What Made King David a Man After God's Own Heart?
Have you ever felt shame over your emotions or grief? Have you ever found yourself feeling spiritually inadequate because you felt that you should've went through a trial with complete joy and that somehow you weren't letting the Holy Spirit lead? Have you ever found yourself reciting, "God has given me a sound mind, why can't I get this?"
Can I just say that if you have felt this way, you are a completely normal human. There is no judgement here, because I have often allowed these lies to seep into my thinking too.
I've often prayed that God would help me to understand what I've been missing.There's one person in the Bible who God has continually pointed out to me on my journey. That person is.......
God called David a man after his own heart. But what made David a man after God's own heart?
Was it because of his obedience?
It's probably safe to say that it may not have been David's obedience that made God see him in this way. David participated in his fair share of sin including committing murder and adultery. He even lied and manipulated to cover up his sin, as to not get found out by others. (2 Samuel 12:9-10).
Was it because David kept his family in perfect order and raised morally righteous children?
Probably not. The dysfunction in David's family was tremendous. For one, Amnon, David's oldest son, raped his own sister, Tamar. After the rape, the younger brother (Absalom) sent servants out to kill Amnon for what he had done to their sister (2 Samuel 13).
Also, David's son, Absalom, tried to take David's position as King and then sent out to have him killed (His own father). In the end Absalom died in the battle between the father and son, and David was grieved over his son's death (2 Samuel 15-18).
Was it because David was an emotionally strong warrior, and suffering in no way affected him?
Again, probably not, because we know from the Psalms that King David walked through depression and was very emotional during his prayers with God. He expressed pain, sadness, anger, joy, praise, suffering and depression. If we were to look at David's writings today, as written by a random person, we might be eager to advise him to learn how to take his thoughts captive. We often hear this phrase in relation to controlling our emotions.
So if David was just a normal messed up person like you and I, what was it about him that made him a man after God's own heart?
Over the years as I've meditated on the Psalms, I've been curious to know more about David. The one thing that's intriguing about him was his constant connection and prayer with the Lord despite his circumstances and surroundings. He was not in anyway perfect, but he brought every thought and emotion to the one who is.
I think this was what made David's heart unique. His complete trust was in his Heavenly Father. He didn't vent his problems to people, but he did vent them to the living God. In his lack of perfection and in his sinful flesh, he tirelessly pursued God. David often reaped what he sowed from sin but he never ran from God. He always ran toward him in repentance. He was constantly asking the Almighty for help. David knew where his help come from. He knew he didn't have everything mastered. He pursued God's will, God's heart and God's forgiveness.
WE ARE NOT OUR OWN HERO.......
So many times we want to be our own hero. Saving ourselves from our thoughts and emotions. Conforming and trying to live up to the Christian-ese language. In my own life, I've often held on to perfectionism. Could I be enough for God? Could I think positive enough for him? Could I just think and speak enough positivity into existence that my victory would come. Would God be proud of me, then, if I could just show him I was a conqueror?
Guys, I have to say this was such a toxic place for me to be and I was fully in bondage to the Christian-ese of today. I walked through years of feeling not christian enough. God's love has been nothing I've earned. I'm not my own hero. Jesus is and always will be our hero. And although we know this, somehow our flesh creeps back in to tell us that we have to work to meet a certain christian standard in order for our Father to want us. This is such a lie from the enemy. This is the same lie that overtook the pharisees in the day of Jesus. God's Word tells me otherwise. My father accepts me fully, flaws, emotions, failures and all, just as he did David. Jesus is the one who heals our brokenness. Jesus is the one who makes us victorious. Jesus is the one who fixes our harmful emotions. He is the chain breaker.
May we never compare our spiritual walk to someone elses. Another person may be farther ahead in spiritual maturity, but they weren't always where they are either. They had to go through the refiners fire at some point, too. May we accept where we are, trusting that when we take our emotions, mess ups and failures to God, that the Holy Spirit will continue to do a work in us. It's not an overnight thing. If it was never in the cards for us to suffer, then God wouldn't tell us in His Word that he is our refuge and our help in time of need. We will walk through suffering and just like David we will experience all kinds of emotions. Some healthy and some not so healthy. God is our filter. He is the one who comforts us and leads us away from the harmful emotions and helps us to grow in the healthy ones.
You, my friend are not messed up, you are wonderfully made in his image. You see, We start out as tiny little seeds. In the beginning we grow into this fragile, weak stem and when the wind comes, it blows us right over. Just as David did, we run to our Father crying out, "Father deliver me, save me". Then the Holy Spirit waters us and next year we grow just a little bit sturdier, and we become able to withstand stronger winds with just a little bit more joy. We grow in trust, wisdom, repentance and praise. However, even after we fully bloom we will never completely arrive. We will always need the watering of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is our food and we can't live without it. We will experience failures, because we are none without sin.
Although David cried out in emotion in the Psalms, his heart wasn't just about emotion. David's main focus was his relationship with the Father. I think this is what made David a man after God's own heart. He wanted to know God. His constant conversation with God through every season show's his heart. He prayed to God after falling into sin. He prayed to God when he was victorious. He prayed to God when he suffered. He prayed to God when he grieved. He prayed to God in worship and reverence. He prayed to God in dance. He prayed to God in happiness. He prayed to God for deliverance. He prayed to God in repentance. He prayed to God in sickness. The point is, King David had a heart that was after God's own heart in all seasons. He didn't run from God in his failures and he didn't become his own hero.
We are not our own hero, Jesus is our hero!
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