“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.” Psalm 86:11-12
Disunity and division mark the time we are living in. Factions and fractured segments of society, fighting against one another. Shards of shattered marriages and families haphazardly strewn across the landscape of our lives. And the church, in spite of our Lord’s prayer (John 17), is chipped and charred from the battering ram of cynicism and the wildfires of contempt. The current state of affairs in America is anything but united.
Where do we go from here? How do we find unity? King David, the warrior-poet who penned this Psalm thousands of years ago offers us special insight for our days of disarray. We cannot address the division in our world until we first address our own divided hearts. Broken hearts, fractured souls, competing priorities and false gods all serve to disunify a man from within. David’s prayer to God is simple and clear- “Unite my heart.” A united heart must come before a united marriage, family, church or nation. As long as our hearts remain divided within, we will continue to experience division without.
A united heart must come before a united marriage, family, church or nation.Warren Mainard
Only God can mend a broken heart. God alone can center us and reconcile us so that we can love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves. Remember when Moses came down from Mt. Sinai with the stone tablets that had the 10 Commandments written on it? What he discovered was a people reveling in wickedness and drowning in chaos. In uncontrolled rage, he hurled the stone tablets against the foot of the mountain, breaking them to pieces. Moses was undone, and he had no choice but to return to the Lord empty handed, asking God to exchange the brokenness of his own doing for a new set of stone tablets. Many generations passed, clinging to the stone tablets representing God’s law. The Law, however, only served to expose how broken humanity truly is. To this internal brokenness, the Lord made a vow to the prophet Ezekiel- “I will give you a new heart and put a new Spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26.
In Jesus, we find the fulfillment of this vow. Only God can mend a broken heart, and He accomplishes this through the Gospel of work of Jesus Christ. Jesus satisfied the impossible demands of the law, He endured the punishment we deserved on the cross, and by His resurrection, He provided a pathway to being fully restored and reconciled with God. Now, when we, like Moses, turn to God with our empty hands and broken hearts, God removes our shattered heart of stone and by His Spirit, gives us a new, unified heart of flesh.
Our marriages, families, communities and churches will only be united when we center our hearts on the glory of King Jesus.Warren Mainard
We can still return to our broken lives and attitudes, but we are no longer slaves to them. By His wounds, we have been healed. If we walk in God’s truth (the Word of God) and fear (revere and worship) His name above all competing priorities, our hearts will be united in praise. When our whole hearts are focused on loving and glorifying Jesus, every other form of brokenness will be renewed. Our marriages, families, communities and churches will only be united when we center our hearts on the glory of King Jesus. As we look out over the chaos, may our hearts be more like that of Moses coming back up the mountain with empty hands.