This devotional appeared first on Susan Cady’s blog, Get Real!
We continue our study of Psalm 86:11, as we seek to prepare our hearts and homes in order to celebrate what’s truly important this Christmas season. (Download/Print the study guide, including family activities and Preparing Our Home ideas)
… unite my heart to fear your name. —Psalm 86:11b
How do we cultivate an undivided heart? We continue our study of the heart habits of an undivided heart. Last week we looked at A Seeking Heart. Today we’ll look at two more heart habits we need to cultivate in order to live with an undivided heart —a heart wholly devoted to the Lord and His ways.
unite – yahad (H3161) – to be or become one, be joined, to be united. It refers to entering into the plan or thinking of a group, uniting with them. It is used figuratively of the psalmist’s desire for the Lord to unite his heart to walk in God’s ways and to fear him (Ps 86:11).
What tends to divide and distract your heart? Write down at least one thing that tends to distract from your time in the Word, in prayer and being in God’s presence.
Read through the definitions and the Scriptures for each heart habit. Just allow the Word of God to wash over your heart, soul, mind and spirit. Be renewed in truth today!
batah (H982) to trust, trust in to have confidence, be confident to be bold to be secure
pistis (G4102) belief with the predominate idea of trust (or confidence) whether in God or in Christ, springing from faith in the same; fidelity, faithfulness the character of one who can be relied on; the conviction that God exists and is the creator and ruler of all things, the provider and bestower of eternal salvation through Christ;
Practices of a Steadfast/Sure Heart:
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
- Colossians 2:6-10 – Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition…and you have been filled in him…
- Proverbs 4:23 – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
- Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
Prayers of a Steadfast/Sure Heart:
- Psalm 73:25-26 – Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Promises for a Steadfast/Sure Heart:
- Hebrews 6:19-20 – We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
We may not be sure of the situation or its outcome, but we can be sure of who God is and know that He does act on behalf of those who love Him and seek Him. As lean on God’s wisdom, words and ways instead of our own, we will find a stronger sense of confidence and security in our lives. He is faithful and trustworthy!
still – rapah (H7503) – to become slack, to cease; let drop, relax, refrain, forsake, let go, be lazy, be quiet
wait – qawah (H6960) – meaning to wait for, to look for, to hope for. The root meaning is that of twisting or winding a strand of cord or rope.
Practices of a Still Heart:
- Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
- John 15:4 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
- Mark 1:35 – And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed (escaped) and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Prayers of a Still Heart:
- Psalm 130:5 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;
Promises for a Still Heart:
- Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- John 15:4-5 -I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Our lives are so filled with activity, stimulation and noise that it is hard to find time to just be quiet and still before the Lord. God beckons us to come to Him, to find time to be still and quiet because He knows we need it! Just as Jesus retreated to a quiet, solitary place, away from the noise of the city, from people, and activity to be alone with God, we need solitary times and places in our lives. It will take discipline and planning on our part to carve out this time in our day, but if we will ask Him, God will show us when, where and how!
What tends to divide and distract your heart? Look at the list you wrote earlier. How can cultivating a seeking, steadfast and still heart help to unite your heart to fear, trust and worship God this Christmas season?
Contemplate His Greatness! Find an area in your home where you can create a Contemplate His Greatness! board. It could be a bulletin board, chalkboard, dry erase board, notebook —any place that is prominent and accessible on a daily basis. Have each family member make a point to record daily an aspect of God’s greatness (His character and ways) that He reveals to you through His Word.
Christmas Reading Corner Years ago my dad made us a wooden sleigh and my parents filled it with goodies for our family. Every year I pull that sleigh out and place it near the fireplace in the family room and fill it with Christmas books and devotions I’ve collected over the years. When my children were still at home, each day we had a quiet hour where they were to get somewhere, be still and quiet and read. Most often everyone chose the family room where the fire was going and Christmas tree was lit up. Even now as empty nesters I enjoy sitting by the fire, with a cup of hot tea and enjoying the Christmas tree and a good Christmas story. Make your own “Be Still” reading corner this Christmas. You don’t have to have a collection of books. Start with just one and take time to be still each day and enjoy the season.