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An Undivided Heart

Joshua 15:1-63

Luke 18:18-43

Psalm 86:1-17

Proverbs 13:9-10

I often feel torn between two concepts of who God is and who I should be. I want to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to be entirely devoted to Him and not want at all like Psalm 23. But then I also want things and I want to cry out to God for them...and I want to believe He wants to grant me those things. But then I want to feel like God is enough for me and I want to stop wanting.

You see? There's a tension there and it's pretty much my daily struggle. "Stop wanting!" I tell myself. But then when I inevitably find myself wanting, "Lord, will You answer my prayer?"

And today's reading made me feel no different.

My heart echoes the prayer of the Psalmist

"Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name."

I remember this verse. My youth pastor talked about it once about how it had hit her in a different way one day...she wanted to get it tattooed on her arm, she wanted to paint it on the wall. "Teach me your way Lord! Give me an undivided heart!" So she and I painted it on the wall of her office.

It wasn't until later in life though that this verse became my anthem as well. I didn't know it was Psalm 86:11 specifically until this moment..but this is what I cry out the most. "Give me an undivided heart!"

This is my chief desire: Jesus.

But I also find myself wanting other things at times...I hope this doesn't qualify as "divisions" within my heart. But I know I condemn them to be nearly every day.

To have an undivided heart, content with God alone, is what I want. Still I find myself wishing Jesus would approach me like the blind man in Luke 18...I wish he would ask me "What do you want me to do for you?" He already knows what I want. I want to hear that question because I want to know in my heart that it is not wrong to want. That maybe the essence of want is not wrong. And that maybe Jesus does want to care for me in this way.

I am forced to hold these two desires in my hand despite all the tension it makes me feel.

I want to want Jesus alone.

But I want Jesus to answer my wants.

The Scripture passages today echo both these desires of mine and validate them while not easing that tension for me.

So I guess, the answer for me for now, is to keep praying. Just like Jesus talked about yesterday...He gives good gifts! He listens and answers our prayers and He does not make us wait longer than we need to for any good thing. I will keep praying and crying out to Him for the things I want, just as the blind man did, "I want to be healed." "I want good things." And I will continue to also cry out, "give me an undivided heart."

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