A Heart for God (Part 2)
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW January 19
I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will. ACTS 13:22
When reading his life story, some Christians feel conflicted by God’s characterization of David as, a man after My own heart (Acts 13:22). He certainly wasn’t perfect. Isolated moments of failure are in plain view on the pages of the Bible.
Yet, God praises David for one characteristic that set him apart from his brothers and his predecessor, King Saul—David had a heart for God and was willing to do all that God required of him.
Exemplified throughout David’s lifetime, that one characteristic was demonstrated in at least five virtues that gained him the reputation of, a man after His[God’s] own heart (1 Sam. 13:14).
The fact that Samuel had anointed David to be the next King of Israel did not remove all future obstacles. For ten of the next 15 years of his life, he evaded the persistent attempts of King Saul to assassinate him. Although he was on the run and hiding in the wilderness, many of the psalms David wrote during this awful time begin with thanksgiving.
The well-known words of the 100th Psalm capture the heart of King David:
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name (Ps. 100:4).
In the face of overwhelmingly adverse circumstances, David chose to be thankful.
Regardless of his situation, David also maintained genuine humility. He was real. He knew who he was before God and never forgot the immensity of God’s grace in his life.
For almost a decade, he dodged Saul’s attempts to destroy him. The natural temptation would be to take things into your own hands and retaliate. Even though Samuel had already anointed him as the next king and he had command of an army, David refused to take the throne by subterfuge or force. David waited for God’s timing.
At the height of his glory as Israel’s greatest king, rather than bragging about his accomplishments, we see David sitting before the Lord asking, Who am I, O Lord GOD? And what is my house, that You have brought me this far? (2 Sam. 7:14). In attributing his numerous successes to God, David demonstrated genuine humility.
David’s sin with Bathsheba is so well known, there is no need to recap details (2 Sam. 11:1-26). It was an affair involving adultery, lying and murder. God was displeased and sent Nathan the prophet to confront David. Contrary to Saul, however, who always tried to cover and excuse his sin, David’s response was genuine contrition (2 Sam 12:13).
The psalm David wrote expressing his remorse begins,
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies; blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin (Ps. 51:1-2).
Seeking grace, David turned to God with a contrite heart.
The Lord was central in David’s mind and heart continually. The 63rd Psalm powerfully expresses his unfailing love for the Lord. He pours out his heart,
When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me (Ps. 63:6-8).
Through all the shifting circumstances of day-to-day life, David’s heart belonged to the Lord and his actions exemplified devotion to Jehovah.
David’s willingness to engage Goliath was an act of incredible courage; but even more, it was an act of faith. Walking onto the battlefield with calm assurance to engage the hulk required absolute faith. God’s previous protection from the lion and bear prepared him for this encounter, just as the conflict with Goliath was preparation for future challenges.
The confrontation in the Elah Valley was not a one-time expression of David’s faith. As anointed king of Israel, he was confident that God would protect him until his reign became a reality. Dependent upon the God of Israel, David’s life was a demonstration of genuine faith.
Unlike many Christians, God doesn’t expect perfection in those He chooses to serve Him.
If He did, none would qualify!
But, if you have a heart for God that demonstrates thanksgiving, humility, contrition, devotion and faith, like David, you have the foundation for a life God can use for His glory!
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.