After God’s Own Heart

It’s not that he never messed up. He did. He messed up plenty, just like the rest of us. So, I always wondered why God considered David—this shepherd, musician, king—to be “a man after my own heart.”1 What did He see in David—this adulterer, deceiver, murderer—that made him emerge so favorably from all the other wrongdoers in the world?

It’s not that this king of Israel’s “golden age” was inherently better than anyone else; his self-assessment mirrors our own, “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”2 Knowing this sad state of the soul, David staked his life entirely on the absolute love and mercy of God. When his predecessor Saul faltered in faith, he distanced himself from God and wrapped himself in a thick coat of excuses. Not so, David! Quite to the contrary, when David messed up, he turned to the only place he could fine help, God’s own heart—running not away from Him in fear, but to Him in faith; spurning not God’s character with doubt, but honoring His goodness through trust; and not shutting out his God in shame, but opening himself completely before the only One who could remove it.

It’s not that God’s favor rested only upon David. Like him, we have every confidence in God because of His own unwavering faithfulness. To the church, the apostle Paul writes, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.”3

This is the reality in which we who are in Christ now gladly live. Though we sin, Christ lives in us as our holiness,4 in fact, through Christ, God has taken the initiative to draw us near to Himself.5 So, we, too, live confidently before God, forgiven, reconciled to Him, and free from accusation—after God’s own heart, we might say, just like David.

Father, thank You for Your patience and your faithfulness. Help me to accept in faith Your great love for me, and free me to live before You and others in confidence, hope, and joy. May this life bring You glory. In Christ, I pray. Amen.

Christ in me is holiness.

1 Acts 13:2
2 Psalm 51:
3 Colossians 1:21-23
4 1 Corinthians 1:30
5 Ephesians 2:13