Don’t Waste Your Seminary

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary | Louisville, KY


The following is a lightly edited transcript.

This message is an extended meditation upon verse 32: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The reason I read the surrounding context is because the meaning of the word “truth” is made clear in the previous verses and the meaning of the word “free” is made clear in the subsequent verses. I don’t want to read in any other meaning to those two words.

Let me show you what I see. “You will know the truth.” What truth? Well, in the previous verse, “Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth.’”

“Sin is a movement not of the body, but of the heart toward preferring anything to God.”

The first inference I’m drawing out is that the truth of what he says is the truth of his word. Then if you ask more specifically about a particular focus and content of this word, I’ll back up further to John 8:28: “So Jesus said to them, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.’”

This is a word focused on Jesus, the Son of Man, who was sent into the world from the Father to be obedient to the Father. He does whatever the Father says. This is a pretty expansive and yet focused word. That’s my understanding of “You will know the truth.” You’ll know the truth of the word of Jesus concerning himself as the Son of Man, the one who is lifted up on a cross in obedience to the Father and who does everything the Father says.

The Truth Will Set You Free

You’ll know that, and that will set you free. From what? They said, “We’re not enslaved.” Jesus clarifies what he meant in verse 34: “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin.” Knowing this truth will set you free from the slavery of sin. It will set you free from bondage to sin.

Now we have a fairly clear sense of what you will know the truth and the truth will set you free from slavery to sin means. You’ll know the truth about my word. You’ll know my word. You’ll know the content of my word — about me, my Father, my act in coming and being lifted up. You’ll know these things and this knowing of truth will free you from the power of sin in your life.

The Essence of Sin

Now what is sin? John uses the term “sin” or “sinned” 21 times and he never defines it. He must assume that it is a fairly clear idea to his readers, and it should be, but let me work on it for a minute with you. How would you define sin? What bondage are you freed from by this known truth?

Sin is not the movement of your muscles on the way to commit fornication. Sin is not the movement of the muscle of the tongue in the act of lying. Sin is not the movement of your hand, the muscles in your hand, the chemical, electrical aspects of your hand, stealing something. Sin is not physical.

In the Heart, Not the Hand

The essence of sin is in the heart. I would say sin is, at its essence, the preferring of anything over God. I draw that largely from Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Now what does that mean? It means that sin is an internal displacement of the glory of God in our affections, in our valuing, in our treasuring with anything else. Sin is a movement, not of the body, but of the heart toward preferring anything to God.

All sin is an outward expression of the inward preference of anything else above God. That’s what sin is. So the essence of sin is the displacement of the glory of God in your heart with any other preference.

A Sad Exchange of Glory for Garbage

Now let me replace the word preference with some other words and you see if this is accurate. I could say, “I prefer this over that,” or I could say, “I want this over that,” or, “I desire this over that,” or, “I value this over that,” or, “I delight in this over that,” or, “I treasure this over that.”

I would say sin is, therefore, a displacement, or to use the words of Romans 1:23, “An exchange.” They “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” Sin is a displacement and exchange of the treasure of the glory of God for anything that you want more, or desire more, or value more, or delight in more, or treasure more.

Knowing Frees Us for Delighting

Now back to John 8:32. “You will know the truth to my word. You’ll know me and my Father, and my work through my word. You’ll know this and this known truth will set you free from the bondage of preferring anything above me. It will set you free from the slavery of wanting anything more than you want me. It will set you free from the bondage of treasuring anything more than you treasure me.” That’s what this knowing will do for you. This is a profound work of the word in the heart.

The Truth Makes Us the Freest People

You will know the truth, and this known truth will bring about in your heart a preference for God over everything. It will bring about a desire for God over everything. It will bring about a delight or a joy in God over everything. It will bring about a treasuring of God over everything, and thus you will be free to do whatever you want and not regret it in 1,000 years, because you will want him.

That‘s the power of this known truth. You will know this and you’ll become the freest of all people because you will be set free from the bondage of loving anything more than you love God. You will be set free from wanting anything more than you want God. You will be set free from treasuring anything more than you treasure God. You will be the freest of all people to do what you love, want, desire, treasure, and never regret it in a 1,000 years. That’s freedom.

Doctrine Is for Our Delight in Him

Let’s draw out the implications a little further. Knowing the truth of God, therefore, stands in the service of preferring the God of truth. Knowing stands in the service of preferring. Knowing is a servant of treasuring, desiring, enjoying, and being satisfied. You will know and be free from all those enslaving satisfactions for a superior satisfaction in God. You will be set free from your preferring of other things to God.

So knowing, thinking, and reasoning about God is the servant of your heart’s loves, your heart’s passions, your heart’s desires, and your heart’s treasuring. To draw it out a little further, the organ of knowing is given by God to serve the organ of preferring, or desiring, or enjoying, or treasuring. Thinking exists to serve feeling. Reflection about God exists to awaken affection for God.

Constructing doctrines about God is for the sake of delighting in the God of those doctrines. I hope that’s what you’re doing in these years. Take all the magnificent pieces of divine revelation in the Bible and weave them together in biblical proportion into doctrinal portraits of God, and Christ, and sin, and man, and salvation, and the future. Weave them all together in glorious panoramas of God for the sake of delighting in the God of those doctrines. That’s why you do it.

God gave you doctrine for delight. God gave you a mind to be a faithful servant of your heart. Thinking about God, reasoning about God, and knowing God are the staples of seminary life. You’re not playing games here. Thinking about God, reasoning about God, and knowing God is the necessary means, and delighting in God, enjoying God, treasuring God, and preferring God is the ultimate end of the human soul. No exaggeration.

Don’t Waste It

This brings me now to my answer to Al Mohler’s question, “Would you tell them how not to waste their seminary?” Here is my main point: You will not waste your seminary years if you solidify the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.

“Knowing the truth of God stands in the service of preferring the God of truth.”

I’m using the word solidify because I’m assuming most of you have started this before you came — at the moment of your conversion. You will not waste these years if this habit of mind, habit of heart, habit of soul, and habit of life becomes more solid and more deep. Solidify the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.

You won’t waste your seminary if you form a lifelong habit of doing that. Or to say it another way, you won’t waste your seminary if you solidify the lifelong habit of reasoning well about God as a means of rejoicing in God. You will not waste your seminary if you solidify the lifelong habit of knowing God better than you know anything as a means of preferring God more than you prefer anything.

Forming Habits of the Soul

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free from preferring anything to God. I’m saying that these years are given to you for the purpose of forming the habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.

A lifelong habit is something you do intuitively for the rest of your life. Habits are formed by practice and repetition, and sometimes by, at the beginning, very concerted and painful effort. If you don’t have this habit, it may take some focused effort, and then repetition, to form it. That’s what seminary is. It’s a season of forming habits of the soul.

You’re not just getting skills here. You’re not just getting awareness — I hope and pray. That’s why I’m here. I am here to help you form habits of the soul. The aim of this message is to strengthen your resolve to pursue that practice, that repetition, and to solidify that habit. Make reflection the servant of affection in every class, every conversation, every book you read, and every paper you write. I will not be content until this serves my joy in God.

Now how can I stir you up to form that habit? How can I strengthen your resolve to practice this? How can we form lifelong habits so that when you’re 68 instead of 28, you’ll still consider this the greatest challenge and privilege of your life? I will do it by answering four questions and concluding with five applications.

1. What Are Affections for God?

Joy in God, wanting God, desiring God, being satisfied in God, treasuring God, valuing God, and stirring up affections for God. What exactly do I mean by affections for God? I need to make a denial and an affirmation about this.

Affections Are Not Physical

The denial is that I do not mean anything physical — trembling hands, wobbly knees, fluttering eyelashes, sweaty palms, butterflies. These are accompaniments in this life of genuine, spiritual affections sometimes. I just don’t mean any of that. That has no moral standing. Unbelievers have all of that.

I mean spiritual affections, spiritual emotions. By spiritual, I mean wrought by the Holy Spirit, sustained by the Holy Spirit, shaped by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, they are supernatural. I mean things unbelievers don’t experience. So the language I’m using — be satisfied with, delight in, value, treasure, enjoy — sounds like familiar language, but as soon as you realize that these feelings are in God above all, you realize that nobody experiences that except those who are born of God. This is supernatural.

So my answer to my first question is that I’m talking about something huge when I use those words. What bumps them up out of the natural and into the supernatural is where they repose in God. Everybody wants to be happy. Only Christians are happy in God. Only Christians prefer God above everything. Only Christians treasure God above everything. Only Christians prefer God over all other pleasures. That’s supernatural.

So what do I mean by affections for God? I mean spiritual affections, Holy Spirit wrought affections that are not physical.

To Depart Is Far Better

You may very have a hard time conceiving of such a thing because in this body the experience of spiritual affections is always hooked up with physical realities. They’re never separate while you’re alive here. You might think, “I always have bodily dimensions to this.” Yes, you do.

But that won’t be the case when you’re dead. Yet the Bible says you’ll keep having these emotions when you’re dead. “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23).

What does that mean, “to depart”? Leave my body. Leave this world. Now he wants the resurrection more than he wants that state. He wants to be raised from the dead with a new body, but in the meantime, he’s got this second experience and it’s better. Even though he doesn’t like being without a body, it’s better. “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.”

So while his body is decaying in the tomb, he has better emotions and better affections. His enjoyment of God is better. His treasuring of God is better. His delight in the glories of truth of the word is better. Therefore, I affirm without any suspicion of contradiction that these affections are not physical in their essence.

God Has Affections

“My compassion grows warm and tender” (Hosea 11:8). God doesn’t have a body. Yet he feels warm? “My compassion grows warm and tender.” God has these affections and he has no body. “For the fierce anger of the Lord has not turned back from us” (Jeremiah 4:8).

I never experience anger without feeling it in my body. I mainly feel angry in my body. I Feel it. God has anger and feels it in no body. I will have anger in heaven. I will hate sin. I will feel it more purely than I do now and be angry at the perpetrators of it with a holy and pure anger, with no body. I will feel it. “He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing” (Zephaniah 3:17). He has no vocal cords and no body to tingle.

“Solidify the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.”

So my answer to my first question, “What do you mean by the affections?” is that I mean spiritual affections that are essentially non-physical. I mean affections capable of being felt by souls in heaven before the resurrection body and felt by God.

2. How Is This the Way?

Why do I say that the lifelong habit of pursuing affections for God, by means of thinking about God, is the way not to waste your seminary? The answer to that question comes in three steps.

Seminary Must Serve the Ultimate Purpose for Existence

I believe a life is wasted that does not achieve the ultimate reason for its existence. And I happen to know why you exist, all of you, without any doubt. I know why you’re male or female, I know why you’re tall or short. I know why you’re smart or average. I know the reason for all of that because Colossians 1:16 tells me: “All things were created through him and for him.” Period.

You were made, you exist, for Christ. Now what does that mean? He doesn’t need you. He’s not improved by you. He has no defects or deficiencies that you contribute to. So what does “for him” mean? It means for his display, for his glory, and for his being magnified as what he is in your telescopic life.

That’s what telescopes are for. There’s a little dot out there, a supernova. It looks like a dot. That’s the way God is to most people. He’s a supernova and he looks like a dot. You exist as the telescope for people’s eyes. Your life, your mind, and everything you do is a telescope for your congregation’s eyes week in week out. You put the telescope on a person’s eyes in the counseling room, on the street, and in active witnessing. You put the telescope of your life and your words on their eye and make it go pow! Whoa! That’s not a dot!

That’s why you exist. All things were made through him and for his display. “My eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:20). You exist to make much of Christ. That’s why you are here on the planet in this seminary, forming habits of soul that magnify the worth of Christ in the world. That’s why you‘re here. It’s your life mission. It will be different in its outworking for each one of you, but that’s it.

Enjoy Christ Above All to Magnify Him Above All

Enjoying Christ above all things is essential to magnifying Christ above all things. I have given my whole life to defending that, to understanding that, and to applying it in my life and in my ministry.

So step one, we exist to magnify him. Step two, essential to magnifying him most is enjoying him most. I’m going to give you an illustration to show that you already believe this, and that you’re warranted in believing it.

I’m going to get home, Lord-willing, about 4:30 in the afternoon. I have been away from Noël for about a week. I get off the plane, she’s there to get me at the baggage claim, and I say to her, “Noël, I’ve got some ideas. Let’s spend the evening together, just you and me, because nothing would make me happier than to spend the night with you.” Now she will not say, she has never said, and none of you women would say, “You’re so selfish. I just can’t believe you get off the plane, look in my face, and tell me what would make you happy. It’s all you ever think about. Nothing will make you happier. You are just so selfish.”

I just can’t tell you how profound this is. Why doesn’t she accuse me of selfishness? I just said nothing would make me happier than to be with you. It’s very simple: When you delight in someone, you honor them. You get the joy and they get the honor. It’s that simple. You know this. You feel this in your bones. You’re made this way because that’s the way it is with God.

When you stand before God on the last day and he asks you, “Why are you coming in here?” you better not say, “It’s written in the book, we’re supposed to. It’s obedience. And hell is hot.” Those are bad answers. They don’t honor God.

The answer that honors him is, “Where else would I want to be? ‘In your presence is fullness of joy. At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.’ You are my treasure. You are the end of my quest. You’re the fountain of life. You’re the river of delights. I want to be with you forever because you alone satisfy me.” That’s the answer. That will lift him up. A smile will come across his face, and he will feel that you just worshiped him beautifully. It’s what Sunday is for. It’s what devotions are for. It’s what systematic theology is for.

You biblically increase and feed the flame of your affections for God by thinking rightly about God. God has appointed thinking to serve feeling, knowing to serve preferring, and reasoning to prefer rejoicing. “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). God has appointed seminary’s mental, intellectual, and doctrinal labors as means of the affections that bring him the most glory. You won’t waste your seminary life if you form the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth.

3. Why Make Joy the Ultimate Goal?

Why make joy the thing towards which we are forming a habit of nurturing instead of faith or obedience? Good question. Absolutely good question, because Paul says the aim of our instruction is love. Why do I make joy in God the ultimate end of our seminary experience and not faith in God or obedience to God?

“Don't be content until the fruit of your mind becomes the flame of your heart.”

Now let me reframe this question. I assume here that you really value the Westminster Shorter Catechism, at least until you get to the baptism paragraph. But I know that you value the first question, “What is the chief end of man?” They answered that the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.

You should now take my question and formulate the question, “Why didn’t it say ‘the chief end of man is to glorify God and trust him forever’?” Why not? That would be more explicitly central to biblical theology. Why didn’t it say, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and obey him forever”? Why? I have two answers.

Joy in God Is the Essence of Faith

My first answer is this: The reason they chose to say enjoy God instead of trust God is because joy is the more essential and ultimate meaning of what faith is. So what is faith?

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

This is not a physical coming. It’s a movement of the soul. Coming to Jesus in the soul. To eat and never hunger. Now parallel that to “and whoever believes.” Believes in the place of coming. “Whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Believing parallels coming, and thirst parallels hunger. So how would you define faith on the basis of John 6:35?

Here’s my effort: Believing in Christ is a coming to him of the soul. It’s a movement of the heart to drink and to eat so as to satisfy the soul’s aching longings. That’s faith. Faith at its essence is a drinking, a receiving, and an eating of Christ unto the satisfaction of the soul. That’s faith. Therefore, it is more essential and more ultimate to say that you exist to enjoy Christ rather than it is to say you exist to trust Christ.

And Abraham believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:6)

No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20–21)

The essence of the Old Testament, the Abrahamic covenant promise, which we now have in Christ is, “I will be your God and you will be my people.” Now there are a lot of other pieces to the promise, but the ultimate promise is, “I’m going to be there for you. And you’re going to be mine and I’m going to be yours, forever.” That’s the promise.

What does it mean to believe that? In one sense you could say the promise is taking him at his word. You believe it’s really going to happen. But what if he turned around and said, “I believe it’s going to happen, but frankly, when I get there it’s not going to be enough. I’m not going to be satisfied in your presence.” Is that a believing of the promise? Well, half.

The devil can say that, but if you turn and say, “Now what is promised is not precious to me, and it’s not satisfying to me,” then you haven’t believed. You haven’t believed that promise. This means the essence of trusting is not that he’ll keep his word, because what he’s promising is himself. If you don’t want that, and yet you trust that he keeps his word, then you don’t believe in it.

This is why the Westminster divines didn’t say, “Your chief end is to glorify God and trust him forever.” It’s not careful enough. It’s not deep enough. It’s not ultimate enough. It’s not essential enough. You need to get at the heart of why you exist, at the heart of why he speaks, at the heart of what it means to respond in faith to his promises. It means when the promiser is the promised, you’re satisfied in the promised as well as believing the trustworthiness of the promiser.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12)

Believing is a receiving of Christ. When you preach, when we preach, we preach Christ. We offer Christ. What does it mean to believe that? It means to receive him for all that he is as your treasure. You don’t receive him as a ticket in your back pocket out of hell and treasure everything in this world more than him. That is not a receiving of Christ. That’s a receiving of a tiny gift. “Christ, well, he can stay out of my life. I just don’t want to go to hell.” That’s not believing.

So what about obedience? Why didn’t they say, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and obey him forever”? My answer is because the essence of all God-exalting, spiritual obedience is joy in God.

Think of it this way. What’s the sum of all the commandments that you should obey? Answer: Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said so. Love your neighbor as yourself. What does it mean to love your neighbor?

Loving your neighbor is the overflow of joy in God that meets the needs of others — especially their eternal needs. That’s a paraphrase of 2 Corinthians 8:2. To be more precise, love of people is the ache in your heart that the joy that you have in being saved, in going to heaven, and having fellowship with God would expand, even at the cost of your life, to include others in it.

“A wasted life does not achieve the ultimate reason for its existence.”

They did not say the chief end of man is to glorify God and obey him because it’s not close enough to the center. It’s not close enough to the end, to the ultimate. The ultimate is, do you enjoy him and do you long for that joy to be big enough to draw others into it?

So why did the Westminster Catechism not say trust or obey instead of enjoy? Answer: trust and obedience at their essence are enjoyment in God.

Joy in God Is the End, Not the Means

Second answer: Joy is an end in itself, not a means to anything. Therefore, joy is a unique final revelation of what you treasure. When you’re standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, you do not perform awe as a means to impressing your friend. You can’t perform awe. You can’t will awe as a means to anything. Awe happens or it doesn’t. And when it happens, it’s not you designing it for anything.

You can’t design emotions that are spontaneous. Once a year, I eat a Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard, on my birthday. This is my favorite dessert. I get the biggest one you can, about five bucks, a little spoon, put it to my lips, and there is no sense in which I design this pleasure as a means to anything.

That’s not the way emotions and pleasures are. They are ends. This is why the Westminster divines said, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him.” Joy is not a means to anything. Therefore, it is a unique and final revelation of what you treasure. That’s called worship, and that’s the end of everything.

4. Does the New Testament Really Say This?

I have said that you will not waste your seminary experience if you form the lifelong habit of thinking about the truth of God as a means of enjoying the God of truth. Doesn’t the New Testament say that right affections for God produce right thinking for God? And doesn’t the New Testament say that the Holy Spirit produces the right affections? And I’m saying thinking does? Knowing does? Those are two questions. My answers to both those questions are yes.

The New Testament does say that right affections produce right thinking, which is the converse of what I’ve been saying. The New Testament does say that without the Holy Spirit, there is no right affection. Those are true statements, they just don’t contradict anything I’ve said.

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. (Ephesians 4:18)

This is profound. They are ignorant with darkened understanding. Why? Due to the hardness of their hostile, angry, bitter, rebellious heart blinding them. How does that get changed? New birth.

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God . . . This word is the good news that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:23, 25)

So here’s a dead, angry, bitter, spiritually numb heart blinding the mind with such hatred to the truth that it can’t see the truth. This person, therefore, can’t know the truth and thus can’t be free from that. Regeneration is the only hope. And Peter says regeneration by the Spirit comes through the living and abiding word. Then, two verses later he says this truth is the gospel. This word is the gospel which we preach.

This means that the way the Holy Spirit awakens the dead and strips away all those faults and bondage of emotion is through opening the eyes to truth. You will know the truth. Oh yes, you must know it by the power of the Holy Spirit. Oh yes, there must be profound, deep, hard, affectional alterations that only God can perform, but you will be freed from them through the truth.

If you have a ministry, and all you do is pray for people to experience regeneration, they won’t. People are born again through the word of God, being processed by ears or eyes, illumined by the Holy Spirit to say, “Whoa, that’s not a dot in the sky.” So you open your mouth and you overflow with all your thinking and you pray. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Make the Most of Your Seminary

Let’s make some brief concluding applications.

1. Keep Enjoying God

The greatest threat to your ministry, brothers and sisters, is that you will stop enjoying God. Therefore, the need for a lifelong habit of thinking about truth for the sake of enjoying truth is imperative.

2. Loss of Joy Will Harm Others

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)

You will be harmful to your people as a pastor if you lose your joy in God. Not just neutral, harmful. Loss of joy is not just neutral, it’s harmful. If you lose your joy in God, in ministry, your people will suffer.

3. Your Aim in Ministry Is To Increase the Joy of Others

Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith. (2 Corinthians 1:24)

The New Testament says that the aim of the Christian ministry is to work for people’s truth. I stood in this pulpit several years ago, that was my text. That’s what I’m doing. I’m working. I stayed up until one this morning for your joy. That’s what pastors do. They think and they’ve learned to think for their own joy, and so now they can do it for the joy of their people.

4. Your Mind Enflames Your Heart

In every class, every conversation, every book you read, every paper you write, don’t be content until the fruit of your mind becomes the flame of your heart. Don’t be content. Just pound on that systematic theology. “I will not let you go until you make me glad.” Form this habit or you will become a gamesmen with ideas and entertain your congregation with your brain. That’s not what they need.

5. You Must Pray

I’ll close by telling you how I pray for this. I have an acronym that I use almost everyday. I-O-U-S.

Incline my heart to your testimonies,
   and not to selfish gain! (Psalm 119:36)

“The greatest threat to your ministry is that you will stop enjoying God.”

My heart often inclines the other way, so I’m pleading, O God, please incline my heart back to the truth, back to your word, and back to yourself. It’s drifting.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
   wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

When I stare at your word some days, I see nothing. I see nothing. I’m terrified that I could become bored with your word. I’m terrified that if I find nothing in your word that satisfies my soul and rejoices my heart, I’m a goner for the ministry. I’m just gone, so open my eyes.

Teach me your way, O Lord,
   that I may walk in your truth;
   unite my heart to fear your name. (Psalm 86:11)

“My heart’s so fragmented. It’s just going after that, and going after that, and going after that. I’m all broken to pieces and I come before you to ask, would you please unite my heart? I want to be solid. I want to will one thing, namely you. So do that.

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

You need to pray. You need to pray without ceasing because this is a miracle.