Cultivating an Undivided Heart

Teach me your way, O Lord,

    that I may walk in your truth;

    give me an undivided heart to revere your name…

Psalm 86:11

Saturday mornings are a great illustration of what it means to be intentional when it comes to Christian faith. Or as the psalmist put it, cultivating “an undivided heart.”

I, for example, am not a natural morning person. If I forget to set my alarm clock I will likely sleep till 7:30 or 8:00. And if I don’t set a second alarm (for when I mute the first one) I’m going to do it anyway.

But there are things I need to be up for. Like starting the coffee pot, and walking the dog, and getting my brain warmed up enough to be able to write. And – most importantly – engaging my spirit, and inviting God to be central to the trajectory of the new day.

Then, Saturday mornings, I honor a commitment I made to spend time with a small group of men (Robert, George, Rob, David, Ed, Grant, Tom… and sometimes a few others) to be an inspiration and an encouragement to one another.

Spiritual truth only has any traction when we walk in it.

(me)

Give me an undivided heart, Lord.

It is so easy to be distracted, and of two minds and – really – at odds with ourselves when it comes to what is important. So we get together and we do our best to put this idea into practice: “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth.”

Other translations interpret “undivided heart” in the following ways:

  • Unite my heart
  • Direct my heart
  • Make me singlehearted – or wholehearted
  • Focus my heart,
  • Firm up my heart
  • Bind my heart
  • Give me – and I love this – “a heart that doesn’t want anything more than you [God]”
– stock image

For me (someone who over the years has had to learn to rely on my prescription glasses more and more) I think of “being taught God’s truth,” and “walking in God’s way” as activities that require intention and focus. And I can’t focus if I can’t see clearly. Being in a supportive environment such as my Saturday morning group is a lot like cleaning my lenses at the beginning of the day.

Give me a heart that doesn’t want anything more than you, God.

– Author Derek Maul writes from his home in North Carolina

Give me an undivided heart. And how can I achieve this? Well I must begin with, “Teach me your way, Lord, that I may walk in your truth.”

Truth; not just facts. Spiritual truth only has any traction when we walk in it. – DEREK

Bible disciple-making faith Men's ministry The Church

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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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