Is Your Heart Fixed? (Psalm 57:7)
Psalm 57:7, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise.
The heart of the psalmist is full of conviction. It is steadfast, firm, and strong. We will not praise God well if we are uncertain, doubtful, or weak. Our faith must have some firmness in it if we are to praise God.
Allen Francis Gardiner grew up in a Christian home, took to the sea, and achieved a successful British naval career with little thought for God. In 1822, however, he fell ill and re-evaluated his wasted life. He scribbled in his journal, "After years of ingratitude, unbelief, blasphemy and rebellion, have I at last been melted? Alas, how slow, how reluctant I have been to admit the heavenly guest who stood knocking without!" Traveling around the world had given Captain Gardiner a glimpse of the need for missionaries, and he gave himself for the task. Surrendering to the Lord and leaving England for South America, he hoped to minister among the Araucanian (or Mapuche) Indians of Southern Chile. Government interference and intertribal fighting forced him back to England. Three years later he was at it again, visiting the Falklands and investigating the possibility of taking the gospel to the islands of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. Sensing opportunity at hand, Gardiner returned to England and on July 4, 1844, established a small organization called the Patagonian Missionary Society. He wrote, "I have made up my mind to go back to South America and leave no stone unturned, no effort untried, to establish a mission among the aboriginal tribes. While God gives me strength, failure will not daunt me." Allen kept trying to reach this region. He visited South America a third time, but his efforts were again hindered by intertribal fighting and governmental interference, the land being strongly Catholic, intolerant to Protestant missions. So he returned to England, recruited six missionaries, and set sail for Tierra del Fuego, but all seven men died of disease, starvation, and exposure on Picton Island. Gardiner, the last one to die, dated his final journal entry September 5, 1851, "Good and marvelous are the loving kindnesses of my gracious God unto me. He has preserved me hitherto and for four days, although without bodily food, without any feelings of hunger or thirst." Captain Allen Gardiner died without seeing a single soul saved among those for whom he was most burdened. Not one soul was saved, even though he kept trying and did not quit! Did he waste his life when he got right with God and went to the mission field? Did he waste his life away, dying on Picton Island in an effort to reach the lost for Christ? Was this man a flop or failure, even though he did the Lord's will? The answer is "No." Allen may have not seen one convert while he was alive, but he lit a fire which has never gone out. His South American Missionary Society (as it came to be called) has been sending missionaries and saving thousands of souls for over 175 years.
Understand that Satan will endeavor to suppress your devotion. He will use discouragement, despondency, disillusionment, depression, defeat, dismay, disappointment, and the disdain of others to quench the flames of a burning heart for God. Jeremiah suffered from such discouragement and depression. Jeremiah 20:8-10, For since I spake, I cried out, I cried violence and spoil; because the word of the Lord was made a reproach unto me, and a derision, daily. Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him. Jeremiah overcame his discouragement through the power of God's Word working in his life. Jeremiah 23:29, Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
The LORD is seeking a heart that is fixed and committed to Him. There are so many lures and distractions in this world that Satan will use to get you sidetracked. It is essential that you make up your mind and stick with that decision. The psalmist made that decision, as well as the Apostle Paul. I Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Acts 20:24, But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, keep my heart fixed and steadfast with Your love. Help me never to grow cold or calloused towards You, Your Word, or others. In Jesus name, Amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.