Summary: A humble heart is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship with God.
Humility, Yielding, Surrender
Throughout scripture we see a truth that is the bedrock of our relationship with God: a humble heart. It’s a heart that finds joy in yielding and surrendering its will and desires to God’s will and desires. Sadly, this doesn’t appeal to many in the Body of Christ today. It sounds too much like submission, which is a good word by the way. But it has been so misused and twisted by some leaders in the Church that the love of God has been choked right out of it.
I’d dare say this is one reason why many Christians don’t truly understand what it means to live before God with a heart that’s humble, yielded, and surrendered. These three words communicate the same powerful truth that David expresses so beautifully in Psalm 119:128 – “Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right: and I hate every false way.”
When the Lord began His search for King Saul’s replacement, 1 Samuel 13:14 says that He had one criterion: “a man after his own heart.” Most of us are familiar with this verse. The Holy Spirit recently peeled back a layer of understanding for me. I love it when He does that!
God had TO SEARCH for a man whose heart would willingly follow His heart. God had TO SEARCH for a man who would hear His instructions and make a willful decision to obey them. God found in David a heart that was teachable – a heart that would follow Him.
The contrast is so vivid to me. God searched for a man who was not like King Saul, who, verse 13 says, had not “kept that which the Lord commanded.” A couple of observations:
First, when God named Saul king, 1 Samuel 9:2 said “there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.”
The word “goodlier” means “handsome.” Saul was handsome, tall and now a king. The people “looked at him” and “looked up to him.” Somewhere along the way, Saul began to let the people influence how he reigned rather than the One who chose him to reign.
Second, in 1 Samuel 13 we see that, instead of waiting for the appointed time for Samuel to arrive and offer the sacrifice, Saul gets impatient and decides to offer it himself. This sad event shines a light on a life of disobedience that culminates with his death, after seeking assurance of victory against the Philistines from a familiar spirit.
God SEARCHED for a heart like His until He found it.
As God’s sons and daughters, we have His heart in us. Unlike David who, because of a sin nature had to willfully decide to obey God, when we make a willful decision it is oftentimes a decision that disagrees with our hearts.
Now listen to me – our new nature does not have to decide to follow righteousness. We can obey our Father simply because that is who we are.
David said in Psalm 119 that whatever the Lord said was right. For us today, we would say “whatever the Bible says is always right.” It doesn’t matter the subject. The Bible is always right.
We’re talking about humility, yielding and surrender. We can attach whatever meaning we like to living a humbled, yielded or surrendered life, but it will always boil down to what the Bible says is always right.
And there’s the rub. Many Christians disagree with the Bible on the behavior it identifies as sin. Instead, they want the Bible to be fluid, to change, to adapt to the mores of society. It’s....not....gonna....happen!
For David, all the precepts of the Lord – every mandate, every commandment – became his standard for right and wrong. Ladies and gentlemen, this must be our hearts desire today. We must esteem, place above all else, what the Bible says and let it establish the rhythmic beat of our hearts.
Turn we me to Psalm 138:2 – “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above
Now look at Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I change not.”
We’re going back to the Psalms, this time Psalm 119:89 – “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”
Turn to Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever.”
The passages we just read communicate two key things.
First, there is nothing in this world that the God of universe reveres more than His Word – the Bible. And when He says His Word is settled in heaven, He saying – now grab a hold of this – He’s saying it is not going to change.