1 Chronicles 28:9
And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts…. NIV
Wholehearted devotion. The dictionary defines wholehearted as completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic, marked by complete and earnest commitment, free from all reservation or hesitation. Some related words are unfaltering, unqualified, unquestioning, unwavering.
This is the Lord’s measure of a heart that’s fully committed to Him, the kind that really matters to Him.
God knows that the human “heart is deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). He knows that the heart is easily seduced away from God, easily won over by the lust of the world and overcome by its temptations.
That is why the “eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9). Notice that He does not strengthen the hearts of the doubters and scoffers but the hearts of those who are committed to Him. That is why He “puts his Spirit in our hearts…” (2 Corinthians 1:22), makes “his light shine in our hearts…” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6), strengthens our hearts (1 Thessalonians 3:13), encourages our hearts (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17) and directs our hearts (2 Thessalonians 3:5). It is in the heart that the battle is won or lost.
How encouraging then to know that He is continually at work in our lives, doing everything that is necessary to help us keep an undivided heart, to stay focused, to stay faithful. His power and grace is at work in us “to keep us from stumbling” (Jude 1:24) but it’s up to us to ride it to the heights of commitment and devotion to God. We have to work at it and walk it out day by day. It won’t happen automatically.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart.” We have to take responsibility for the attitude of our heart and keep it faithful to God in every situation and in all the seasons of life.
God instructs us that the way to keep an undivided heart is to: (i) plant His word in our hearts and minds (Deuteronomy 11:18) and (ii) yield our hearts to Him (Joshua 24:23). That means that we have to store up His word in our heart – study the word, meditate upon it, ask the Holy Spirit for revelation and understanding, pray – and then yield to God’s will.
Too many Christians go astray because they are not grounded in the word but even more go astray because knowing, they refuse to yield.
Surely, one of the saddest stories of the Bible is actually the story of Solomon himself. God gave Him outstanding wisdom. The whole world marvelled at the wisdom of Solomon. Yet, in the end, Solomon was led astray because he was not careful to guard his own heart as his father, David, had warned him to.
In the eleventh chapter of 1 Kings, it says that “as Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods and his heart was not fully committed to the Lord his God.” And if you read that whole chapter, you will see that it began when Solomon refused to yield to the Lord. He knew that the Lord had forbidden Israel to marry foreigners because of the danger that they would lead the nation away from wholehearted devotion to God but he defied the Lord. He hardened his heart to God and slowly but surely his heart was led astray. He ended up bowing before strange gods and doing detestable and evil things. The sin of Solomon went on to become a great curse upon the land.
Now here’s something to think about: if the heart of the wisest man in the world could be led astray, should we not also be concerned about the danger to our own hearts? Beloved of God, we must be ever so careful not to harden our hearts to God in any way or give the enemy a foothold in our hearts through sin and disobedience. It can be a deadly thing!
Draw upon the strength and wisdom of God and guard your heart well because so much depends upon it.