Yesterday’s post was a prayer from the Psalms asking God for revival or renewal. That prayer begs the question, “what does that look like?”
The very next Psalm provides at least part of the answer. The Psalmist writes:
“Give me an undivided mind to fear your name.”Psalm 86:11, CSB
A knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ affords us the safety to admit that we do not have undivided minds. Our minds are very divided as the Apostle Paul laments in the bulk of Romans 7.
But Paul also does not leave us wallowing in our problems. He provides the glorious response in Romans 8:1 which tells us that there is no condemnation for those in Christ.
So, we can admit that everything we do is from mixed motivation. We cannot, in this life, fully and completely fulfill the first great command to love God with our entire being. Our attempts to do so are feeble at best.
But, we still pray the prayer asking for an undivided mind because that is what we want. We want to be an undivided whole, not being pulled in different directions. We want to be free of the internal conflict that causes so much anxiety.
While we cannot have a completely undivided mind, the prayer is still valid for two reasons.
First, we can see progress in our walk with Christ. As we grow in our relationship with Him, we find that the things that tripped us up in the past have less influence now. We can see progress in the healing of our divided selves.
This first outcome is hinted at in the verse quoted above. An undivided mind allows for a proper respect for God and his Word. The Westminster Shorter Catechism tells us that Scripture is provide to us to teach us, “what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man. (WSC, Q. 3)” As the division in our minds is healed, there is an increasing desire to fulfill the duty to which we are called.
Secondly, we pray for this because it is the predicted (and guaranteed) outcome of our relationship with Christ. When we are finally and fully United with Christ, the division will be healed and the conflict will have ended.
When you go to most ice cream shops, you can ask for a taste of the flavor that you are considering. They give you a small spoon and you get a sense of what the full cup will be like.
I think this prayer is a little bit like that. We get a taste of what it will be like to be completely undivided in our thinking.