Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name. (Psalm 86:11 NIV)
- Both of these phrases in 86:11 are examples of instrumentation – moving from means to end:
(1) Means – Teach me your ways —> End – I may rely on your faithfulness
(2) Means – Give me an undivided heart —> End – I may fear your name
- How does God’s teaching us his ways help us rely on God’s faithfulness?
How does having an undivided heart lead to fearing God’s name?
- What does it mean to have an “undivided” heart?
– ESV& KJV: “unite my heart”
-CEB: “make my heart focused”
- In both cases what God gives is what enables the Psalmist to do and become
Not the first time I remember reflecting on this verse. The phrase “undivided heart” is one of those biblical phrases that resonates in the soul. To have a heart with only one loyalty… only one love… only one thing that captivates and engages it. For God to be that one thing!
Joined with this plea is for God to teach David the divine way. If these two petitions are parallels, it suggests (an echo of the Proverbs call to select the true way, the way of wisdom) that we ought to implore God to teach us so to live that we would walk in the way of God and of God alone. Not to follow two ways – who can do that? Or have conflicting loyalties – and therefore none? To be taught and gifted by God so that God’s faithfulness might be enough, God’s name the only fear/awe/respect in our lives.
Lord, as David prayed… teach me your ways that I may learn to rely on it and not on my way, on your wisdom and not my own, on your dreams and purposes and not mine. May I have such heart – a heart with one love, one passion, one loyalty, one joy – You, my maker and my God. Amen.