Man after God’s own heart

My pastor preached on Psalm 23 this weekend, and I was reminded how David is referred to as a “man after God’s own heart.” Yes, David, the murderer and adulterer, the rich man who stole the lamb of the poor man.

How does such a sinner get such an exalted title? Because the title is one of intimacy, not one of perfection. Certainly Acts 13:22 says that David will “do everything I want him to do”—so obviously obedience is a result. But to be after God’s own heart is to cultivate a deep and personal relationship with him, as seen though many of the Psalms, especially Psalm 51, in which David is repenting of his great sin.

As parents, we expect our kids to screw up. When they do, we don’t desire for them to sit in condemnation and guilt, but to rather repent, come to us, and be restored. This is what God wants—real intimacy, not performance. He wants you to share your heart, even your imperfect, sinful heart, with him, and He gives the grace and strength to endure, to resist temptation, to walk in the Spirit, etc. One of my great challenges is to run to God in the midst of my neediness, fear, and temptation, rather than run from him in shame over my failure. I am convinced that this is characteristic of someone after God’s own heart.

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