May 21, 2016

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.

Having a divided heart is a perennial problem for mankind. We speak of “being of two minds” about something, which is another way of saying the same thing. Many people are plagued by indecision to the point of missing out on things. We speak of that with the proverb, “He who hesitates is lost.” What is different about David’s prayer here is his motivation: he wants to know God’s truth in order to walk in it with appropriate reverence. These days we tend to delegate decisions to machines/electronic systems. Stories abound of people who have gotten into real trouble by blindly following the advice of their GPS, for example. Seeking God and His path for our lives has always been a good idea, but it’s never been more important than today. Society (with the strong encouragement of the devil) pushes us toward immorality and generally ignoring God, or even spitting in His face. Sadly, that can look pretty attractive to our flesh. We need to be purposeful in choosing God and His way. Since that is expressed pretty clearly in the Bible, such an attitude starts by taking time to read the Bible daily, making it a genuine priority. It is no fluke that Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Having the clear standard of Scripture in our heart and mind is the best insurance against going the wrong way when temptations try to pull us off track. However, we aren’t going to do that unless we grasp the reality that actions have consequences, and particularly, eternal consequences. That’s what the fear of the Lord is all about. We need to understand on the deepest level that we make it out alive only with God, and not in rebellion against Him.

This has been the struggle of my life, as it is for every human being, and that struggle will continue until I am before God’s throne. If I didn’t know the grace of God, I would have given up a long time ago! As I wrote that, the TV show Game of Thrones came to mind. I’ve never seen it, but its presence is inescapable in contemporary media. It strikes me that the title is deliberate, because the devil wants us to think that he has a throne that is equal to God’s, though he has no throne at all. From what I hear, the TV show revels in all that is dark and polluted about mankind, and yet it has enormous viewership. How sad! I am to be aware that these things exist, but not be pulled away by them. I am to walk in God’s truth, not as an intellectual exercise but in practical reality, so that I won’t deceive myself. Likewise, I am to encourage others to seek God as David did, so that we may walk in God’s way together.

Father, thank You for this reminder. The onslaughts of the enemy are unrelenting. Keep me from thinking I can stand against them on my own. Rather, help me depend on You fully, submitting to You so that I may resist the devil and experience Your victory, for Your glory. (James 4:7) Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

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