“I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from your commands.” Psalm 119:10
These words are both a declaration and a plea. The Psalmist boldly declares with confidence: “I seek you with all my heart…”
And then immediately follows with a plea for protection from wandering: “Do not let me stray from your commands.”
Centuries later, time and circumstances have changed but the human heart is the same. Our desire to know and follow God is still great. Those of us who follow Him still have the longing to be “all in” — to embrace an all-my-heart conviction.
Both Biblical truth and modern-day colloquialism use “heart” to capture our overriding beliefs and desires. From our hearts spring our thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions. Phrases like these flow in our modern-day conversations:
- Put your heart into it…
- I have my heart set on it…
- My heart tells me…
Then and now, what is in our heart on the inside will eventually be revealed on the outside. Those who follow Christ have the desire to be consumed by God. To be all in. We say, “Amen,” as we link arms across the centuries with the Psalmist and agree with the all-my-heart commitment.
But declaring it is one thing, while living it is quite another.
Embracing an all-my-heart commitment means to reject the divided or lukewarm heart. It means we allow God to be God — not just in our morning devotions, but in our afternoon conversations. He is ruler over not only our beliefs but our behaviors. We yield to Him in our purchasing, viewing, and eating habits. We allow Him to lead out in our relationships, work ethic, and responses to hard things and hard people.
Too often, our afternoon choices fall short of our morning declaration. In my life, God’s way can easily be pushed aside for Laura’s way.
Sometimes I drift. Other times I run.
But I’m always grateful for His love, grace, and mercy that both draw me and welcome me back.
As I have lived out this cycle repeatedly, I’ve learned that choosing to seek God with all my heart is not only a morning declaration — it must be an all-day-long abiding. Continually walking with God keeps me consciously aware of His presence, protection, and power. That awareness brings sweet peace.
It’s not frightening, but freeing. It’s not scary, but sweet. While He is God of the universe, He is my Father, as well. He loves me. I can trust Him.
The continual, throughout-the-day seeking and abiding reassures me that I am safe and loved. It makes “all-my-heart” a transforming lifestyle that fulfills the request in the second part of the verse: “Do not let me stray from your commands.”
Truth unfolds. Realization dawns. The connection between seeking Him and obeying Him is revealed: they are the same. If I love Him, I will want to respect the healthy boundaries of His Word.
Jesus Himself said, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me…” John 14:21
My love for God prompts me to trust Him. My obedience flows from a heart of love, not guilt or legalism. I can obey Him because I love Him and know that He loves me and knows what is best for me. He knows what I do not. He sees all, while I see only in part. I do not have to know everything — I just need to know Him. He is enough.
The principles of God’s Word are not there to rob us of joy, but to give us joy. A focus on rule-keeping makes His Word a burden to carry. But when we focus on loving and pleasing God, His precepts become an easy burden.
Because He is ever faithful, because He is good, and because He is loving, I declare (and I pray) I will seek, serve, and abide with all my heart!