O Lord, give a Perfect Heart.
'Give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep Thy commandments, Thy testimonies, and Thy statutes.' —1 Chron. xxix. 19.
'Let my heart be perfect in Thy testimonies.'— Ps. cxix. 80.
TN his parting commission to Solomon, David -*- had laid it upon him to serve God with a perfect heart, because H9 is God who searches the hearts. It is nothing less than the heart, the whole heart, a perfect heart, that God wants. Very shortly afterwards, in his dedication prayer after the giving of all the material for the temple, he turns again to this as the one thing needful, and asks it for his son as a gift from God. 'Give my son Solomon a perfect heart.' The perfect heart is a gift from God, given and received under the laws which rule all His giving, as a hidden seed to be accepted and acted on in faith. The command, Eo perfect, comes and claims immediate and full submission. "Where this submission is yielded, the need of a Divine power to fit for it becomes the motive for urgent and earnest prayer. The word of command, received and hid in a good and honest heart, becomes itself the seed of a Divine power. God works His grace in us by stirring us to work. So the desire to listen to God's command, and to serve Him with a perfect heart, is a beginning that God looks to, and that He will Himself strengthen and perfect. The gift of a perfect heart is thus obtained in the way of the obedience of faith. Begin at once to serve God with a perfect heart, and the perfect heart will be given thee.
The perfect heart is a gift from God, to bo asked for, to be obtained by prayer. No one will pray for it earnestly, perseveringly, believingly, until he accepts God's word fully that it is a positive command and an immediate duty to be perfect. Where this has been done, the consciousness will soon grow strong of the utter impossibility of attempting obedience in human strength. And tho faith will grow that the word of command was simply meant to draw the soul to Him who gives what He asks.
The perfect heart is a gift to be obtained in prayer. David asked the Lord to give it to his son Solomon, even as he had prayed for himself long before, 'Let my heart be perfect in Thy testimonies.' Let all of vis who long for this blessing follow his example: let us make it a matter of definite, earnest prayer. Let each son and daughter of God say to the Father: Give Thy child a perfect heart. Let us in the course of our meditations in this little book turn each word of command, or teaching, or promise into prayer, pointed, personal prayer that asks and claims, that accepts and proves the gift of a perfect heart. And when the seed begins to strike root, and the spirit gives the consciousness that the first beginnings of the perfect heart have been bestowed in the whole-hearted purpose to live for God alone, let us hold on in prayer for the perfect heart in all its completeness. A heart perfect in its purpose towards God—this is only the initial stage. Then there comes the putting on of one grace after another—the going, from strength to strength, on to perfection—the putting on, in ever-growing distinctness of likeness, the Lord Jesus, with every trait of His holy image. All this is to be sought and found in prayer too. It is just he who knows most of what it is to be perfect in purpose who will pray most to be perfect in practice too.
In the words of Hezekiah, we see that there are two elements in the perfect heart: the relation to God, and to His commandments. 'I have walked be/ore Thee with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in Thy sight.' David speaks of the second of these in his prayer, 'a perfect heart to keep Thy commandments.' The two always go together: walking before God will ensure walking in His commandments.
'Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comoth from the Father of lights,' the gift of a perfect heart too. 'But let us ask in faith, nothing wavering.' Let us be sure that in the believing, adoring worship of God there will be given to the soul that is set upon having it, nothing less than what God Himself means with a perfect heart. Let us pray the prayer boldly, 'Lord, give Thy child a perfect heart. Let my heart be perfect in Thy testimonies.'