Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. – Psalms 86:11, ESV
Our Pastor has been leading our church in memorizing Scripture for the last couple of years. Each month, we work on a new verse, or verses, to memorize. Not only has it been a blessed time of (trying) to take the Word into my mind, but the time spent focusing on the Word as I attempt to memorize has been truly a blessing.
Psalm 86:11 is one that I had to chew on a little bit more. I was stumped by what it means to ask the Lord to “unite my heart…” I needed to ponder this request. Usually, when we talk about being united, we are talking about it in relation to other people. What could it possibly mean to be united within my own heart?
Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) All means all. If we are to love God with all our hearts, then we are to love Him with every bit of our hearts. There is to be no portion of our hearts that is not engaged in loving Him. When we love God with our whole heart, then our heart is fully devoted to Him. There is nothing else that receives our devotion. Our hearts are undivided in our love for Him and our commitment to Him.
The psalmist’s request for God to cause his heart to be united to fear His name was a request for these things. To fear God’s name is to be in awe of who He is and what He is able to do. It is to have an attitude of reverence toward God’s name for His name is His character. The psalmist desired that his heart would be completely devoted to fearing God’s name. He desired that he would be kept from having a divided heart, that no portion of his heart would be found lacking the awe and reverence that is due God’s name.
In our daily lives, we are bombarded with things that try to compete with our heart’s devotion. Our hearts are pulled in a million directions all day long. On our own, we cannot keep our hearts undivided. Therefore, the psalmist’s request ought to be our request. For when we ask God to unite our hearts, to make our hearts undivided and fully devoted to fear His name, He will hear, and He will answer us.