It is easy for us to see a blatant opposition to God and to call it what it is. It is not, however, so easy to see a divided heart. A heart that seeks God, but also seeks other desires. A heart that, in reality, places God as simply one of many things being pursued. In I Kings 11 verses 4 and 6 we see that this was Solomon’s issues. It says “his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD” and “he did not follow the LORD completely.” So we must ask ourselves, “Do we seek after God while pursuing our other desires?” “Do we find that we are following God, but not ‘fully?'”
A divided heart occurs when we let other things crowd in, keeping us from focusing on God alone. In the full passage we see that Solomon allowed his desire for women, for political alliances and other things to enter in and that these led to his divided heart. But how do we avoid this? Ironically, Solomon himself warns of this in Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life.” Our heart is the source of all that we do. As the heart goes, so goes the person. So we must ask ourselves, “What do we let into our hearts?”
Take time to examine your heart. What things are cluttering it up? (popular culture, music, fashion, television, friends, etc.) Are these things drawing our attention away from God and dividing our hearts. Solomon’s life shows us that such divisions lead to disaster. Ask God to help you clear the clutter from your heart and to keep him first and foremost. When you do this, you will be reminded of the words of the old hymn. “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”Let me acknowledge that much of my source for this article can be attributed to a sermon given by Dr. Steve Mathewson of the Evangelical free Church of Libertyville.