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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Teachable heart - Part III

11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth!
   Grant me purity of heart, so that I may honor you.
 12 With all my heart I will praise you, O Lord my God.  I will give glory to your name forever, 13 for your love for me is very great.
      You have rescued me from the depths of death.
(Psalm 86:11-12)

David's plea for a teachable (trainable) heart is followed by the cry for God to "grant him" the purity of heart so that he may live as God desires - in a manner that honors God.  We don't use the term "grant me" very much any more, but it was common when David penned these words.  It means to be "awarded".  It carries the idea of carefully weighing the evidence and then giving what is desired to the one requesting it.

David is certain that the desire to honor God with his entire life is what he will present to God - in turn, he is confident that God will bestow what he seeks because he has a desperation of need.  David recognized that his heart had a tendency to wander - to be "divided" in its affections.  The same is true for each of us.  Try as we might, we commit to "being good" and then find that we are pursuing something "bad" all over again.

Don't believe me?  Make the determination today to do something you have been putting off that you know is exactly the right thing to do - like taking a walk every morning to improve your cardiovascular health, or eliminating sweets from your diet.  See how long that lasts!  At best, unless our mind and heart agree, we will start well, but end poorly.  

A singleness of heart is what David really desires - he is tired of the confusion of mind and soul that comes from trying to do things his own way and then expecting God to bless the outcome.  David knows that he cannot obtain this singleness of heart (purity of heart) without God's granting it (giving it) to him.  It is the desire to be pruned, bent, tended, and positioned in such a way that the course of his heart's decisions is totally "fixed" on God's plans and purposes.

There are times we look at individuals with "mixed" motives and call them hypocrites.  They say one thing, but do another.  That conflict between what we say and do is what scripture refers to as being double-minded.  The desire of David's heart was that his mind, will and emotions would contain nothing that would be in conflict with what God desires.  That is what moves us from living hypocritical lives into living consistent, trustworthy lives.

The goal of David's prayer - that I may honor you, God.  What David may not have known was that the Spirit of God dwells in the purity of a man's heart.  A pure heart is one that has been touched by the graces of God over and over again until it is firmly and finally brought back to its original condition - perfect harmony with the will and intentions of God.  

The last lesson of a teachable heart is that it desires purity - it desires the sanctifying process.  Purity must be learned - just as a fire must be kindled.  It is a process - with our hearts being built up little by little as a result of incremental obedience to what God reveals.  A pure heart is a teachable heart - a heart that is willing to live according to the truth as revealed in the Word of God.