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The Man After God's Own Heart

You may have heard me say this before in one of my talks, but when I get to heaven, after I see Jesus, the first Biblical hero I want to find is David! He’s the man! His Psalms have touched my heart in ways I can’t begin to put into words.


David was a shepherd, killer of giants, king, ancestor of Jesus, and, my personal favorites, an incredible musician and songwriter. He’s listed in the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 and is a person described by God himself as a “man after His own heart.” Wow!


Yet, there’s the other side of David: the murderer, adulterer, liar and betrayer. A pretty ugly list of things that make him feel more human, more ordinary, perhaps a little more relatable.


So how can a guy like David commit adultery, proceed to have the woman’s husband killed, and still be called “a man after God’s own heart”? It doesn’t seem to fit.


It absolutely does when you dig a little deeper into the whole story. Yes, David messed up, he messed up big time. But what David also did was he confessed quickly, and from the heart. When he was confronted by Nathan the Prophet, he admitted he was guilty and showed genuine remorse. David’s confession and repentance was matched by God’s forgiveness. David didn’t take that mercy and forgiveness for granted, even when he had to suffer horrible consequences for his sins. He talked about God’s mercy over and over in his beautiful Psalms.


David had this genuine, undying belief that God was both faithful and forgiving. I love how he confronted Goliath with only a slingshot and 5 stones and his taunting words, “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” Now, that takes trust and an enormous amount of faith! That is someone who is truly seeking after the heart of God.


Honestly, David is an unlikely hero. His own father, Jesse, overlooked him when Samuel went to Jesse to anoint a new king. Samuel even had to remind him that he had another son. And then when David goes to fight Goliath, his brothers mock him and tell him to go back to the sheep, little shepherd boy.


But Samuel immediately saw something in David no one else did, his heart. God told Samuel not to worry about the buff, oldest son, Eliab, but to go with the shepherd boy because:


“The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)


And because David had a heart for God, he was able to be used by God. That’s his secret sauce. That’s what enabled David to live a life of purpose. He left a legacy filled with incredible faith and deep trust, even in his lowest times. Hiding out in the desert for years would make all of us question our faith in epic ways, but that was the perfect training ground for David to draw closer and closer to the heart of his Heavenly Father.


This is incredibly Good News for all of us who feel small, inconsequential, nobody special. Or maybe we feel like we’ve messed up too much to be used by God.


To that I say a resounding no! Look closely at David’s story, and let it serve to encourage you. Remember, he wasn’t anointed king after he killed Goliath. He was anointed while he was tending the sheep, a lowly job. And on top of that, His anointing was actually kept a secret. He wasn’t officially made king until many years later.


In the years in between, David continued his quest to chase after God’s heart as he wrote so many of the beautiful Psalms that have touched lives for thousands of years. Reading his Psalms feels as if you are reading his diary. One minute he’s on the mountain, and the next he’s deep in the pit. Yet in either situation, he always praised God and trusted in God’s faithfulness.


Perhaps his honesty is why he is relatable to so many. I know that’s what touches my heart and encourages me!


There’s much to be learned from this Hero of the Faith; but as for me, David has kindled a deep desire in me to chase after God’s heart because I also want to follow God’s purpose and plan for my life. Who knows, maybe a song I write or a story I tell will touch someone as deeply as David’s words have touched me. It’s worth a shot!


David stood out because David had a heart that was willing to be used by God, to fulfill the purpose God had for his life. David trusted and believed in the faithful, loving, forgiving, merciful nature of God's heart.


I pray you do as well, my friend!


Hugs and love,



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