The Undivided Heart

The psalmist David writes such magnificent prayers! In Psalm 86, notice how the heart of David cries out for more of the Lord…

“Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy…Guard my life, for I am devoted to you…Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…You are kind and forgiving, abounding in love to all who call to you…You are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” (Psalm 86: 1-6; 10,11)

David acknowledges that the Lord is great in love, the one who delivered his soul, he’s compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. In return, the psalmist longs for a heart that’s undivided. An undivided heart is so filled up with God that there’s no room for any evil intent, arrogance, malice, vice or pride. An undivided heart instead seeks purity of thought, intimacy of fellowship, loving worship, and unity of life purpose with God.

When the Lord gave the land back to the Israelites, as he had promised, the prophet Ezekiel records for us that the Lord “Will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.” (Ezekiel 11: 18-21). From a heart like impenetrable stone to one likened to malleable flesh – what a gift of transforming mercy and grace.

The competition for the heart of a believer is likened to warfare. An undivided heart knows how real the battle is within, as the enemy prowls around the heart seeking full control. The enemy tempts us with alluring pleasures, earthly pursuits, and worldly possessions. An undivided heart leans fully on the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to confront the enemy’s schemes.  That which divides the heart today keeps one from experiencing the fulness of the God-abundant life of Christlikeness.  We cannot serve two masters.

So, what is it that’s dividing your heart today and pulling you away from living fully for the Lord? Acknowledge the reality of your heart today and put your hope, confidence, and trust in God’s lovingly faithful and forgiving hands.

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Steve Macchia

Founder & President

The Rev. Dr. Stephen A. Macchia is founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. (LTI), a ministry serving the spiritual formation, discernment, and renewal of leaders and learners since 2003. For more than 20 years he has been the Director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Doctor of Ministry Program. From 1989-2003 he was the president of Vision New England, the largest regional church renewal association in the country. Earlier in his ministry life, Steve was a member of the pastoral staff of Grace Chapel in Lexington, Massachusetts for 11 years. He is the author or co-author of 17 books, including The Discerning Life (Zondervan Reflective), and Crafting a Rule of Life, Becoming A Healthy Church (LTI), and Broken and Whole (IVP).  He and his wife Ruth live in the Boston (MA) area and are the proud parents of two married children and grandparents to three adorable grandchildren. Steve’s personal website is www.SteveMacchia.com.

My soul comes alive singing the great hymns of the church and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’m in awe of God for fulfilling the dream for LTI that he birthed in my heart, for the team he has assembled, and the transformational impact experienced in the leaders and teams we serve.

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Mitzi Mak

Selah-West Faculty

Mitzi started her professional life as a high school social studies teacher. She and her husband Jerry then served cross-culturally for ten+ years, living abroad first in India and then Kurdistan, N. Iraq. In addition to being a Spiritual Director, she now serves as a Formation and Care pastor in her local church in Houston, TX. She has graduated from LTI’s Selah Spiritual Direction training as well as LTI’s Emmaus Formational Leadership Program.

Mitzi enjoys engaging conversation, reading fiction, doing jigsaw/crossword puzzles, ocean gazing and exploring the world with Jerry through food and travel.

God has two main callings in Mitzi’s life: to care for those who care for others and to be a guide in helping others have a healthy relationship with the Trinity – recognizing God’s loving presence and activity in their lives and how to faithfully respond.

Selah was a transformative experience for me – allowing the contemplative within to emerge and to beautifully co-exist with my extraverted personality.