On Having an Undivided Heart

"Humans have a remarkable capacity for self-deception."

I read this statement in the book The Life You've Always Wanted by John Ortberg as I was preparing to teach. And it struck me...pierced me, really.

Ortberg includes this statement in his chapter called The Undivided Life - in which he discusses the importance of living in the pursuit of one thing. He talks about the role of scripture in helping us maintain an undivided life.

In the process of reflecting on simplicity or undivided-ness of heart, he discusses two antonyms of this concept - multiplicity and duplicity. Multiplicity basically means that we have two natures warring inside of us. One nature longs to do what is right, while the other longs to do what is carnal or sensory or emotionally pleasing. Duplicity is this idea of having mixed motives. For example, you say you want to give to the poor out of the goodness of your heart, but you really just want the tax write-off. How tricky the human heart can be!

That night...right after teaching my class... I realized something... I often do things out of multiplicity or duplicity. I live in a state of comparison and multi-tasking... striving to control the outcomes of life... while all the while, I am telling myself that I am trusting God. Manipulation toils below the surface of my heart... wondering how can I make things happen my way. Or, I say I want to be close to God ... or a person... and all the while, I'm hiding... only revealing the parts of myself that are "in control." I only allow people close to the parts of me that have been properly put in place. I only let God deal with the parts of my heart that are "holy."

But God... He longs to reside in ALL of me. He longs to restore ALL of my soul (mind, will & emotions). He longs to make me whole. He wants to remove the walls that separate the "good" and "bad"... He brings people into my life to help Him deconstruct those walls. And I run. And I hide. And I pretend that I'm being vulnerable the whole time.

It's only when I allow His Word to begin to penetrate those hard places in my heart that I find the freedom to be fully His...undivided. It's only then that His Love can fully cover me. He never forces me to embrace this work... He waits patiently for me to invite Him into the divided-ness of my soul and to bring the wholeness we both long for...

Today, I say... in full trust... into my heart, Come into my heart, Lord Jesus... Come! Do what You do & BE who You Are!