A Child of God’s Heart


I’ve been really thinking about the heart devoted to God.  This past Sunday I preached a lesson on David’s heart.  The selection and anointing of David as King of Israel as a

"He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens..." - Psalm 78:70

young man had to be a crazy situation for him to go through; but even wackier for his Dad and brothers.  We talked about being children of God’s heart; the Bible says David was a man after God’s own heart.  But what qualities did he have that made him be referred to in that way?  The scripture says in I Samuel 16:7,“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

David was probably a 11-12 year old kid at this point.  Who knows how many hours he had been shepherding in the fields all by himself.  Most folks who had any livestock probably had at least some servants.  David was not only the youngest of the sons, but he was also the son of Jesse; a man who was definitely not made out of money.  Jesse was a man of moderate means.  Like most other Jewish families of that day, he had to use the resources at his disposal.  Being the youngest brother… guess who had shepherd duty?  Countless hours on the hillside; fighting off wild animals, watching the horizon, the animals, the fields… nature.

The Bible calls David a man after God’s own heart.  But what made him that way?  What qualities did he possess that let him be described that way?

I’d say it had a lot to do with his spare time; the time on those hills watching sheep do their thing, and plenty of time to think.  Time for him to focus on what he was taught as a kid in his mother’s arms, and cultivated it through his writing; time in prayer and penning what are now known as the Psalms.  But the interesting thing about solitude and nature is that God often speaks to us loudly during those times.  Psalm 78:70-71 says,

“He chose David his servant
and took him from the sheep pens;
from tending the sheep he brought him
to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
of Israel his inheritance.”

I made a few points from the previous readings.
•God uses hearts that are best grown sensitive to spiritual things (often through solitude).
•David’s heart was focused on God in every situation.
•He expressed himself through words; writing Psalms (songs) that revealed his heart.
•He held God high as the great Creator, Master and Lord of all things.
•He was humble but courageous, based on his trust in God’s power and blessings in his life.
For David, God’s word (the Law of Moses) gave him great comfort.  It protected him from sin, gave him a heart that learned to love truth, and made him a man of deep submission to God.  As best I can understand it, this was what made David a man after God’s heart.  Listen to some of his own words:
Psalm 19:
   The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart…
  They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
 

"For young David, God became both companion and audience. God wants to be ours, too; although, He is often unable to get our attention because of our feverishly maintained noise levels." -Lynn Anderson, p. 8

 Psalm 145:

    18The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
19He fulfills the desire of those who fear him;
he also hears their cry and saves them.

Psalm 95:

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!  For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.  In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.  The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

Psalm 101:

3 I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
4 The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

We live in a post-modern world that no longer values scientific discovery or Baconian rationalism.  No longer do we value the financial or intellectual powers of John Locke or Albert Einstein.  OUR world values the things that really matter… skinny jeans, perfect hair, cars, shampoo, muscles, and cosmetics.  We have allowed Madonna, Britney, Justin Bieber, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston to determine what makes the value of a person – all too often.

God doesn’t see as man sees, but God looks on the heart.
  What a relief.  The last thing I need, is to think I’m displeasing to God b/c I can’t fit into skinny jeans, and don’t have money and fame.
People of God need to be shaken up.  We need to remember that we’re not perfect, but we need to value the things that make us HIS children.  His children live counter-culturally.  They live in the world, but not of it.  He may have some stylish clothes, but the clothes don’t make the man.  She may be gorgeous, but she’s most of all a princess to the great King – a child of God.  She’s humble, Godly, kind, and submissive to God.
Protect your heart.  Make it God’s.  Pray for humility, acknowledge God’s greatness, and don’t fall prey to the empty reasoning that says that it doesn’t matter.  If you’re not accustomed to thinking like a child of God, maybe it’s time.  Time to re-view your job, your roles as a son, a dad, a husband, a wife.  Time to re-view the way you work, because you work for a standard far greater than just that which your boss requires.
Time, technology, and communication standards change; but real things that matter don’t.
Be a person of God, and have real peace in your life through Christ.  Hey, David’s greatest great grandson knew better than anyone how to have God’s heart.  Emulate Jesus, and you will have the greatest peace of all.
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