Photo by Philip Ackermann
And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘ I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Acts 13:22
In all of history, there wasn’t another person whom God referred to as a man after his own heart. This title was only reserved for David. And looking at David’s life we don’t have to wonder why God thought he was a man after his own heart.
Something specific stands out on why God thought David was after his heart. He says, “David will do all my will.” The Amplified version says …A man after my own heart [conforming to my will and purposes], who will do all my will.
From this passage, we see that God knew one thing about David, and that is he was going to do everything that God required him to do. No shortcuts, no bargaining, no negotiating. He will go wherever God wanted him to go. Do whatever God called him to do. Say whatever God wanted him to say.
It wasn’t that God was looking for a man who could trust in Him, (even though this is important) but that God was looking for a man he could trust with His heart.
Can God trust you with his heart? Can He trust you with his ideas and purposes? Can you be trusted with intimacy? Can He trust that if he reveals His will you will do it without compromise?
Sometimes, we say we want more of God not knowing more of God in our lives will require some adjustments we might not be ready to make.
God could trust David with his heart. Today God is looking for men and women He can trust with His heart. He is looking for people who will draw near to Him and learn His heart, His ways, and His purposes and do what He asks us to do.
David didn’t just know God, He knew what God wanted and He did exactly what God wanted.
How was David a man after God’s heart?
He always inquired of the Lord. David was never presumptuous of what the will of God was in a situation. He made sure to seek God’s counsel and direction in everything he did. There are so many instances that we see him doing this. Therefore David inquired of the LORD…1 Samuel 23:1-3 Then David inquired of the LORD once again…1 Samuel 23:4 So David inquired of the Lord…1 Samuel 30:8 Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years…and David inquired of the Lord 2 Samuel 21:1
Even when David had won a few battles. Even when he had become great at being king, he still did presume to know what to do. He made sure to ask the Lord beforehand. I believe this was the secret to his success. There wasn’t a battle that David didn’t win because he always inquired of the Lord before going to battle.
He didn’t negotiate obedience. God could rely on David to do even the hard things that no one wanted to do without compromise. Saul, his predecessor’s reign was littered with disobedience. He obeyed some and disobeyed when it was inconvenient for him and in Acts 13:22 we are told that God deposed of him. God became tired of Saul’s constant disobedience and got rid of him.
And this is when He found David. David says of God’s commands, I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart. Give m understanding that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart .psalm 119: 32,34. I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments. Psalm 119:60. And it was testified of David’s faithful obedience, because David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and did not turn aside from anything he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 kings 15:5
He worshipped God with his whole heart. Worship was at the center of David’s life. It didn’t matter what David was in the middle of. It didn’t matter if it was convenient or not. It didn’t matter if he was in the valleys or the mountaintops, David was going to worship. No blessing was big enough to take his eyes off God, not a throne, not wealth and notoriety. Not even the love of women could take David’s heart away from worshipping God. He was undistracted in his desire to worship God. The book of psalms is filled with David’s worship. God was his hunger and thirst and this made him a man after God’s heart.
He was patient to wait on God. He didn’t try to make things happen on his own, he didn’t do things his way, he wanted God’s way in everything so he waited on God. He waited on God’s timing and his ways. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!’ Psalm 27:14 Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:7 But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. Psalm 38:15 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40: 1 If you read the psalms you will see that David was a man who was well versed with waiting. And he did it well; this made him a man after God’s own heart.
He was quick to repent. David wasn’t perfect and I love this because it gives us hope that we too can be people after God’s heart. God wasn’t looking for a perfect heart; he was looking for a willing and repentant heart. And when he sinned against the Lord he quickly repented, he didn’t justify his sin. He says, against you, you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Psalm 51:4 He didn’t try to vindicate his sin. He repented and came into agreement with God. He was also careful not to sin against God. Your word have I hidden in my heart that I may not sin against you. Psalm 119: 11.
We can see why God could bet on David to do everything He wanted him to do and why He called him a man after His own heart. We too can be men and women after God’s heart when we learn to lead our lives as David did.