I know I have fallen flat on my face time and time again. I have not lived up to God’s standards. I know for a fact that I’ve broken 8 of the 10 commandments… ok, actually, all ten since Jesus says having unrighteous anger toward another is as if you have murdered him and looking lustfully at another person is as if you’ve committed adultery. (Matthew 5:21-30)
There have been times that I have chosen to wallow in my self disparagement and I have felt as though I’m worthless. God would never chose to love or work through someone like me.
At these times I have forgotten key aspects of my Savior. God is Love. God is Mercy. God is Grace. God is Forgiveness. My Redeemer has removed my sins from me as far as the east is from the west! (Psalm 103:12) He does the same for each of you who put your trust in Him.
Time and time again throughout scripture we see men and women doing stupid things and making stupid choices. We see people committing heinous crimes, sinning more than I would think possible, and wrecking their lives and the lives of those around them. Yet God still forgives those who humble themselves before Him. He is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (A phrase that’s found at least eight times in the Bible!)
I want to be a (wo)man after God’s own heart. But how do I become that??? Well, firstly, I want to see who in Scripture is referred to as someone after God’s own heart. The one and only person who got that title is David (1 Samuel 13:14 and Acts 13:22)
You mean, the man who committed adultery, got that woman pregnant, sought to cover up his mistake by bringing her husband home from war to look like HE impregnated her, panicked when her husband wouldn’t sleep with her until all the troops were back, and then sent the husband back into battle with clear instructions to make sure that man was in direct line of fire so he would be killed (2 Samuel 11)? THAT DAVID???? HE was the one person who was given the title of a man after God’s own heart?
Yes, David did all those things. Yes, he committed actions most of us couldn’t fathom. Yes, he was a sinner.
But, with all that, he still had a whole heart for the Lord. When the prophet Nathan called him out, David fell flat on his face before the Lord (2 Samuel 12). Just read the amazing Psalm he wrote in repentance for his sinful actions.
Have mercy upon me, O God,
According to Your loving kindness;
According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
And cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin is always before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done this evil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
And blameless when You judge.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,
And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me hear joy and gladness,
That the bones You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.
Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners shall be converted to You.
Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
The God of my salvation,
And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise.
Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,
With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.
Wow! That’s the kind of repentance I want to have. That’s the heart cry I want to go up to the Lord when I fail.
The best part is that, even though David probably didn’t have any idea he’d become well known for being the man after God’s own heart, he knew wholeheartedly that he had been forgiven. Just read the Psalms. Verse after verse and psalm after psalm David’s heart for the Lord and knowledge of His mercy is expressed. David knew God in an amazingly deep and intimate way. Because David knew God so deeply, he also knew exactly where he was headed.
I want to echo the words of David in Psalm 23 – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
A huge thanks to Bailey from Becoming Bailey for helping pick this topic and for cohosting this month’s faith and fellowship linkup! I hope each of you head over to her blog, read her post, and stay a while!
If you’d like to brainstorm and cohost next month’s topic with me, feel free to email me at susannah.kellogg(at)gmail.com
Please linkup your A Man After God’s Own Heart posts below and PLEASE hop around, gaining encouragement from one another. Who knows, you might find your new blogging BFF and the two of you could spur one another on to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24). The Linkup is open until next Friday so feel free to take some time and meditate on this truth and write up your post sometime next week! I’m excited to read what each of you have to say!
Jennifer – The Deliberate Mom
October 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm
This so so lovely! David is a wonderful example of a man after God's heart. There are so many examples of this kind of forgiveness and love in the Bible… it's amazing. The scripture shows us how Jesus came to redeem all of us… regardless of what we have done. So beautiful.
Thank you for sharing your joy and love of the Lord.
October 25, 2013 at 2:08 pm
I love this. I think it's incredible how God used such a sinful broken man like David and sets him apart as an example for the rest of us. There is hope for us in seeking the Lord's heart, because we don't have to be perfect!
October 25, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Psalm is one of my favorite books of the Bible. I love David's humanness and his ability to return to God with love and repentance. Love your take on this topic!
October 25, 2013 at 6:28 pm
This is so encouraging… life and Christianity can seem so complicated sometimes, but remembering who God is and who we are, and how our heart should be in that relationship, really simplifies things!
Bailey @ Becoming Bailey
October 25, 2013 at 7:54 pm
I love this! I love reading Psalms because it's so evident that David desired to know God intimately.
October 25, 2013 at 8:26 pm
This is a beautiful reminder that while we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), Christ still loves and forgives us. I totally forgot that this Friday was the last Friday of the month. My how time flies. 🙂 I'll have to consider this, and get a post up next week.
October 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm
Forgiveness – what a gift! Praise God for it ♥
David's story is phenomenal. I love reading about him. God is so good for giving us these timeless stories that inspire and help us with our lives.
Fashion | Food | Travel
October 26, 2013 at 5:24 am
Such an inspiring post.
Made me remember why David is one of my favorite characters in the Bible,
and how God's love encompasses everything.
Heart n Soul
October 26, 2013 at 9:31 am
Thanks for visiting my blog, appreciate your kind comments. Nice to find yours out in the blogosphere.
October 26, 2013 at 3:37 pm
I like it so much, how you put the psalms into your texts! This is so inspiring!
October 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm
Absolutely loved this! It is always amazing to think of how God can use you and take your brokenness and turn it into something beautiful. Thanks for the reminder!
October 27, 2013 at 6:39 am
So amazing. Such forgiveness is such an overwhelming thing to me….and reading this just made it even more evident to me why I long to know and be close to such a compassionate and tender Lord! Thank you!
October 27, 2013 at 7:22 pm
I love that, slow to anger. That is my favorite Christ-like quality that I always strive to improve. Thank you so much for sharing this!
October 28, 2013 at 2:32 am
This post is such an encouragement to me right now! Thanks!
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October 29, 2013 at 3:14 pm
I think that David being a man after God's own heart is one of the most encouraging things in the bible! I love knowing that even though we mess up badly, God sees our repentance and forgives us. Great post, girl!
The Lady Okie
October 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm
What a lovely post! I think we forget sometimes that David was so flawed. People think they're too sinful to come to God, but that's the whole point! Thanks for sharing 🙂
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