A heart after God is what God is looking for. We’ve been talking about glass ceilings, these limits that appear in our lives that stop us from becoming who God wants us to be. I wanted to contrast Saul and David, 2 kings who had ceilings, but very different outcomes.
We’ve been talking about glass ceilings, these limits that appear in our lives that stop us from becoming who God wants us to be. I wanted to contrast Saul and David, 2 kings who had ceilings, but very different outcomes, 2 different men, one with a heart after God.
So we’ve looked at Saul’s glass ceilings, things like fear, impatience and jealousy, and Saul showed many more ceilings, things like deceit and anger. These placed limits on his potential and the tall, good looking, charismatic King Saul lost both his throne and his life because of these glass ceilings.
To wrap up this series, I want to focus on David. He too faced glass ceilings, but he was dealin’ with the ceilin’ differently!
CEILINGS DAVID PUNCHED THROUGH
Facing Goliath, Saul and the army quivered in fear…
1 Samuel 17:11 (ESV Strong's)
When Saul and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine, they were dismayed and greatly afraid.
But David, faced with the same situation, punched through this ceiling, because he has a heart after God
1 Samuel 17:36 (ESV Strong's)
Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.”
He drew on past victories, he drew on a deep faith in the God he knew intimately and trusted completely to overcome the fear and gain victory!
Saul got impatient and offered an unlawful sacrifice in 1 Samuel 13, but many times in Scripture it says this of David…
1 Samuel 30:8 (ESV Strong's)
And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?”
David made better decisions than Saul because he had a different heart.
GLASS CEILINGS THAT LIMITED DAVID
He had a heart after God but he still had glass ceilings in his life. He still had major character flaws that limited his potential. We all do of course, but David’s flaws were spectacular!
Sexual sin proved to be a glass ceiling for David for quite a while, And was very nearly his downfall. Then he arranged for the murder of Bathsheba’s husband Uriah to cover it over and legitimise it…
2 Samuel 11:27 (ESV Strong's)
And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
How many men are undone by sexual sin? David tried to legitimise his sin, explain it away, but let’s not make the same mistake today. With over 35% of all data transferred on the internet related to porn, with Porn sites receiving more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month, men, we need to say no! This is a ceiling in many people’s lives today! You might feel the temptation, but rather than letting it become a glass ceiling in your life, you need to be the one who says NO!
David also had a glass ceiling in his parenting. He was a great king and a lousy parent, with his kids raping, murdering and trying to usurp his throne.
Yet even with these and other spectacular glass ceilings limiting aspects of his life, most of them being “worse” in our eyes than Saul’s ceilings and sins, things panned out differently for David. I want to discover why!
A HEART AFTER GOD
So Saul never broke through the glass ceilings in his life, yet David, whose sins and ceilings seemed to us a lot more difficult, overcame them. Offering an incorrect sacrifice doesn’t seem on the scale of adultery or murder, but David found a way through where Saul did not. What made the difference?
There are 2 main differences, and the first can be seen in their responses.
When confront with his sin, Saul responded with excuses and blame shifting, as most people do today in our society. It’s never my fault, it’s my upbringing, my parents, never my mistakes.
It’s like Charles and Purnella Bull of Minnesota, caught stealing TV’S and computers who claimed a friend told them it was all free. Or a guy who was clocked speeding at 103 miles per hour, and he claimed he’s dyslexic and thought is was 031 mph. Or the nan who sued his neighbour fir driving over both of his hands… He was stealing his neighbour’s hubcaps at the time.
This is what happened with Saul…
1 Samuel 15:19-22 (ESV Strong's)
Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you pounce on the spoil and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” And Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord. I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me. I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have devoted the Amalekites to destruction. But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” And Samuel said,
“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to listen than the fat of rams.
God makes it clear, He wants obedience, he wants repentance, not excuses, not blaming others, and not an argument as to why you did it and your motives. Just repent, and be obedient, because obedience is worth more than religious acts or excuses!
David too faced a stern rebuke by the prophet Nathan after he had sinned with Bathsheba. But he handled it completely differently, because he had a heart after God…
2 Samuel 12:7 (ESV Strong's)
Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul.
2 Samuel 12:13 (ESV Strong's)
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die.
David didn’t make excuses, didn’t blame his upbringing or drugs or parents or church or school or dyslexia, he just said, yes, Lord, You’re right, I’m wrong, I repent! He had a heart after God.
And that right there melts God’s heart. People are always running around, trying to get God to give them what they want, and the answer is right there!
Repent and be obedient, do whatever it takes to be close to the Lord, and repentance, being truly sorry and acting on it (the important bit), is what opens incredible favour with God.
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
When Samuel was searching for the future king, he had it narrowed down to a single family. He saw a likely candidate in one son,
1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV Strong's)
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
When God looked at Saul and David, what did He see? When He looks at your heart, what does He see?
Saul’s heart was shown to be fearful and self centred early on, but God gave Him chance after chance…
1 Samuel 10:9 (ESV Strong's)
When he turned his back to leave Samuel, God gave him another heart. And all these signs came to pass that day.
Even later in his reign, Samuel encouraged him, with these words…
1 Samuel 12:24 (ESV Strong's)
Only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.
Saul had a chance, he had more than a fair go, but time and again he acted impulsively, selfishly, disobediently and he hit the glass ceiling of fear…
DAVID’S HEART AFTER GOD
When Saul proves his heart to be faithless, Samuel told Saul that the kingdom would be taken from him and given to another…
1 Samuel 13:14 (ESV Strong's)
But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
David was described as a man after God’s own heart... He had a heart after God. The apostle Paul, who ironically was called Saul previously, used the same phrase for David,
Acts 13:22 (ESV Strong's)
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.’
The last phrase is the key… Who will do ALL my will. A man after my own heart for God is someone intent on doing all the will of God. Will he be perfect? Nope. Will he ever sin? Sure to. God’s not looking for perfection, or religious observance, or people trying to manipulate a blessing out of Him, He is looking for a man or woman whose heart fully belongs to Him! Who has a heart after God.
BUT WHAT IF I’VE …
The incredible thing to me is that, despite what David did and the spectacular sins he displayed, God’s favour was there for him all of his life. And the reason is that David was a man after God’s own heart… It all came down to his heart, and he had a heart after God.
What’s your past like? Have you got sins that the devil keeps throwing in front of you? Have you sought God, repented of your sin and known His forgiveness? Some of you here may have sinned as spectacularly as David, but David repented and truly knew the forgiveness of God, and you can too. Maybe some of you have been forgiven by God but you need to forgive yourself.
1 John 1:9 (ESV Strong's)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Psalms 103:12 (ESV Strong's)
as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Whatever sin you’ve committed in your past does not disqualify you from dedicating your life to serving Him now, and being used by God to impact your world, if you have a heart after God. Nothing in your past, not divorce, not an affair, not an abortion, not stealing, lying, anger, faithlessness, nothing disqualifies you from recommitting you’re life right now, and starting afresh!
IT ALL DEPENDS ON YOUR RESPONSE
Throughout his life David wasn’t perfect. He sinned and repented time and again. But he sought God, worshipped God, honoured and obeyed God. He lived his life for God, he asked God for guidance and he wrote Psalms about this same God, because he had a close and intimate relationship with God.
David committed incredible and devastating sins, ones that today’s church would write him off for, but because of his heart, God forgave and restored him... He had a heart after God.
And this same God is looked for such a man or woman right now, someone with a heart after God. Whatever you’ve done, whatever you’ve been in the past, you are not lost, you are not written off, God has a plan for you, and this same God is searching for those after His own heart.
2 Chronicles 16:9 (ESV Strong's)
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.
WILL YOU BE THE ONE?
Are you this person? Are you the one fully committed and blameless before Him? Right now, centuries later, God is still looking for a man or a woman after His own heart.
150 years ago evangelist DL Moody was challenged about his relationship with God, and he famously said…
The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”
— D.L. Moody
I aim to be that man for mygeneration! And I’m asking you to join with me.
In every generation it falls to some people, a man or a woman after God’s own heart, to rise up and proclaim the gospel to a sick, twisted and dying world. You can be that person. And we can help you do it!
The people you meet, the family, the workmates, the ones you pass in the shopping centre. We call them non Christians, unbelievers or the unchurched, but they are lost, destined to a eternity in hell, separated from God, from love, from life. And God is still looking for those fully committed, ready to pay any price to stand for Christ and reach out to their community.
This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of souls right across the world, and today I’m asking you to join with me and be that one, the man or woman after God’s own heart.
And it all starts now. I’m ready to dedicate my life to Jesus afresh. To be that man after God’s own heart, to have a heart after God. To be the man fully consecrated to Him. My question is, are you?
Will you stand with me and commit yourself to whatever God leads you to be to serve Him, to commit to being a man or woman after God’s own heart, at any price. Ignite is a church that wants to win souls and wants to impact our community. Will you join us? Do you have a heart after God.
You can pursue many good things in life, career, family, wealth, but let commit to a higher calling, and let us pursue God and His will first… Let's commit to a heart after God!
The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”