Summary: This is the first message in a series i titled HEARTBEATS. It is a study in the life of numerous characters from the Bible whose heart was constantly beating for God. What does it mean to be a man after God's heart? That is the focus of this message.
“Chasing God’s Heart”
1st Samuel 16:1-13a and Acts 13:22
Shug Jordan who was the football coach at Auburn University, asked one of his former players (named Mike) if he would help him do some recruiting that year. He says, “Well, sure coach…..just tell me what kind of player you’re looking for.”
The coach says, “Well, you know there’s that fellow, you knock him down and he just stays down!” Mike said, “We don’t want him, do we, coach?” He says, “You’re right.”
Coach says, “Then there’s that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, you knock him down again and he stays down.” Mike says, “We don’t want him either, do we, coach?”
Coach says, “You’re right. No, we don’t….but Mike, there’s a fellow you knock him down, he gets up, knock him down, he gets up, Knock him down, he gets up!” Mike says, “Oh, that’s the guy we want, isn’t it, coach?” Coach says, “No, we don’t want him either. I want you to find the guy who’s knocking everybody down. That’s the guy I want!”
From Genesis to Revelation, we find God selecting men and women who would not have been obvious choices if we were making the decision.
Look at the list:
• Moses stuttered
• Jacob lied
• Timothy had ulcers
• Abraham was too old
• Jonah ran from God
• Thomas was a doubter
• Martha was a worry wart
These were not the kind of people you and I would have expected God to pick for His purposes. But the Bible tells us that not only did God choose these men, He did it on purpose. He did it deliberately. God deliberately chooses people that you and I would probably overlook. And in this passage, today, we find God doing it again.
As the story opens, we see that Israel had a problem. They needed to replace King Saul. Now, why replace Saul? Saul didn’t seem like such a bad person to have as king. He was handsome, strong. He was tall, taller than anyone else in Israel. And at the beginning he seemed wise. And he was very popular. Everyone seemed to like Saul. Everyone was impressed with him. Everyone except God.
God’s problem was simple – when Saul was faced with tough decisions, when he was faced with difficult choices and he knew without a doubt what God’s will was…….He knew what God wanted Him to do……But he didn’t do it.
Saul made his choices based on fear.
• Fear of failure
• Fear his army would abandon/leave him
• Fear his enemies would destroy him
• All kinds of fear – in fact, it seemed that Saul seemed to fear everything and everyone except God.
So, the Bible tells us that God rejected Saul as His King & (listen) God went looking for someone after His own heart.
A man after God’s heart. Now here’s the question: “What does that look like?”
First of all it is not about our physical appearance…..outside, looks at the heart.
A group of high school students were asked recently, “If you could change anything about yourself, anything, what would it be?”
“I wish I had better grades?”
“I wish I was healthier?”
“I wish I had more athletic ability?”
“I wish I had more money?”
“I wish I was more popular?”
None of those! 90% responded in this survey with this answer: “I would change my physical appearance.” The girls want to be thinner; the boys want to be taller; and they both want to be free from pimples/acne.
Listen, the Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. The Lord looks at the heart.
God isn’t impressed with:
How handsome or beautiful we are
He’s not impressed with our wealth
Not impressed with our accomplishments
Not impressed with our college degrees
“What God looks at is the heart. The Bible says that the eyes of the Lord run throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
So what does it really look like? You know what? I can’t completely define it today. What does it look like to have a heart like His? For the next 8 weeks, this is what I hope to unpack some of these truths for you. Today I want to give you 3 guiding principles from the scripture. Three principles to guide us in developing a heart like His.
The Principle of Putting Jesus first in everything. If we are going to be men and women after God’s (own) heart, then our lives must be completely focused on Jesus, not on ourselves. David said to the Lord, “You are my Lord. Apart from You, I have no good thing.” Godly people recognize that life is not about us; it’s about Him. They’re willing to step aside and allow God to get the glory.