"Give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your Name."
An undivided heart is a heart transformed to become single-mindedly committed to the Lord, and to His perfect will.
This was David's desire.
David, whom God referred to as a "man after my own heart" 1 Samuel 13:14
This is my desire, too.
But, even more than that, it is God's desire for me.
Beloved, it is God's desire for you, as well.
Let me just be completely honest here. While we live this side of heaven, it's incredibly difficult to follow God 100%. While it may not be difficult to decide that we want to follow Him 100%, in practice, cultivating an undivided heart doesn’t come naturally to humans.
It certainly didn't seem easy for David. He loved the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind, and yet, in reading Scripture, you'll find a pretty significant list of heinous sins that David committed, adultery and murder among them.
Considering the gravity of the sins David committed, it might seem outrageous that God would consider him a man after His own heart.
But personally, I find it incredibly hopeful.
Because, if God could consider David, in spite of the terrible things he did, to be a man after His own heart, there is hope for me.
And there is hope for you, too.
Acts 13:22 says,
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do."
You see, God didn't consider David to be a man after His own heart because David was without sin, He viewed him that way because, his heart was pointed toward God. David desired God above all else. Even though Scripture depicts him as a portrait of success and failure, and highlights the fact that he was far from perfect, David had a deep desire to follow God’s will and do “everything” God wanted him to do.
"Teach me Your way, O Lord, that I may walk in You truth. Give me an undivided heart to revere Your name."
But after he committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had her husband murdered, he was confronted by the prophet, Nathan in 2 Samuel 11. And David was truly repentant. “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD.
In Psalm 51, David pens a prayer of repentance to God:
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!"
David was undone because of his sin. He understood that he had sinned primarily against the Lord, and in repentance, pleaded with God in His infinite mercy, to completely cleanse him from his iniquity.
The key to David's repentance, and ours, is that, when confronted with sin, we must turn from it.
David did not continue in his sin. And this was the pattern for his life. He made mistakes, many of them, but his response each time, was one of repentance and turning from his sin. David did not pursue sin. He pursued the Lord.
And for you and I to cultivate an undivided heart, we must not pursue sin, either.
You see, you cannot actively pursue sin and follow Jesus at the same time. When we are confronted with our sin, we cannot continue in it. We must turn from it. If we know that something is sinful, and we keep participating in it, then, are we are truthfully following Jesus?
Here though, is where we can find much hope.
Because while God does desire from me and from you, and undivided heart, He does not require us to be perfect to achieve it. If that were the case, not one person would be able to pursue God.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that,
The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure.
That's why He sent Jesus. What He requires of an undivided heart is, a repentant heart.
Scripture tells us in 1 John 1:9,
If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Because of Jesus, when we repent and turn from our sin, we can cultivate an undivided heart.
Because of Jesus, you and I, like David can be men and women after God's own heart.
Is there anything more wonderful?