This is a rewrite of a message I sent Christmas night. However, my wife (lovingly) pointed out that it was confusing, repetitive and disjointed. In other words, a mess. So, I sat down and, I hope, corrected what I was trying to say. As I pointed out in the first note, I began writing this mid-afternoon, on Christmas Day. After joyfully, later that day, the Lord faithfully answered some prayers for my wife! A great Christmas present for her!
The reason I bring this up is because Jesus made a promise to us:
“I can guarantee this truth: . . . If you ask me to do something, I will do it” (John 14:12-14).
This is a promise to all of us! Not just to some who are special. It is not because we are special, but rather because Jesus is special! He made this promise because if we have made Him our Lord, He brings us into His family and “isn’t ashamed to call [us] brothers and sisters.”
As His “brothers and sisters,” we can not only depend on Jesus answering our prayers, we can also depend on His wisdom and directions regarding whatever concerns we face. In fact, sometimes the Spirit of God will speak “Rhema” to us. A Rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that the Holy Spirit speaks directly to our spirit providing direction or guidance. Yes, every word of God is inspired. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval” (II Timothy 3:16). However, this unique illumination, this “Rhema,” is different.
Jesus explained this way:
“Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words [the Rhema] that I have spoken to you are spiritual” (Matthew 4:4). Jesus also said, “The words [the rhema] that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life” (John 6:63)
Do you see the significance?
This has happened to me many times. As a matter of fact, about a year ago, I received a “Rhema” saying, “Son, you can ask anything from me, and I will do it.” His announcement was so clear and provocative; I was shocked. Yes, I had read that passage many times, but this spoke “Life” to me! I was obviously confused and asked, “Why me?” That’s when the Spirit of God reminded me of something said about David: that he was “a man after His own heart.”
Now, I would be honored if the Lord ever said that about me, but what in the world does it mean? Well, Paul answered that question when he said, “God said, ‘I have found that David, son of Jesse, is a man after my own heart. [Why?] He will do everything I want him to do.’” (Acts 13:22). See? The reason that David was given such an honor is that his greatest desire was to do whatever he was instructed to do! Whoa! But what about all of those sins David committed? I mean those awful and terrible sins, including adultery and murder? How could the Lord say that David was a man “after my own heart“?
I mean, come on! Yes, David’s life was a portrait of success, but, oh so many failures. And the Scriptures never hid any of it. There is no doubt that he was a long way from being perfect. So, what made David so good that God was able to profess good things about him?
Did God know that David had committed all of those horrible, ungodly sins over an extended period of time in several different settings and circumstances (in other words, these were not flukes or exceptions to the rule). But, he was also severely punished for his sins but why was he still allowed to remain within Yahweh’s presence and within His Kingdom? Despite all of his harsh discipline, David was still loved and anointed by his God, but why? That is what we are trying to figure out.
The best I can come up with is that two factors stand out: identification and zeal.
David never quit identifying himself with Yahweh, nor did he lose his zeal for Him, or his love and respect. Sure, there were times when you think he had, but no, his faith remained sincere! You can see this because David never tried to usurp the Lord’s sovereignty, and whenever he was confronted with his sin, he was deeply grieved and broken.
David actually ran some drastic extremes. He was either very hot, or he was very cold. What I mean is that he was determined to act in the most pious and faithful way possible, like when he refused to kill Saul, even though Saul was close enough and all of his men were saying, “kill him, kill him!” But David ignored them and remained quite honorable. On the other hand, although he fully expected others to obey God’s laws, when he became king, he often allowed his own “evil inclinations” to rule his life. He sometimes actually seemed to see himself as above it all and committed the most heinous sins; and as a father, he never disciplined his children or made them accept responsibility for their sinful actions.
But as I said, whenever he sinned, he repented. He didn’t repent because he got caught, but rather because he finally realized that he had sinned against God. That is something we need to learn. I mean simply admitting our sin and asking for forgiveness is only half of our responsibility. The other half is repentance. Psalm 51 is David’s prayer of repentance to God:
“Have pity on me, O Elohim, in keeping with your mercy.
In keeping with your unlimited compassion, wipe out my rebellious acts.
Wash me thoroughly from my guilt,
and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:1–2).
So, to close this out, David was a man after God’s own heart because he demonstrated his faith and he was committed to following the Lord! That’s it. Yeah, yeah. His faith was tested, and yes, there were many times when he failed. However, and this is important, after committing sin, David asked for and received the Lord’s forgiveness. This is why David remains a role model for all of us.
(I send out messages like this each morning in emails, and if you are interested in receiving them, send me your email address and I will add you to the list: Mail List)
I do thank you for your gifts. It is your faithful and continued support that makes these messages possible.