David’s Heart; September 7, 2022


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 Psalm’s attribution is very simply, “A prayer of David,” with no special circumstances mentioned. However, for anyone familiar with the Bible that would pretty well go without saying, because the various things expressed in this Psalm are so typical of him. David is famous for having stumbled so badly with Bathsheba, but that was in a sense atypical of him. The heart expressed in this Psalm is precisely what made him “a man after God’s own heart.” (Acts 13:22) He was a wealthy king, yet he refers to himself as “poor and needy.” (verse 1) He was a descendant of Abraham, yet he had a heart for all nations. (verse 9) He was under attack from enemies, (verse 14) but his focus was on God. All of that is rooted in the attitude expressed in this verse. He asks to be taught God’s way, and commits himself to walk in it. He is aware of temptations and distractions so he wants an undivided heart, not to make him strong but so that he will relate rightly to his Creator and Lord. That’s an attitude worthy of emulation by any disciple of Jesus Christ. When Jesus made no mistakes, sometimes just looking at him doesn’t teach us how to deal with our mistakes. David is an excellent “substitute example,” so to speak, because he followed faithfully in spite of his mistakes.

This definitely applies to me. I certainly haven’t lived in “sinless perfection,” but this verse has become more and more the cry of my heart the longer I have lived. People are surprised and/or impressed that we have been ministering in Omura for 41 years now, but I’m not sure if that’s faithfulness or simple inertia. I’m too lazy to pick up and go somewhere else! Yesterday a close friend was talking about how he didn’t know why God allowed faithful servants to be afflicted, as we talked about a mutual friend who has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. I don’t rejoice at such news, but I’m never surprised at it, because Jesus said so clearly that “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33) We do have heaven to look forward to, so temporal things shouldn’t shake us. I need to walk in the attitude expressed in this verse, whatever is going on around me.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for making it so clear that I’m to speak on Faithfulness this Sunday. I ask for Your anointing that it may be Your Word indeed, to encourage and inspire all who hear it, for Your glory. 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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