews 4 tells us, and the Word speaks to us today.
Back then I kind of prided myself with being really familiar with Scripture, and it was rare that someone would read from Scripture and I’d think,” I’ve never read that before.” But that night when Brooke shared that Scripture, and began sharing ways her heart was divided, the Scripture became so alive, it penetrated my mind and heart in a new way. God spoke to me through His word that evening, and used a teenager to impact me in a new way. I wanted those verses to be true to my life.
Jesus said the greatest commandment is this:
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” Mark 12:29-30
That evening I discovered that despite the fact that I claim to love God with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength as Jesus said, often my heart is divided …something else creeps onto the throne of my heart, and pulls my attention and my allegiance away from God, without my being aware of what has happened. It is an ongoing struggle in the Christian life, because I’ve discovered its different “stuff”, at different times in my life, that has potential to divert my full attention from God, and God’s purposes for me and can end up dividing My allegiance to Him. That is why we need to have ateachable hearts…and God’s voice of instruction sometimes come from unlikely places, like the 15 year old girl in youth group, who had a better insight into her heart than I had into mine on that particular evening.
The Psalmist prays: Teach me your way O Lord and I will walk in your truth. When we have a humble and teachable heart we can receive God’s admonitions from scripture, as well as from the community off faith. David also prays: Give me an undivided heart that I might glorify you name. Busy schedules, family, friends, hobbies, sport, finances, future worries, technology stuff can all become idols that split my heart’s allegiance…all can distract me and cause me to have a divided heart.
Psalm 86:11-12 have become my life verses. These two prayer requests have also become a regular part of my prayer life:
- Teach me you way O Lord that I may walk in your truth,
- Give me an undivided Heart that I may fear (honor, reverence) your name.
I will praise you O Lord with ALL of my heart. (This is my life goal) I will glorify your name forever.”
We ask you to give us undivided hearts. Give us teachable hearts, that we might show others by our example how great You really are. Help us to serve you wholeheartedly, and may your Spirit make us aware of anything that rivals our whole hearted allegiance to you.
In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Grace and Peace,