The enduring challenge of faith is to unite what is learned intellectually about God with how you decide to live. In Psalm 86, David sums up this truth in one verse—”Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name” (v. 11).
The first requirement of faith is accurate instruction about God. David’s initial request is “Teach me Your way, O Lord.” Because “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17), we must take heed to what we hear (Mark 4:24).
Because faith without works is dead, a second essential of faith is obedience: “I will walk in Your truth.” What is learned about God must completely impact our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The children of Israel witnessed God’s deliverance from Egypt, but they shrank back in unbelief at the possibility of conquering Canaan. The apostles aided and abetted Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000 (Matthew 14:13-20, 15:29-39), but they fretted on one occasion that they had no bread (Mark 8:13ff). According to Jesus Himself, the fact that God feeds the birds of the air and clothes the grass of the field ought to profoundly transform our thinking (Matthew 6:25-34).
“Unite my heart to fear Your name” ought to be a continuous petition in our lives. Living in harmony with the revealed truths about God—uniting what we know about God with how we think, act, and speak—is the epic challenge of faith.
Blessed is the person who recognizes the importance of this challenge and who, like David, desires to unite his heart to fear Jehovah’s name.