2015 Verse of the Week #48: Psalm 86:11-13

My verse of the week is featured in the song “Undivided Heart,” track 9 on Seeds Family Worship’s Seeds of Praise. I was on schedule to do track 6, but since this song is part of the set list for our upcoming youth retreat this weekend and will be on my mind anyway, I figured I would blog about it now. I’ve pasted the updated NIV version of the passage below; the song uses the 1984 NIV.

 Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me your way, Lord,
    that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
    that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.

We had some snow overnight, and school is cancelled here. I made a quick trip to the store– before even eating breakfast– to pick up a few necessities, so my morning is all thrown off. Thankfully I was able to get up early this morning (so hard!) and get in some advent and BSF reading and some prayer time, so I feel grounded. But I also feel pressed for time, so I will just share a little bundle of thoughts that I have on this verse before I get on with my day.

As I said, this Seeds song is part of the worship set list for our youth retreat this coming weekend. I sent my husband (the youth pastor) a list of songs I thought would fit our theme and asked him to choose one based on what Scripture he thought would fit with the teaching material. As our little worship team has been practicing, I’m seeing all the words work together already. I know this is a gracious work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of his people! Our theme is “Monsters,” and we will be talking about the things that lurk around vying for our hearts like fear, anger, shame, etc. and how God works to overcome those things for us.

Regarding an undivided heart, I can already see a connection between our retreat theme and this passage/song. When we hold onto fear or greed or pride in our hearts, we are attempting to divide the heart- to partition it off from God. We know we can’t hide these things from God, but we try anyway, thinking that we can somehow hold onto a lie and the truth at the same time. In reality, the second you hold onto a lie you have let go of the truth.

Psalm 86:13 says God delivers us from the depths of the realm of death (or as the song says, “from the depths of the grave”). Surely hanging onto the pride, greed, anger or other sins that have us believing lies of self-sufficiency and other false hopes can only lead to death since they lead us away from God. But, as always, God provides a way.

If we will learn his way, we can walk relying on his truth and faithfulness rather than clinging to any false hopes. If we will learn his way, we can have an undivided heart that is surrendered to God in humility and will be transformed by the work of the Spirit. It is because of God’s great love for us that he provides this freedom, and therefore he deserves our praise.

As always, let me know your thoughts on this matter. I’m sure I’ve left gaps today. 🙂

Here is another great image from Year27.com to get these words into our heads and, Spirit willing, our hearts.