An Undivided Heart
“I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”
The story is told that D.L. Moody heard a preacher say: “It remains to be seen what God could do with a man fully surrendered to the Spirit.” It was that challenge that led Moody to commit himself to the service of Christ. D.L. Moody became one of the most widely known and most respected evangelists of the late 19th century, in America and in England. He was the founder of Chicago Avenue Church (later renamed Moody Church) and the Moody Bible Institute.
What Dwight Moody responded to was not something unusual, but a common Bible theme. In Psalm 86 David prays: “… give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. In Ezekiel 11:19-20 God promises: “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
In all of these passages – and I could have included many more like them – lack of confusion in the heart leads to lack of confusion in life. Or to put it more simply, purity of heart leads to purity of action. OK, that makes sense; the more we yield ourselves to God, the more He will be direct us in our walk and more He will empower us in our ministry. Those who serve with all their whole heart – good and faithful servants – will be more able to bring Him honor and glory.
But there is one little extra thing in the Jeremiah passage that seems different. God doesn’t say that having singleness of heart will enable us to serve the kingdom, or build up the church, or glorify Him (although those things are true); what God promises is that having singleness of heart and action will be for OUR good and for the good of our CHILDREN. Once again we see that being blessed and having our family blessed is the normal consequence of putting God first. When we live God’s way God’s blessing follows – and His blessing in our lives sort of spills out on those around us. Our children grow up seeing and experiencing His grace and power.
So give it all to Jesus . . . after all, it’s for your own good!
Pastor Keith Andrews