Summary: going after God
Intro: in 20 years of pasturing I have made many trips to the hospital for people having open heart surgery, but only once did I have someone who was having a heart transplant. This is an amazing thought, you have a heart that is so diseased that you are going to die, and you receive a brand new heart from someone else and you live. I guess all of us from time to time wish we could get a heart transplant, not in the physical realm, but that we would be given a spiritual heart that would function perfectly for God. Since that cannot happen, here is the next best thing, developing the heart you have into a heart after God. By looking at David’s heart we can see some important steps in developing a heart after God.
Developing A Heart After God
· this is one of the most amazing verses in the entire bible. It states that the secret to David’s greatest was his heart going after God. It is my desire that all of us have hearts after God, so tonight, let’s look at a few scriptures about David that I believe are keys for us following hard after the Lord.
I. Developing A Tender Heart—I Samuel 16:11—the great prophet Samuel has visited the house of Jesse, he came to anoint one king of Israel, but none of the sons there were chosen. So Samuel said to Jesse, are these all your children, and Jesse said, there remains one more, but he keeps the sheep. Samuel said, we will not sit down till he comes.
Now I know for some hermeneutical experts among us, this cannot be proven as the litmus test of the heart. But I believe working with sheep is the best step in developing a heart after God. Over the years I have met a lot of ministers who say they enjoy the ministry, it’s the sheep that they can’t stand.
· Sheep keeping is a low status position, normally given to the one at the bottom of the family pecking order. So David isn’t some high and mighty theologian with a wall of degrees, but a graduate of the school of hard knocks, and real life situations.
· loving people is the proving ground for loving God—I John 4:20—if you say you love God but hate your brother, you are a liar, how can you say you love God who you can’t see, but hate your brother who you can see.
II. Submission to Authority—I Samuel 17:17-18 Jesse sends David to take food for his brothers who are in battle. Now by looking at the response he receives, it would be easy to say, hey, Dad, they wouldn’t do it for me, or they don’t care about what is going on with me, why should I care what is going on with them. But David submitted to his father’s authority as a prerequisite to carrying the mantle of God.
· You cannot be fully used by God, if you don’t submit to the authorities that God places in your life. God will place people over you to verify your submission level. God will not place anointing, gifts, and power onto a vessel that will walk in constant and open rebellion.
III. Jealous for God—I Samuel 17:26 the next part of this story is while David is bringing his brothers some food, Goliath is shouting out statements against Jehovah God. David cannot believe no one is willing to respond for God. Here is the next step in developing a heart after God.
· You develop a heart after God the more you stand up for God. The more you make a profession of God. You can say you have a heart after God all day long, but from the abundance of your heart the mouth speaks. David spoke out what was in his heart.
· I am sure that David’s brothers all loved God, but none of them were willing to put their heart into it. The more you stand up for God, the more you speak out for God, the more your heart will be filled with God.
IV. Yielded to the Spirit—I Samuel 17:34-36 David told Saul, just like
when the bear and the lion tried to come after my sheep, the same
Spirit on my life, the same anointing will crush this giant too.
· I believe every time we yield to the Spirit of God our hearts become softer and more sensitive to God. The more we quench the Spirit of God, the more we become hardened to the things of God.
· I think there are a lot of people who want to go out and slay giants before they first kill a few lions and bears. My point is this: let God develop your heart every day, and in time your heart will be a heart fully given to God.