My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast. (Psalm 57:7)
We who are the sheep of our Great Shepherd all have a tendency to wander. Sheep stray from their Shepherd; that’s why we need a Shepherd to come collect us! But there is a huge difference between straying in our way and straying in our hearts.
When we read through the Bible, we are confronted over and over again with stories of those who strayed in their way. Abraham lied about his wife Sarah being his sister in order to save his own skin. Moses murdered an Egyptian overseer who was beating a Hebrew slave. David committed adultery with Bathsheba and murdered her husband. Martha presumed to rebuke Jesus, demanding that He tell her sister Mary to return to her duties in the kitchen. Peter denied Jesus three times on the night he was betrayed. These are just a few examples of those who strayed from God in their way. But they did not stray in their hearts, and that made all the difference in the world.
We all stray in our way at times. We say things we ought not say. We do things we ought not do. We think things we ought not think. And we desire things we ought not desire. Everything we do in our walk with Jesus is done imperfectly. But this does not mean we have strayed in our heart. The heart that has been changed and now beats for Jesus, by grace through faith, will always beat imperfectly.
The heart that strays is the heart that is unconvinced and unpersuaded by the truths of God’s Word. This is what happened with the Israelites in their wilderness wanderings. The Spirit of God said, “Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways” (Hebrews 3:10).
The key to making our heart stay on our Savior is to stay in the Word. The more we are in the Word of God, the more the Word of God will get into us and the more strongly our hearts will beat for Jesus. And remember, when you mess things up and stray in your way, look to the One who is at work within you and who promised to fully complete that work – but not until you are received in glory. Hold tight to His promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!