A Divided Heart

Date: April 20, 2017

Bible Text: Psalm 86:11 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11, NIV

Your brain may rule your head, but it is your heart which rules your emotions, and emotions are to life what pigment is to paint. When your heart is committed, your world is together; but when it is divided, you are headed for trouble.

A divided heart describes the person who is in love with two people, one of whom is certain to sustain pain and loss. It is also the picture of an individual whose allegiance is torn by other loyalties or forces. It is also be a picture of the person who hesitates to commit himself to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, wanting to avoid hell, but not really wanting to identify with the cause of Christ. Jesus once said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24); and the word that Jesus used was an Aramaic word that really meant “the world system–the culture that surrounds us.”

A heart divided is like a kingdom with two kings, both of whom cannot rule the same subjects. Long ago David prayed, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name” (Psalm 86:11).

From the very beginning, men and women have struggled with the issue of a heart divided. Robert Robinson knew the battle that often is fought over the divided heart. One of his hymns written in 1758 reflects that struggle we often feel today. He wrote, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it; prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, Lord, take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.”

What’s the antidote to a heart divided?

GUIDELINE #1: Run up your flag and decide whom you intend to serve. Make a commitment. A person torn between the world and allegiance to Christ is miserable. He enjoys neither. We need the attitude of Joshua, who cried, “…choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15).

This may mean that you get on your knees before God and say, “Lord you know I have struggled with a divided heart. But today, I surrender to you. I’m yours; take the broken pieces of my life and put them together again–your way!”

GUIDELINE #2: Close the door on what divides your loyalty. More than one great leader has burned the ship in which he brought his army to a foreign shore. It then became a matter of conquer or be conquered. Leaving the door open to satiate your flesh only plants the seeds of failure. Close the door on the past so there is but one direction to go.

GUIDELINE #3: Get involved. Far too many individuals choose to follow the Lord without getting involved in His cause. Simply put, we need each other. A body is held together by muscles and sinews which keep it connected; and, likewise, the body of Christ is a fellowship of believers who need each other. Get involved in a men’s or a women’s group. Be part of a team. Get into a support group. Share your heart and discover that there are others who have faced the same issues which have divided your heart. There is healing and help for the person who is honest enough to admit to having a heart divided.

Resource reading: Joshua 24