God of all Creation: as night falls, free me from dwelling on the day’s shortcomings. Focus me on receiving and extending mercy and forgiveness. For all of those who feel the weight of their shortcomings and feel alienated from you, I pray for your touch of welcome and restoration. Extend that same touch of restoration to me. May I never forget that it is only through your mercy that I live, move, and have my being. Now shelter me beneath your wings and protect me from the harm of your enemy. Help me to wake to a new day, renewed and refreshed by your Holy Spirit…to do your will. In the matchless name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: November 10, 2020
Psalm 34:1-3 (NRSV)
1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.” Psalm 86:11
A divided heart equals divided loyalties. I was trying to find a nice, quirky illustration for this passage but instead God gave me this one sentence. And how true this reality is. A divided heart really does create divided loyalties. I know I struggle much with this concept, and as I look around, I believe I can say with integrity I am not the only one.
A divided heart has a very difficult time staying focused because it is constantly being pulled in a multitude of directions. This will cause confusion and conflict within the individual as to what is right and wrong. I would guess the Psalmist, King David, would know about this. To be King of Israel and a follower of God probably had its moments of intense conflict in David. I think just a look at the Bathsheba incident is enough to show what happens to a divided heart. To have a true heart of purity towards God, one must have an undivided heart. Purity only comes from a focused heart; righteous living only comes from an undivided heart that knows the true source of life.
Yet that undivided heart only comes to a person who is seeking it out. We only receive that undivided heart when we are open to God teaching us His ways. In order for that to happen, we need to put aside all of the distractions in our lives and have quality time with God. The ultimate goal of purity is to walk in God’s truth. And that is what I long for. I want to have my Father teach me his ways because I want to be like him. I am tired of the stress created by a divided heart, as I am sure many are. I am tired of not having the peace and joy that has been promised me because of a divided heart.
For me, the point of this verse revolves around life. My life should be a constant surrender to God’s ways so that I may walk peaceably all the days of my life. God provides us with a blueprint for living in good health. May I be willing to daily surrender in order that I may experience the life God desires. It is a return, in some sense, to Eden, where God offers us, daily, the chance to walk in the cool of the day with him.