Psalm 86:11 - The Undivided Heart.

Psa.86:11: The Undivided Heart.

Psa 86:11 (KJV)  Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy 
truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. 

Psa 86:11 (NRSV)  Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in 
your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. 

Psa 86:11 (NLT)  Teach me your ways, O LORD, that I may live 
according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart, that I may honor you. 

Psa 86:11 (CWR)  Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in 
your truth.  Give me an undivided heart that I may more faithfully 
obey you.  Unite my heart with yours to honor your name. 


This is the only psalm in Book 3 ascribed to David. [Passages Of 
Life SB] 

What would be the benefit if God saved him from his enemies but 
abandoned him to his own waywardness? David's dependence on God is 
complete, and so is his devotion to God--save me from the enemy outside 
but also from my frailty within. [NIV SB] 

[Teach me thy way, O Lord]-- quoted from . (Jamieson, 
Fausset, and Brown Commentary) 

[I will walk in thy truth]  This also is a quotation .(Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary) 


Throughout the psalms, the word heart refers to the center of 
the human soul or spirit. From this center flow all a person's 
emotions, thoughts and attitudes. An undivided heart means that these 
expressions reveal a heart that is pure and unselfish, not corrupted in any 
way. [Quest SB] 

The reason why the hypocrite is unstable in all his ways, is 
given us by the apostle: he is a "double-minded man," a man of two 
souls in one body .... (Charles H. Spurgeon) [Spirit Filled Life 
Devotional SB] 

A hypocrite has a double heart; let mine be single and entire 
for God, not divided between him and the world, (Matthew Henry's 

The psalmist prays for unity of purpose.... A divided heart can 
never render acceptable service to God. [SDA Commentary] 

In 86:11 David prayed that his heart would be totally focused on 
God's awesome reputation ("name"), not distracted by other interests 
or desires. [New Bible Companion] 

The way of the Lord cannot be known intuitively; man must be 
taught as he sits at the feet of God. [SDA Commentary] 

Jeremiah wrote in a similar vein, telling us that God wants us 
to return to him with all our heart (Jer. 24:7). He called this 
concept singleness of heart and action (Jer. 32:39). Ezekiel also spoke 
of God giving an undivided heart and . . . a new spirit (Ezek. 
11:19). [Quest SB] 

A new heart ("an undivided heart,") [Expositors Bible Commentary]

Only God can give someone an undivided heart; it's not something 
we get on our own. [Quest SB] 

Our relationship with God is that of children to a parent, sheep 
to a shepherd, creators to the Creator. We are dependent on him for 
life, for breath, for sustenance, for help in trouble, for love, for 
forgiveness, for mercy. We may like to think of ourselves as independent and 
self-sufficient. But we are not. We need God. It is vital that 
we acknowledge our 
 need for him because it is the beginning place of our relationship 
with him. This psalm helps us give voice to our dependence on God. 
[Quiet Time SB] 

The forgiven man focuses completely on God. With an undivided 
heart he seeks to learn and to walk in God's way. The forgiven man 
responds to God's great love with a wholehearted effort to glorify the 
LORD. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

The united heart is one totally committed to God's will. A 
closer relationship with God can only be achieved as we actively seek 
Him and dedicate ourselves continually to obedience to His Word. 
[Passages Of Life SB] 

Join all the purposes, resolutions, and affections of my heart 
together, to fear and to glorify thy name. This is a most important 
prayer. A divided heart is a great curse; scattered affections are a 
miserable plague. When the heart is not at unity with itself, the work of 
religion cannot go on. Indecision of mind and division of affections mar 
any work. The heart must be one, that the work may be one. If this 
be wanting, all is wrong. This is a prayer which becomes the mouth 
of every Christian. (Adam Clarke Commentary) 

There is no more appropriate prayer which a man can offer than 
that his heart may have such a unity of purpose, and that nothing may 
be allowed to interfere with that one supreme purpose. (Barnes' 

Be confident of this very thing, that the Father, who has begun 
a wonderful and good work in you will continue to work it in you 
and through you until He sends Me to the earth again to gather up My 
Your heavenly Father never leaves a job half done, never walks 
away from a thing He has originated, leaving it unfinished. 
I am the Alpha and Omega,
the beginning and the end.
I am altogether perfect.
My dealings with you are perfect ....
When you drink in My word and keep it in your mind continually, 
meditating on it day and night to observe and do according to all that is 
written in it, then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you 
shall deal wisely and have good success. (His Thoughts Toward Me by 
Marie Chapian) 
APPLICATION: The world trains you to think that success comes 
from demonstrating personal power and desire, and by networking with 
the right people. God says true success comes from knowing, 
contemplating, and memorizing his Word. Choose the best time for you to read 
your Bible and pray. Then do it faithfully every day. [Inspirational 

We only know God's will as we seek to know him through prayer 
and the study of his Word. The more we know about God, the more we 
know of what he expects of us. And as we get to know God better, we 
will discover that he not only gives us direction, but also gives us 
the strength and encouragement we need to walk down the pathway he 
chooses for us. [Life Recovery SB] 


The child of God never graduates from the school of divine 
instruction; every day is "commencement.'' [Disciple SB] 


This speaks to the struggle we all go through, even as 
Christians: the choice between God's way or our way.  The choice between 
serving the Spirit or serving our flesh.  It is akin to the struggle 
between Jekyll and Hyde. Paul outlines this struggle so clearly in 
Romans when he speaks about desiring to do good, but discovering he 
fails at that sometimes, and does evil.  This so highlights why we 
need to remain close to God.  This is also something that is not very 
popular in the world in which we live.  Society hates absolutes.  It 
hates statements that draw a line in the sand and lay out only two 
ways.  It hates when there is no room to compromise for our way, or 
our will.  Jesus said man cannot server God and Mammon.  He said 
that because in the deep chambers of our heart we sometimes, even as 
Christians wish we could.  Again, this underscores the fact that we cannot 
live for Jesus without Him.  Church attendance and involvement in a 
local church, doing good deeds are wonderful, and necessary in the 
life of a Christian, but those things can be done without involving 
God.  Is God involved in what we do?  Are we doing whatever we do in 
His way, and most importantly are we doing it in true service to 
Him? wayne_nickerson@tx.acer.com