April 21, 2015

Psalm 86:11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.

This is the prayer of a person committed to God. Many people don’t even care to know God’s ways; they just want their own. They want to define truth however they like, and deny that there is such a thing as absolute truth. David, in contrast, is asking to be shown God’s ways and is committing himself to walk in God’s truth. Most of us are somewhere between those extremes. David calls that a divided heart, and we all struggle with it to some degree. On the one hand we want to follow God, simply because we know the outcome will be better if for no other reason, but on the other hand we want to indulge the flesh, and bridle at controls of any sort. All sorts of things work better with proper integration, and we are no exception. All of our impulses and urges have a positive use, but we’ve got to bring them in line or they pull us apart. It is a psychological reality that men are better at compartmentalizing their thoughts, their lives, than women are, but that can be dangerous, especially if we don’t realize what’s going on. God wants all of us, and we are too prone to give Him part but not all. Actually, a fully integrated personality is possible only when our whole being is submitted to and trusting God. That’s why we need to pray this prayer along with David.

Over the years I have associated with various people who were diagnosed as schizophrenic, but to be honest, I feel it’s only a matter of degree; we all have that tendency. Paul expressed it himself rather famously in Romans 7, and we can all identify with that. I am not to dump on myself or on others when we trip up, but at the same time never let go of the goal of being fully integrated in harmony with and submission to God. Romans 8:1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” is glorious truth, but it is not an excuse to ignore God’s directions and run off of His path. Paul had to correct that misconception various times in his letters. I am to keep my eyes on the prize (Philippians 3:14, etc.) and teach others to do the same, letting the Holy Spirit flow through me to wash out the junk and the contradictions and praying that others would do likewise. I can’t accomplish it alone even in myself, so I must not think for a moment that I can do it in someone else. However, I am to make it clear that by God’s grace it is possible, and encourage everyone to open themselves up to Him.

Father, thank You for all You are doing in this church. Thank You for what was expressed in the business meeting of wanting to draw people in, and thank You for what was expressed to me afterward of the need for spiritual growth and maturity in us all. Help us all keep growing, pressing in for more of You and not being satisfied with mediocrity, so that all of Your purposes for us may be fulfilled, on Your schedule and for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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