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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Why David Was A Man After God's Own Heart. Which of These Areas Need Your Greatest Attention For Improvement?

Why David was a “Man After God’s Own Heart” Have you had a hard time letting go of your past and accepting God’s grace in your life Read below why David was a"Man After God's Own Heart.  Acts 13:22 says, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.‘”

Nevertheless, for David’s sake the LORD his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem by raising up a son to succeed him and by making Jerusalem strong. For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15:4-5 NIV  (Emphasis mine)

Do you see that?  After David’s life had ended, God’s word still records him as a man following after God’s own heart…except in the case of the fall with Bathsheba.

What’s my point?  How does that impact your life?

That one “except” in your life….that one moment…that one season…that period of indiscretion…does not disqualify you from being a man (or woman) after God’s own heart.  I know too many people who have disqualified themselves from God’s call on their life because of their past mistakes, but I’m not sure God has disqualified them. Bottom line:  Your actions don’t determine your standing with God; your heart does. Actions indicate a heart’s direction, so if there is repetitive, unrepentant sin in your life, one would have to question your heart, but if your heart desires to be like Christ and give Him glory with your life, don’t beat yourself up for your exceptions.  Keep in mind, people can say about you whatever they choose to, but no one knows your heart (other than God) like you do.

An often-confusing term concerning the Biblical character of David is the term “man after God’s own heart”. Have you ever wondered what that really means? What does that kind of heart even look like? There is one verse from the writings of David that I believe perhaps best captures the meaning behind this phrase.

I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

(Psalms 16:2)

That’s it. Pretty simple, huh?

But, it’s really not that simple.

David recognized that the only good in him was the God in him. Great godly leaders and people are willing to step aside from their own need for ego building and self-confidence and humble themselves before an almighty God.
Next time someone asks you why David was called “a man after God’s own heart”, point him or her to Psalm 16:2. It’s an attitude of heart…of recognition…of worship.

The following words describe the heart of David as seen in his own writings:

David had an attitude of heart and God recognized all of these attributes of David.

Humble – Lowborn men are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie; if weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath. Psalm 62:9

Reverent – I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:3

Respectful – Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. Psalm 31:9

Trusting – The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

Loving – I love you, O Lord, my strength. Psalm 18:1

Devoted – You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. Psalm 4:7

Recognition – I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. Psalm 9:1

Faithful – Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Obedient – Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalm 119:34

Repentant – For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great. Psalm 25:11

David’s example is a great road map for how we are to live our life.

Which of these areas need your greatest attention for improvement? Focus your life from this day forward on being like Christ and being found faithful.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Stop. Which Way Are You Going? Are You Following God's Path or Your Own Path? Then Why Do We Ask God For Direction?

STOP. Which way are you going? Are you following God's path or your own path?  Then why do we ask God for direction? God will never lead you wrong. Sometimes we take matters into our own hand and disregard God's direction and we find ourselves going in circles. Place your plans and desires before God. Pray about them and trust God to give them to you if and when they're right for you. Stay connected to God and you will stay directed by God.  We all need a beam of light on our dark path.  Sometimes only the step we're on, or the very next one ahead is all the light God will give us.  God gives just the amount of light we need for the exact moment we need it. If God changes your heart, be willing to change your plans. 

Serving means submitting to God and giving up your desires/plans.  When you learn to trust God, you are able to be at ease with life.  God is strategically orchestrating your steps. At those times we walk in surrender to faith, one step at a time, fully trusting that the light God sheds is absolutely sufficient.  By God's Words we can see where we're going; they throw a beam of light on our dark path. Rest in knowing that nothing happens unless it moves you toward your destiny.  God not only sees where you are, He sees where you can be. You need to be willing to move and you need to be moving if you want God to show you which way to go; whether it affects your plans or not.

Why not ask the God of light to show you where to take your next step? Those so called "coincidences" are really God speaking to you and giving you direction.  Don't overlook God's confirmations and His flashes of light to bring vision to your path, whether it's through people, places or things and what some may call "God Moments".

Trust God. He knows. You asked for direction, receive it as an answer. There is a quote that says: "God will wreck your plans when He sees that your plans are about to wreck you."  

J.P. Olson