God described King David as “A MAN AFTER MY HEART” (Acts 13:22). Wouldn’t you love for God to say that about you? I so want Him to say that about me. However, what does it mean to be a man after God’s own heart? David was a man who was flawed in so many ways, yet he was also a man who had a passionate love for God. David was a great sinner, but he was also a great confessor. Consider a few differences between King Saul and King Davide.
Unlike Saul, David was concerned with what God thought, not what people thought. While Saul was concerned with outward appearances, David was concerned about his heart; Saul was arrogant, David was humble; Saul rebelled against God’s authority, while David submitted to God’s. Saul chose disobedience, David chose obedience. Saul feared people, David feared God. Saul sought the praise of people, David sought to praise God. Saul loved the words of people; David loved the Word of God. Saul sought to know the future by Satanic means; David sought to know the future by turning wholly to God.
When I say I want to be a man after God’s own heart, it means I want to be passionate in my love and commitment to Jesus. I want my love for Him to be deeper than my love for people liking me; not criticizing me; and not agree with me. It means being a husband who loves his wife in a way that God can say, “That’s what I meant when I said to love your wife as Christ loved the Church.” It means being a dad whose children can say, “My dad is a man who is the same man at home as he is in the pulpit.” I want my grandchildren to say, “My JPop loved God, the bible, and prayer more than anyone I have ever met and helped so many people see Jesus.” It means fearing God more than fearing people. It means being intentional about being a godly man, understanding that one doesn’t drift into godliness by accident. I have to choose for it to happen. It means choosing transparency over secrecy; humility over haughtiness; a holy discontentment over mediocrity; and truth over flattery.
When I say I want to be a man after God’s own heart, it means I understand that I am entering a fierce battleground, not a pleasant playground; a daily choice I make, not a feeling I feel. It means a daily trip to the altar (sometimes several times a day) and drags my prideful heart; my un-Christlike thoughts; my stubborn will, my fickle emotions, and my unruly body and place it at the foot of the cross. It means I must bring my doubts, hurts, habits, skepticism, cynicism, hang up’s, insecurities, and flaws to the foot of the cross and cry out for God’s great grace. It means that I must make the things that matter to God, matter to me and live my life reflecting that God’s priorities are my priorities.
When I say I want to be a man after God’s own heart, please don’t misunderstand me thinking that I have any idea that I can do this in my own strength. I must have His strength, His anointing, His wisdom, His resurrection power. What I can supply is my will and my willingness, my daily choice to act on these things. When I say I want to be a man after God’s own heart, that means for me:
- I will open His Holy Word every day and read it, study it; and strive with all of my heart to obey what it says. I will seek to love God’s like David loved God’s Word.
- I will bend my knees and cry out to God for wisdom, strength, discernment, and His intervention every single day of my life, understanding that I can’t do this on my own.
- I will seek daily to make a covenant with my eyes and not allow a sinful, lustful thought to remain in my mind knowing that if I do it can have devastating consequences to everything I hold dear
- I will give my tithe every time I get paid and will give offerings as God directs, indicating that my money is not my master.
- I will choose to give up my right to hurt back those who have hurt me, knowing that bitterness, resentment, un-forgiveness, and holding grudges cannot ever be allowed to take root
- I will seek to listen and learn to those who criticize me constructively and seek not to be defensive when they are trying to help me.
- I will seek to have a few men in my life to whom I am accountable on a regular basis and whom I give permission to ask me the hard questions about temptation and lust.
- I will seek to learn from those who are critical of me and not stoop to treating them as they have treated me. I will seek to thank God for how He is going to use my critics to make me better, not bitter.
- I will strive to choose to never take for granted the precious people God has placed in my life and make a conscious effort to tell them daily “I love you.”
- I will speak up for those who are right and refuse to remain silent in the face of injustice.
- I will refuse to allow a woman or child to be treated in a demeaning way in my presence
- I will strive to right wrongs when God gives me that opportunity
- I will strive to take responsibility for my actions, words, attitudes and my inaction instead of blaming, denying or justifying it in any way. I will say, “It is my fault” when it is my fault and “I said it,” when I have said it, and “I did it,” when I did it.
- I will strive to keep my word, to fulfill my promise, even when circumstances have changed.
- I will strive to choose to daily be filled with the Holy Spirit, confessing my sin, emptying myself of me, and seeking to be totally filled with Him
- I will seek with everything I have to take as many people to heaven with me as is possible knowing the only thing that is eternal is people and God’s Word.
Will you join me and help me be a man after God’s own heart?