“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
How fascinating. After all of the sin corroding David’s past, he is the one man referred to as the man after God’s own heart. David is infamous in Biblical history, not because of the incredible things he did nor the incredibly horrible things he did, but because of both. Because he not only slayed an evil giant with a pebble, he also intentionally strategized the murder of a man while trying to cover up how he impregnated that man’s wife as a result of an adulterous affair. The mighty king frantically searching for a way out. This is how David becomes a man after God’s own heart – when the reality of his sin crushes him to the point of spiritual suffocation, he goes running to the arms of Father God. And with every breath of repentance and confessing how unworthy he is, there is praise and adoration. David wasn’t deemed the man after God’s own heart by the people he ruled over or the historians who have studied his life, but by the God who made him. And I think God gave David this title not because of the things he did or didn’t do, but because of the posture of his heart and what God had done in him. The magnitude of David’s sin didn’t prevent him from living a life of ultimate greatness, and ultimate greatness did not give him a successful, rewarding life. It was his brokenness. His repentance. His thankfulness for grace and mercy that always kept him running hard and fast towards God. And if he fell in the process of running? The same repentance and grace that motivated him to begin with raised him back to life. David was a man after God’s own heart because David had a heart after God. It is not until we see our sin for what it truly is that we begin to see ourselves for who we really are – helpless. And in truly seeing how unexplainably helpless we are, we begin to grasp more fully the gift of grace that has lavishly been given to us in Jesus Christ. And in seeing the price that He paid for us, in understanding how far He chose to go on our behalf, and in knowing that He’s still standing there at the throne of the Father vouching for us as we wade in the sea of our sinfulness, how we can we not be completely overwhelmed with love and appreciation? Everyday I turn away. Certainly not intentionally, and probably never on a scale as drastic as David’s. But there I go comparing sin to sin, as if it’s really possible let alone justifiable to do that? I’m impatient. I get frustrated. I look out for myself first. I think something rude that I shouldn’t think or I don’t apply myself as much as I should. And there He is, just waiting for me to turn back to Him. I’m really tempted at this point to say, “Honestly, I’m not a bad person!” But you see, friend, I am. The only thing good in me is Christ. In order to be a person after God’s own heart, I have to be after God’s heart. So, like David, in the midst of becoming immune to my sin and the poison that it is; in the midst of dulling down the weight and gravity of that which separates me from the reason I exist, my heart bends face down on it’s knees in repentance as my hands are lifted high in praise. Wide open, full surrender. Take my heart and make it after You.
Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin,
the exceeding righteousness of salvation,
the exceeding glory of Christ,
the exceeding beauty of holiness,
the exceeding wonder of grace.
“Continual Repentance” from The Valley of Vision
It is not repentance that saves me;
repentance is the sign that I realize what God has done in Christ Jesus.
– Oswald Chambers
“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:5
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 32:5
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1
“Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” Psalms 63:3
“…I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting…For Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret…” 2 Corinthians 7:9-10