Walking in God’s Truth
Uniting My Heart to Revere His Name
by Joanne Troppello
I’ve been reading through the book of Psalms. I’ve read different Psalms before. I have some favorite ones like Psalm 23 and Psalm 91. However, I honestly didn’t think I could get anything out of reading the Psalms during my devotional time. However, since I’ve been using the Thomas Nelson Study Bible (NKJV), I’ve gotten so much truth and have learned a lot. As I read Psalm 86 today for my devotional time, one verse stuck out to me, Psalm 86:11.
“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.” – Psalm 86:11 (NKJV)
If you dissect this verse, there are three action steps to this one simple, yet profound part of Psalm 86:
Teach – The Psalmist asks God to teach him God’s way.
Walk – The Psalmist states he will walk in God’s way.
Unite – The Psalmist asks God to unite his heart to revere God.
To be taught by God, you need to be open to hearing what He says through His Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit – and stay open to abiding by God’s direction even if it’s something you don’t want to hear, like stop sinning in a specific area in your life or start tithing again if you’ve stopped or never even started, to start tithing.
To walk in God’s way takes courage and discipline. You need to have a strong desire to read and study the Bible each day, spend time in prayer, and keep the lines of communion open between you and the Lord. It takes perseverance because you will fail, sin, and get off track. Yet, you need to be focused on hearing God’s voice to help you get back on track each day.
To have a united heart (in my mind) that means you need to feed your spirit and soul (mind or essence) with God’s Word so that both parts are united against what your flesh wants to do. That means starving your flesh, so that your heart is completely united to revere (follow God’s guidance and worship Him) in every area of your life.
Cultivating a United Heart to Fear the Lord
I believe in self-discipline. It’s helped me so much in my personal, professional, and spiritual growth through the years. My main spiritual goal in life has always been to grow closer to the Lord. However, the idea of uniting my heart to fear the Lord made such an impression on me after reading Psalm 86.
“Prayer is standing in the presence of God with the mind in the heart; that is, at that point of our being where there are no divisions or distinctions and where we are totally one. There God's Spirit dwells and there the great encounter takes place. There heart speaks to heart, because there we stand before the face of the Lord, all-seeing, with us.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen
I saw this quote by Henri J.M. Nouwen and thought it related so well to this idea of having a united heart before God. One of the pivotal aspects of developing this united heart – aside from reading and studying the Bible – is to spend genuine time with God in prayer. That’s where the transformation happens.
I used the word genuine because praying just to pray and get it done like checking something off your list, is not going to help you grow spiritually. God wants to spend time with you in a running conversation all day long.
The more you spend time with someone like a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or other family member or friend, the more you’ll develop your relationship with them. Deeper bonds will be cultivated. The same is true with your relationship with God. He wants to have a deeper communion with you each day.
What are your thoughts on Psalm 86:11, especially the last part about God uniting your heart to fear His name?
About the Author
Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.