Fifth Column, that veiled underling of treachery, has slain more than one country in the past years. We have witnessed the fall of more than one country in the past few years, the direct cause of which was division. Division in a country prepares it for destruction. Division is just that horrible in the church for it spells her ruin and disintegration. Just that awful it is also in the home between parents or between children. Our enemy across the ocean fully understood the ruinous effects of division when in his Mein Kampf he counts sedition and division fully as effective as the Stuka and the Messerschmidt, and prescribes the rule “divide and slay”. When a thing is divided it is ready to be slain.
Just as effectively disastrous is a divided heart. What a divided people is to a country, a divided heart is to an individual. As incapable as is a divided country to withstand attack, so incapable is a divided heart to weather personal trials. As impotent as a divided country is to arise to the challenge, so impotent is the divided heart to fight the good fight of faith. In short, a person with a divided heart cannot stand and cannot endure, never could, but least of all in the days in which we live at present.
In Ps. 86:11 we find therefore the prayer from the lips of the godly David: “UNITE MY HEART”. If we at home would arise to meet the new challenge with which the times confront us, we must have a united heart; and if our young men in the service of the colors will meet their challenge and remain standing they must have united hearts.
As we young people begin another year of society work and of general activity, let us set ourselves to our task, each of us having united hearts. For God has indeed brought these times upon us wherein mens’ hearts are tried, to see whether they be divided or united, and if the trial find us with divided hearts, Beelzebub will clap his hands when he shall find us divided and slain. And as we stand before the face of our heavenly Father, and at the same time stand before the trails and challenges of the day, we lift up our voices and say “Unite my heart”.
The physical heart is a very important organ of your body. Just stop and consider that in a normal seventy-year life span that heart has lifted over five hundred thousand tons of blood. But the spiritual heart is far more important still, for the Scripture teaches us that the heart is the center of our whole life. The heart gives direction and control to all we say, do and think, for out of it are the issues of life. The heart not only directs and controls it also dictates the actions of life. Under direct control of that heart are the mind and the will and through mind and will the heart controls our passions and our emotions, our choosing and our willing, as well as our eyes, ears, hands, feet, and mouth which all carry out the issues reared in the heart. Hence it is evident that the heart is the spiritual center of our life with hundreds of branches running out from that one center.
This entire intricate network of the inner life was one time a grand unity. For God created man after His own image, the image of the Triune God. As in the Trinity there were three, yet they three were one, so man was created one. And his unity consisted in this that his heart loved and sought and served God and all life, as it came out from that heart, was one unified movement in the direction of God. Jesus Himself speaks of the parts when He says: “Heart and soul and mind and all our strength”. With heart and mind and soul and all strength man sought God and that was the unity of his life. The heart had but one object, that object was God and from out of that heart, on down through the network of mind and soul and all our strength, will, passions and emotions, went always one and the same stimulus, serve God. And that was a united heart. There was no division there, all was unity.
Sin, however, has changed that all.
Sin divided all things, it divided also the heart. The natural heart no longer has one motive, one object, and one purpose, but instead it is torn between hundreds of desires. The Bible calls these desires “lust”. There is no unified life or unified living but a divided life and a divided living. Today he desires one thing, tomorrow another; on Monday he sets his heart on one thing, on Tuesday he is after another. Now he desires money, then honor and afterwards carnal enjoyment. His heart is divided because he has lost God and because he lives as if there is no God. He divides his life into parts, with each part he seeks some other phase of carnal self-satisfaction. His life is divided for instance as follows: work, education, amusement, money and religion. You notice that last one, religion, sure that is a part of his life also, he gives that a pigeon hole too. Do you see how divided his life is?
Such divided living is a sorry and a dangerous thing. So sorry because it makes your life useless and vain. Scripture has solemnly warned us saying “thou canst not serve God and Mammon”. Our lives cannot be divided into parts, on part of which we perhaps give to God, as we say. God will not have it. If God is not ALL our life God will be in none of it and disdains all of it. We cannot love and seek the world with some of our parts and reserve another part for God. The life in which God is not ALL is vain and useless before His holy eyes. But this divided living is also a dangerous matter. For there is not power to meet temptations. Let me illustrate this point. Here is a young woman already leading such a divided life. She is tempted to walk the way of so called glamour. Since her heart is already divided that temptation is bound to have a strong appeal to one or the other lust passions in her. Had her heart been united and had her life been united so that the fear and service of God were the center of her life she would realize that the way of glamour is no way to serve God. Or the illustration of the young man, tempted to follow Lot to Sodom for a world-position. His heart is already divided and the challenge to make big money appeals to him, even though it be at the expense of all other things. Had the service of God been the unifying principle of his life he would have met the temptation with a definite answer, because the way to Sodom is not the way of serving God. The divided heart says, for instance, that when you are young you must have a good time, and what of it if one sows wild oats for a year or two as long as finally we come out alright. Such dangerous living! But just that dangerously do they live who have a divided heart. They live that dangerously when they are in the service of the colors, but they live just that dangerously at home. They are like a city having no wall.
Unite my heart! That is our prayer.
Shall I imagine that I can do that myself? Can I take all those powers of heart and soul and mind and all my strength and bend them so that with them all and all the time I serve God and Him only? By no means. God along can unite our hearts. And God has done this through regeneration. God sends forth His Spirit so that once again I bear His glorious image. And as He is ONE our life begins again to become one. As He seeks Himself and loves and serves Himself, we begin to reflect something of that splendid image also. As He has but ONE motive of life we begin to have but one motive; As he with all that is in Him seeks Himself, so I with heart and soul and mind and all strength begin to want and serve Him. The Spirit of Christ has come to dwell in us, uniting our hearts. Christ was one. He was united of heart. No matter where you met Him or when or how, He was one of heart and one of life, His life was God. And in the service of God His soul and mind and all His strength was always going in the direction of divine service. Whatever came to interrupt or intervene or divert was dismissed as temptation.
Bearing that Image it is in principle possible once again to have a united heart. Then the determination to serve God becomes the unifying principle of our life. Whatever leads us away from this is considered a temptation and a dangerous one. The united heart does not allow part of its energies and part of its time to be used for purposes other than God, but rather all its energies and all its time are pressed into service. That heart does not act pious on Sunday but impious on Monday: it does not come up out of the slums of its illegitimate life of the week to dress up for Sunday, nay, throughout the week and throughout life it becomes a life God-centered.
Such is a united heart. With a united heart our young men serving the colors can stand the grueling tests native to their environment, with that united heart we at home can be and will be strong Christians and fruitful.
May God unite our hearts. But let us pray for it.