Discipleship; August 22, 2019

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.

Reading this Psalm from the start I was blessed by several verses, but when I got to this one I knew it was what the Lord was reaffirming to me right now. This is the fundamental prayer of a true disciple of the Lord. A disciple is called that because they learn from their master, and David here puts a fine point on that: obedience. It does no good to know truth if you don’t walk it out. This is the point of James’ famous admonition: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) Then there’s the second half of this prayer. I think every culture has an expression to refer to that very common human condition of thinking/feeling two conflicting things. In Japanese, that expression is “having two hearts.” In English we speak of “having two minds,” but it’s exactly the same thing. David is asking to be delivered from that, and it’s important to note why: “That I may fear Your name.” When we’re of two minds about something, it means we’re letting something else have parity with whatever it is God is saying. That can even amount to idolatry, though we seldom think of it that way. David wants an undivided heart that is focused on God alone, and we should too.

As I am reminded often, I am a “poster child” for knowing truth and not walking in it, thus deceiving myself. I’m grateful for God’s grace in pointing that out to me and calling me back to Himself, time and time again. In His place, I would have run out of patience with me a long time ago! Sunday the message was on An Upright Heart, and this is certainly the prayer of such a heart. It was a week ago today that the Lord gave me a dream in which I was prophesying, “The upright will hear my voice.” Everyone in this church wants guidance in one area or another, and the key to getting that guidance is certainly an undivided, upright heart. I cannot create that in others, but I can teach, encourage, and admonish, being careful always to do it in love, and certainly keeping watch over my own heart, to be careful to walk in the truth God has spoken to me.

Father, thank You for all that You are doing, in me and in this church. It’s easy to see how others miss out on Your blessings by failing to listen humbly to You, but I can be blind to my own mistakes in that area. Help us all focus more and more sharply on You, to be Your agents as Your disciples, for Your will to be done 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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