# 264 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 86. An undivided heart.

I was having a conversation recently with a friend and the subject was concerning distractions! My friend is a believer, but from where I sit it appears that he is being distracted by many things and therefore finding his heart “divided”.

Jesus spoke about this subject, using the example of money, when he said:

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…

24 No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  (Matthew 6:19-21, 24)

My friend’s distraction was not about making money, but the same principle applies. God requires that we avoid being distracted and having a “divided heart” and in its place serve and worship Him alone.

The psalmist prays concerning this issue in his own life. He says:

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

Weiser comments:

The psalmist “faces the majesty of God as one who, in doing so, becomes for the first time fully conscious of his own inadequacy and can therefore draw near to God only in supplication, asking God to teach him the way which he cannot find by himself, to give him the strength to live faithfully and truthfully, and make his distracted heart steadfast in the fear of God, which is the one thing needful, and the beginning and the end of all practical wisdom.” (# 27)

Way back in the early 1990s, Twila Paris sang about this subject. The chorus went:

“Give me an undivided heart
Place a new spirit in me
Give me an undivided heart
That I may fear Your name
Undivided, undivided heart
Undivided, undivided heart” (Twila Paris)

If you are finding yourself distracted and you would like this to be your prayer today, then speak to God using Psalm 86:11 and sing along with the song at:

And so, the psalmist concludes this prayer psalm reminding God of his dilemma and crying to him for help:

14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
    slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
    show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
    just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
    that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
    for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Thankyou Father that you hear our heart’s cry to you. Sometimes we need your help from the enemy around us, but often it is from the “enemy” within – our tendency to be distracted. Keep us from having a divided heart, so that we may fear your name. Amen.

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