An Undivided Heart

We have but one life to live, and but one heart from which to give… May they both be undivided in their faithful devotion to God…

Psalm 86:11-12 “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.   I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.”

Charles Spurgeon comments on these verses: “Our minds are apt to be divided [among] a variety of objects, like trickling streamlets which waste their force in a hundred runnels; our greatest desire should be to have all our life-floods poured into one channel and to have that channel directed toward the Lord alone.”


We are naturally disposed toward having divided, distracted, ever-wandering hearts.  We gravitate toward those things that seem to satisfy our momentary longings, and yet realize that even those objects of affection are fleeting at best.  As believers, we are called to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  It’s pretty much the greatest commandment, according to Jesus (Matt. 22:34-40; Cf. Deut. 6:5).  However, anyone who is the least bit self-aware will realize the profound difficulty of such a charge.

To love God with an undivided heart, a satisfied soul, an undistracted mind, and every ounce of one’s strength is entirely impossible.  Yet, King David serves as our example in asking God to give him an undivided heart that he might “fear” His name.  David was seeking something that could not be accomplished apart from the gracious provision of God.  He was seeking to be awestruck by the person of God, to be amazed by the majesty of His power, and to be intoxicated by the beauty of His glory.  In essence, David wanted to be so captivated by God’s love that he could not help expressing unending love and undivided devotion back to Him.  Such praise–such obedience–would simply be the overflow of a grateful heart to the God who had been immeasurably gracious to it. David wanted to worship God with every part of his being.  He wanted to offer his entire person, his whole heart to fearing the Lord and obeying His word. David was a man of intense passion and yet, without the help of God, those passions would always be divided among lesser things.

Without the grace of God, one cannot have an undivided heart, a single-minded focus, a satisfied soul, or the necessary strength to stand-fast in the face of hardship.  It’s simply impossible.  However, with God all things are possible as we embrace Jesus Christ and yield to the power of His Holy Spirit.  Therefore, we must ask the God, the Giver of all good things (Matt 7), to give us an undivided heart so that we may fear His name. Only in fearing God will we be able to humbly and obediently walk in His ways (Ecclesiastes 13:12).  The gospel that saves sinners like us, is the same gospel that God uses to change us.  He does this so that we may come to love Him with an undivided love…


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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, Theological Reflection, Tribbett

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