The United Heart

Gary Henry

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).

ONLY WHEN WE PURSUE GOD WITH SINGLENESS OF HEART DO WE FIND THE PEACE THAT COMES FROM INTEGRITY. If we seek with less than the whole heart, the result will be less than total joy.

Indecision about God is described in our English Bibles as “double-mindedness” — and double-mindedness is a costly habit. With so much contentment at stake, why do we waver? Why don’t we choose God more wholeheartedly? Even though we SAY we desire fellowship with God, perhaps we’re simply not willing to let go of the alternative. We suppose that there must be a way to have the best of both worlds. But such attempts are proverbially unwise. “Progress always consists in taking one or another of two alternatives, abandoning the attempt to combine them” (Albert Schweitzer). When the choice is between God and the devil, the “eclectic” approach is the very worst choice of all.

“Unite my heart to fear Your name.” This is a prayer for the integrity of a “pure” heart, one that is not only CLEAN, but also DECISIVE. James wrote, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you …...PURIFY your hearts, you DOUBLE-MINDED” (James 4:8). What we need is the courage to pursue God with singleness of purpose. We should pray that God will “give to the intellect, wisdom to comprehend that one thing; to the heart, sincerity to receive this understanding; to the will, purity that wills only one thing” (Soren Kierkegaard). Those with godly integrity are those who know and love and will just one thing: the glory of God.

In the end, will we look back and see that many good things were lost because we lingered in indecision? While we delayed, with hearts divided and minds not made up, did we forfeit many of the blessings that could have come from disciplined action?

May we aspire to the joys of the united heart. May we be devout in our devotion and wholehearted in our holiness. May God help us to make up our minds.

“If you had any idea how much inward peace you would gain for yourself, and how much joy you would bring to others, by devoting yourself single-heartedly to God, you would certainly pay more attention to your spiritual progress”

(Thomas Kempis).