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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The Power of an Undivided Heart

Psalm 86:11 “Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart.” 

This is my new "Battle Cry."

Division is a killer. Divorce. Politics. Civil War. A house divided cannot stand. And yet, for many of us Christians, we get up every morning and ring the doorbell to enter our own divided house. Hmmm, ten extra minutes before work. I could spend some time in prayer -OR- I could stop by the fast food joint. Stomach grumbles. Hashbrowns, here we come.

Paul often wrote about the battle within: new man (born again, spirit alive) versus old man (sin-stained flesh and bone body). It's not a pretty battle either. Paul laments "what a wretched man I am." Have you ever felt that? I have. 

I've been a Christian for 23 years, and I'm still in that battle. Too often, my heart is divided: usually between SELF and God. I want versus what God wants. On one level, I really do want to be rid of selfishness. But, on another level, I'm like Gollum: seeking my precious (selfish desires) at all costs.

I wish I had an easy answer to fix this. But, I don't. But reading this Psalm this morning gave me a thread to grasp. The Psalmist apparently had a clue: ASK. He pleaded with God to "give" him an undivided heart. That seems like a winning prayer if I've ever heard one. So, it's my new battle cry.

How about you? What are your "secrets" for avoiding or overcoming a "divided" heart? 


Writer4Christ said...

For me, in making some decisions, I think of all the pros and cons of two decisions and compare them.
But speaking about spiritual things, to bring myself closer to God, I guess another thing is "crucifying" our flesh. Another is just to get closer to God and soak up his love and spread it out into the world around you. You'll find that you're not making as many mistakes as you were when you weren't as close to God and His presence.

Sir Guy said...

The trouble I have with a divided heart is that I’m so consumed with my petty pleasures: those things which are fine and good in and of themselves (such as music and writing) but are devilishly seductive when given free reign. The best thing I can attempt is to go tea-total on whatever has bound my heart. It is somewhat ironic that this post was written on April 2nd because, to focus on having a heart and mind able to listen to God, I decide to go without any music for a month on that exact evening. The music I listen to is not bad in the least, (it actually looks more like Mr. Batson’s writing playlist) yet recently I’ve become too concerned with my musical amusement and less with harkening to a certain neglected still, small, Voice.

I’ve done this once before and the result of simply removing a good-thing-gone-bad for a period of time was incredible. Instead of replaying crescendos and fiddles in my mind, I was dwelling more on God and those things which are “pure, holy, lovely, etc.” But it is by no measure easy. Other times I’ve tried this and the attempt was a textbook fail. I have to first lay this “music fast” before God and plead with him to carry my ears to the end of the month. Don’t feel you have to cash in on my two cents; this is simply what works for that strange, ADHD lump of clay called Me. =) Read God’s word AND pray to see what He would have you do.

(Oh, Mr. Batson, by the way, would you mind passing the hash browns?)

A Random Elf said...

This is so true! I was just thinking about this...Amazing how God works. For me I pray a lot and try to focus on God more and the things that I become consumed with less. (If it gets extreme I try going a week without the "hashbrowns" in my life.)Perhaps I can work my way up to a month like Sir Guy. ;)

Frestalogeer said...

I often feel like gollum.
Slinker and Stinker, as Sam would say.