I know I have. My life used to be an emotional roller coaster. I was up in the morning and down by lunch. Up and down, up and down. “God, why haven't You …?” was the
cry whine of my life.
God burned a lot of that off me through both study–hiding His Word in my heart–and through trial by fire. That's another story for another day. But I still remember the precise moment in time when I realized:
- that faith is a decision;
- that God is worthy to be worshipped and believed, whether I feel like it or not; and
- that I was just going to trust God from then on.
It was a decision.
The Lord had to bring me through fire to show me that it was a decision; but when He did, there came a point where I had to make that decision.
If I had not, I believe He would have taken me back around that mountain one more time, wandering in the wilderness. But, by His grace and help, I did make that decision and breakthrough came soon afterward.
Until the day I made that decision, my heart was not right most of the time.
I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I spent a lot of time whining and being discouraged and depressed.
Some days, my heart was after God and set on Him. Some days, I believed Him. Other days, I was just mad at Him.
Can anyone identify?
King David must have had the same problem.
He prayed a prayer one day that I believe will help us today as we struggle with the ups and downs of life. This is what David prayed:
Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11).
Here's why this is important:
If David had to pray for his heart to be united to fear God's name, then sometimes it must NOT have been united.
We know David was a musician and a psalmist. We know he had strong emotions from reading his poetry, the psalms. We know he felt melancholy sometimes, discouraged sometimes, depressed sometimes, and angry sometimes. David's heart was all over the place. Some days he was strong in God, and other days … not so much.
But David didn't hide his weakness from God.
He didn't try to hide his melancholy or pretend it didn't exist. Instead, he asked God for help to manage his emotions.
First, he asked God to teach him His–God's–holy ways. Why? Because when you understand someone's ways, you know exactly what they're doing and why they're doing it, so you don't get depressed when things don't look the way YOU want them to look.
Secondly, he told God that he would walk in God's truth–demonstrating that, even though he needed help to get there, his desire was to follow God with all his heart.
And finally, he asked God to do the big work–the work that was the crux of the matter. He said:
“Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
And when he asked that, he was asking God to help him STOP being up and down. He was asking God to bring all the pieces of his emotions back together into one heart that would run fiercely after God. He asked God to change his heart so much that he, David, would stay solely focused on God in faith.
“Unite my heart to fear Your name.”
Do you need God to unite your heart?
I know I do. Even though I've decided that I'm going to stand in faith, I sure need God's help to do so! I need Him to search me and know my heart; to try me and know my thoughts; to see if there be any wicked way in me–and if there is, to GET IT OUT!–and to lead me in His way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).
I need His help in everything. I even need His help to believe Him, trust Him, and stand on His Word.
If you struggle with up-and-down emotions, ask God to unite your heart to fear His name.
- Ask Him to pull the pieces of you back together into one united heart toward Him.
- Ask Him to take away the old heart that was shattered in a million pieces, and give you a new heart–His heart.
- Ask Him to help you stand firm in faith without wavering, like Jesus did.
- Ask Him to help you cast down every imagination and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.
- Ask Him to help you set your mind and keep it set on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
- Ask Him to help you take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and to dwell in the secret place of the Most High, where you will remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no foe can withstand (Psalm 91:1-2).
Pray this with me:
“Father God, I come before You in Jesus' name.
Father, thank You for giving me Your holy Scriptures to learn from. Thank You that You have a solution for everything, including my wild emotions.
Father God, I need Your help In Jesus' name, I ask that You would please unite my heart to fear Your name. Take away my old, shattered heart, and give me a new heart–Your heart. Let Your heart beat in my chest, Father, and help me be wholly devoted to You.
Father God, please help me to set my mind and keep it set on things above, where Christ is.
Help me to cast down every imagination and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. Help me to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, Lord, and to stand firm in faith without wavering. Help me to dwell in the secret place with You, and please keep me stable and fixed under the shadow of Your wings.
Father, in Jesus' name, I also pray for revelation about who You are.
Let Your Holy Spirit of wisdom and revelation would give me more revelation than I've ever had about how holy You are. Teach me how awesome You are: how mighty, how strong, how reliable, how dependable, how faithful, how true. Show me Your glory so strongly that I am gripped by the wonder of You.
Father, help me to fall more in love with You every day.
Help me to fall more in love with Jesus every day. Give me a heart that is wholly devoted to You. Help me to decide to trust You with all my situations, all my circumstances, and everything I see around me. Help me to make the decision every moment of every day to keep my eyes on You and trust You, no matter how I feel.
Thank You, Father. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Thank You for uniting my heart to fear Your name.
In Jesus' name I pray, amen.”
Does this word and prayer from the Psalms minister to your heart today? Did you pray the prayer and ask Father to unite your heart to fear His name? If so, leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you!