CHARACTERISTICS OF A HEART FOR GOD
King David had a heart for God.
No, he wasn’t perfect by any means. But he loved God and pursued God with his heart. He had a heart for God. How about you? Do you want a heart for God? Do you want to chase after God with the desires, hopes, dreams, and aspirations of your heart?
“What are the characteristics of a person’s life who seeks after God’s heart?”
The prophet Samuel describes the characteristics of a heart for God in 1 Samuel 5:1-6:23…Samuel writes…
1 Samuel 5:1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. 2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince[a] over Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years
CHARACTERISTIC. #1: OTHER PEOPLE SEE GOD’S HAND ON YOUR LIFE.
You don’t have to have a formal title for others to see God is using your life for Him. In verse 2 they knew Saul was the formal King but they all knew David was God’s King. They knew he was the one actually leading them not Saul.
You don’t have to have a formal title for others to see God has called you to lead for Him. Others who follow God will see God in you. The people declared in verse 2 what God had said to David about him being their leader, prince, and shepherd.
Rest in this and let God bring to you the title, the formality, the position, the opportunity, the blessing at His appointed time. David was a teenager when he was anointed to be King, but it wasn’t until he was thirty that formally this happened. And he was almost forty before he fully ruled over Israel. The distance between God’s calling and practically God fleshing that out, can be decades. Be patient! Remain a person after God’s own heart and eventually your life will catch up to the words God has spoken over you regarding your calling and purpose in life.
Look at what the Psalmist says about this in Psalm 138:8…
Psalm 138:8 “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.”
Be patient, God is at work in you, through you, and for you.
Samuel the prophet continues…
6 And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off”—thinking, “David cannot come in here.” 7 Nevertheless, David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. 8 And David said on that day, “Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him get up the water shaft to attack ‘the lame and the blind,’ who are hated by David’s soul.” Therefore it is said, “The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.”
So, what’s going on here, because this is kinda of a weird passage. Let me ask you a question before we unpack this passage. Would you rather have confidence or determination? If you could only pick one which would you pick?
Confidence: a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Determination: firmness of purpose; resoluteness.
The Jebusites were confident David couldn’t break into their fortress. They taunted him. They were confident in their position.
David was determined to get in there. Determination finds a way in the face of confidence. If you are determined, you will eventually figure it out.
Because David’s determination exceeded the Jebusites confidence, he crafted a plan they had never considered. They built a fortress no one could get into. But they needed water to live and David crafted a plan to attack them through a means no one had ever thought of.
CHARACTERISTIC #2: YOUR DETERMINED TO FACE THE IMPOSSIBLE.
And I would add…and eventually breakthrough and figure it out. Don’t give up, don’t give in, and don’t give out and God will do the impossible through you.
9 And David lived in the stronghold and called it the city of David. And David built the city all around from the Millo inward.10 And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
God’s presence determine David’s success. It increased with time.
11 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also carpenters and masons who built David a house. 12 And David knew that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.
CHARACTERISTIC #3: YOU REALIZE YOUR SUCCESS COMES FROM GOD.
David knew the Lord had established him and that God had exalted his kingdom.
13 And David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron, and more sons and daughters were born to David. 14 And these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went down to the stronghold.
Leading for God puts a target on your back. If you don’t know that yet, you will learn it soon enough.
CHARACTERISTIC #4: GOD’S ENEMIES TRY TO COME AFTER YOU.
18 Now the Philistines had come and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 And David inquired of the Lord, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand.” 20 And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim.[c] 21 And the Philistines left their idols there, and David and his men carried them away.
22 And the Philistines came up yet again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 And when David inquired of the Lord, he said, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees.
24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
David did as the Lord commanded him and struck down the enemy. The key to successful godly leadership is obedience to God’s voice.
CHARACTERISTIC #5: YOU INQUIRE OF GOD AND OBEY.
1 Samuel 6:1 David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale-judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim.3 And they carried the ark of God on a new cart and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. And Uzzah and Ahio,[a] the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart, 4 with the ark of God,[b] and Ahio went before the ark.
5 And David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the Lord, with songs[c] and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. 6 And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God.8 And David was angry because the Lord had broken out against Uzzah.
David and Israel was celebrating the victories God had given them and this is important, but they crossed a line. Israel knew of the protocol for handling the ark of the covenant and they were lax in dealing with those protocols and it cost Uzzah his life and it made David angry. But we will see, David learned a valuable lesson. Life is not about us. It is about God and His holiness and our treatment of Him as a holy God. In success, we sometimes ignore the sacredness of God’s presence and His standard in our lives. And when that happens, God gets our attention, as He did David. And it might make you angry, for a time, but as time goes on, you realize God has a way in which He wants us to treat Him. This matters, it matters greatly.
12a So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13 And when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting and with the sound of the horn.
16 As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat,[e]and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.
20 And David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince[f] over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord.
22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your[g] eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.
CHARACTERISTIC #6: YOU MAKE WORSHIP YOUR SUPREME FOCUS.
-Above your ego, your relationships, your image, your dignity, how others view you, you name it, you let go of it and make worship your supreme focus and calling in life.
Matthew 16:24 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Have you given your soul to Jesus? If so, do you worship Him like you have? Does He get the best of who you are? Do you worship Jesus above everything and everyone else in your life? God wants us to be people after His heart. God wants us to seek Him with all that is within us. Maybe you have never given your life to Jesus and today is the day to say yes to Jesus. Maybe there is something between you and God that needs to be dealt with today, I encourage you to worship Jesus today with all your heart.