Sunday, June 25, 2017

Unite my divided heart...

One of my earliest memories is of a time that I told a deliberate lie to Mama.  She was mopping the dining room floor with one of those old timey string mops and a big metal bucket of soapy water.  In the background of my memory are two young boys that Mama was babysitting, though I have no idea who they were or who they belonged to.  I have no memory of my older siblings being there, so I guess they must have been in school that day.  I also don't remember my youngest brother being around, so perhaps he was down for a nap.  Something happened that interrupted Mama's mopping, and I remember her specifically telling me to stay away from the mop bucket when she left the room.  I disobeyed her and spilled that whole bucket of sudsy water all over the dining room floor.  When Mama came back into the room and asked me what happened, I lied and blamed those little boys for the mess. To this day I can remember the icky feeling that entered my little heart, the sense of guilt and wrongdoing.  You might say that in that moment my heart became divided from Mama's heart.  My sin, my deceit, built an instant wall inside my little heart.  To keep from being found out I would need to keep on lying, which only served to fortify the wall and the division I felt inside.  To come clean and be completely transparent and honest would tear down that wall and I could live in peaceful unity with my Mama once again.

God's heart is for us to live in a state of peaceful unity with Him.  He made a way for that to be possible for each one of us.  He knew we couldn't achieve this through our own self effort or good works.  So, He sent His Son to live the sinless life that is impossible for you and I to live.  His Son then died to take the punishment for our sins, all of our sins, making it possible for us to live in peaceful reconciliation with our holy Father God.  Our part is in the "coming clean" about our sins, in being honest and open with God about all of our struggles and sin, all of our doubts and fears. A hidden heart is a divided heart, a walled up heart.  An open and honest heart is undivided.

The fear of the Lord is a natural outgrowth of an undivided heart.  This statement is also true in reverse.  The fear of the Lord results in an undivided heart.  The fear of the Lord is simply defined as having a reverential respect for the Lord and viewing sin and evil as He does.  In other words, if God says something is wrong, then no matter how I feel about it or no matter what the current cultural point of view about it is, I accept what God says about it as truth.  It is impossible to live with an undivided heart if I insist on "playing with the mop bucket" when God told me to not do so, or if I am continuously arguing with Him about why this command seems unreasonable to me.  It is also impossible to live with an undivided heart when I go my own way, knock over the bucket of soapy water, then refuse to be honest about it, or worse yet,  blame others for my wrong choice instead of taking responsibility for my own wrong choices.

God is so good that we can cry out and ask for His help about anything and everything.  David, who wrote Psalm 86, was a good example in showing us this.  "Create in me a clean heart, renew a right spirit within me", the words of David found in Psalm 51, are kindred words to his heart cry in Psalm 86, "unite my divided heart".  We can't work hard enough to create our own clean heart, or try harder to have an undivided heart.  Even in these things, especially in these things, it takes dependence on God, it takes a willingness to be gut level honest and to ask for help.  It's clear if we read the life of David as recorded in the Bible that he wasn't called a man after God's own heart because of his spotless lifestyle.  In my opinion, it was his confidence in God's steadfast love and his willingness to be honest and open with God about the state of his own heart that made David a man after God's heart.  I don't think this is a title for David alone.  I think we can be women after God's heart, women who live with open, honest, unwalled, unhidden hearts before God, hearts that are at peace and unity with His heart, united, undivided hearts.

still following,

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