Weekly Devotional by Steve Craig
After God’s Own Heart
I will begin this devotional where I ended up during my study of some relevant scriptures. Saul was the first king appointed over God’s people. He had a lot of things going for him and was embraced wholeheartedly by the people. Most importantly Saul had a man of God, the prophet Samuel, to advise and guide him as he ruled. Samuel tried to direct Saul in the ways of God. The problem was that Saul did not accept that guidance and made many decisions contrary to instruction from God. In the end, God was so displeased with Saul’s disobedience that He sent Samuel to deliver a message to the king. “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee” (I Samuel 13:14).
God had chosen David as king to replace Saul, although it would be a few years before David would sit on the throne. In contrast to the attitude demonstrated by Saul (disobedience and an obvious lack of devotion to the things of God), David would have a desire to please God. The next king of Israel is described by God as “a man after his own heart.” The scriptures provide a lot about the life of David, and many like to read the story of his life in the Bible. David had victories of faith recorded in God’s word, and he had failures of flesh documented as well. He had times of depression and fear coupled with hope and trust. Many of the Psalms reveal the thoughts of this man known as one after God’s own heart. The songs and meditations written by David continue to minister to the hearts of believers as we identify with him as we journey in our faith. The desire of many believers is to somehow have a relationship with our Savior that could be described as “after God’s own heart.”
If we are serious in our desire to be after the heart of God, there is no better place to progress thereby than in prayer. I would like to draw our attention to two passages in the psalms where the man acclaimed by God to be after his own heart speaks about praying:
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” (Psalm 5:2-3)
“Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.” (Psalm 143:7)
So many psalms portray a discourse between the subject and his God. In these two references, one cannot help but notice the time of day in which they occur, morning. “Early will I seek thee,” says David in Psalm 63. How much closer will the believer be when he or she begins the day with conversation with God. In Psalm 5, God hears David’s voice in the morning; in Psalm 143, David hears God’s tender mercies in the morning. Each new day brings a path that must be walked. How much better will be our way when God speaks in our heart “wherein I should walk” (Psalm 143)?The meditation for this devotion began with the verses from the Psalms about prayer. This led me to remember how David was a man after God’s heart. Prayer was a demonstration of that desire. If we have that same desire (God’s heart), we too should be seeking God each morning. When I looked up the reference about David in I Samuel, I read about Saul and how God had turned away from blessing him as king. God chose a man who had learned to pray in the morning and get close to Him for guidance. We should do likewise. God is waiting to hear from us.