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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Invitation into unity

11-12 Train me, God, to walk straight;
      then I'll follow your true path.
   Put me together, one heart and mind;
      then, undivided, I'll worship in joyful fear. 
(Psalm 86:11-12)

The development of habits, thoughts and behaviors comes both through discipline and instruction.  We become proficient at something through the repetitive "doing" or "experiencing" of that task / behavior.  God's training of our lives encompasses many aspects, but not so liberating as the ordering of our thought life.  The training of God, bringing into alignment our thoughts with his mind, allows us to develop behaviors that build our character.

David reminds us that the ability to walk the path God has laid out for us comes as we are submissive to that training.  When I say "submissive" I am not referring to some mamby-pamby kind of response to God.  I am referring to us taking the lead to center our thoughts on him, refocus the desires of our heart toward the things that delight him, etc.  There is some effort on our part, but it has huge rewards.

David further implies that the ability to walk God's true path comes not only in our being trained, but in our "being put together" by God.  He sees the unity of heart and mind as important to being successful in our walk.  Nothing could be truer than the fact that what the mind is inclined to dwell upon leads the heart in that same direction.  If we think it, we often say and do it!  We needs our minds aligned with his in order for our hearts to be affected by his heart. 

Undivided mind and heart - the basis of true worship.  David presents the idea that we really enter into a different "level" of relationship with God when we have an undivided mind and heart - both functioning in unity with God's plan for our lives.  Elsewhere in scripture, we are reminded that a double-minded man is unstable in all he does (James 1:8).  There is no stability because there are no "constants" in his life.

What I mean is that we need to have focus - the right focus helps to determine the right outcome.  In my science classes of my elementary school days, the teachers introduced the concept of a hypothesis.  A hypothesis was a basic idea or thought of what the outcome of our experiment would be.  We would set out with one thought in mind, but often get a wrong result in the end.  Why?  Simply because our hypothesis was not based in fact.  When what we set out to accomplish is based in fact, the outcome is much different.

David wants both mind and heart to based in reality - to be centered on what God teaches, what he holds dear to his heart.  This gives him a basis of "fact" from which to live life.  Our invitation today is to come into unity - the unity of heart and mind, centered upon God, loyal to him and him alone.  The outcome will be phenomenal!