In chapter 12 of THE STORY we looked at king David. David was known as a ‘man after God’s own heart’. He had moments of incredible faith, integrity, worship and obedience to God’s laws. He conquered the oversized man Goliath as a teenager when all the soldiers were peeing themselves in fear.
But one of the things I love about the Bible is it doesn’t just give us stories of people ‘knocking it out of the park’, it gives many examples of people swinging and missing…in the 9th inning when the team was down by one and the bases were loaded. The Bible gives us stories of faith and obedience, but also stories of struggle, weakness and failure.
In chapter 12 of THE STORY entitled ‘The Trials of a King’ we see some failures and struggles that David went through. One of the huge blowups in David’s life involves a scandalous affair with Bathsheba, deceiving, and a cover-up murder of her husband Uriah.
It made me think of how broken we are as people. People of God, people that are striving to follow Christ and live in faith and obedience to Him. The Bible is clear that we are all sinners. We all fail miserably at hitting the bullseye on the target God has set for us. ALL of us.
One night David was out on top of his palace and he saw Bathsheba in the distance bathing…naked. He had a choice and he had to make it quick…but he lingered. He thought, he inquired about who she was, he summoned her and the rest is history.
I believe that’s how sin is often in our lives too. It often hangs in the balance of a split second. We may be sitting on the fence and could easily go either direction. The lyrics of an old song come to mind ‘My mind is telling me no, but my body…MY BODY is telling me yes’ (sorry for that). You can read the apostle Paul’s version of the song right here in Romans 7:14-25. And in a moment we make a choice that may honor God or rejects God.
In Matthew 23:25-26 Jesus is in the middle of grilling the religious leaders and says:
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”
God is not simply concerned about us being good people, but about our hearts. I believe in those moments where temptation strikes we often go the way of our heart. Often the ‘issues’ are just signposts pointing towards ‘the issue’ of the heart.
Some common ‘issues’ people struggle with: Gossip, Lying, Lust, Porn, Pride, Idolatry, Anger, Stealing, Selfishness, Self-Sufficiency, Lack of Love, Materialism, Stinginess, or Drunkenness.
And so often we struggle against these issues (myself included), but things went wrong because of my heart.
So I want to ask, how’s your heart? Are you constantly feeding your soul on God’s word and pouring it out in prayer? Are you slowing down enough to focus on Him, and to evaluate you? Are you surrounded by people you can have real conversations about to spur you on to further seek God? There is no ‘quick fix’ for having a heart after God’s heart, but it can quickly go if we let it. We will continue to struggle on this side of things because we are all broken people, but we should continue to grow in our journey to be like Christ.
Everything can change in a spit second sometimes with catastrophic consequences. But God wants our hearts to be ‘for Him’ for the long-run.