My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
(Psalm 27:8 NLT)
More than any other words penned by David, today’s passage of focus touches my heart; further, the NLT translation of his statement touches my heart in an especially deep and spiritually intimate way. I would like to suggest, in fact, that the words of Psalm 27:8 leave us with a life-altering idea of the core foundation of what it means to be a man or woman after God’s own heart in 2017.
It is, after all, an attainable goal. And although it’s a goal that many of us desire to reach on some level, the question is this: are we willing to follow through by answering that desire with a committed response? It is this two-part framework that I’d like us to flesh out as we move through this final installment of our segment on David.
The statement that I’m about to make is not both a painful and socially risky one for me to make. At the same time, it is a loving truth that needs to be spoken. So, so many believers today – I would have to say at least eight of every ten I know personally – are living life with an unfortunate disconnect between a genuine desire to know God with intimacy in the heart and the reality of an actual, deliberate, even desperate pursuit of Him. I love the way one unknown author explains the reasoning for this misfortune; how the emotional side of our hearts is much more readily stirred into desire for that knowledge than the logical side is moved toward the discipline of a proactive seeking of that knowledge. This imbalance, in many cases, leaves Christ’s Body – the universal Church – with people by the pew- or seat-full who are constrained and repressed in their walks with God by great longings and a lack of motivation for turning those longings into realities.
In today’s passage of focus, David demonstrates something that we should all strive to bring to fruition in our own lives. Look back at the verse and study it for a moment; let its words sink deeply into your mind. David has turned his passion – a quest for knowing as a friend the very face and heart of His God – into reality. The Hebrew conjugation of the verb to seek reveals this in detail; in light of that conjugation, his statement shows that David has moved from a spiritual place where he is content to simply feel a desire for more to a place of actively determined action. “I will seek!”
Jesus Himself warned His disciples as well as the Jewish leaders of the danger of allowing this tendency to be moved in our emotions without being moved to action in our lives.
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”(Matthew 7:21).
There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? ‘The first,’ [the Jewish leaders] answered. Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did’ (Matthew 21:28-32).
I would like to suggest a final – perhaps the most valuable – takeaway from our three-day look at this David, so highly regarded by the Father and through whose familial lineage the Father sent His Only Son into the world to save it.
God the Father – mine and yours – takes unmitigated pleasure in humans whose hearts – like mine and yours – rise passionately to act in response to his voice.
He is so pleased when we seek to know Him by inviting His Holy Spirit to come fully to us through spiritual disciplines like quality prayer-time, worship, praise and a deliberately inductive study of His Word. When we pursue, through such practices, an intimate relationship with God, He will awaken our desires for His purposes in our lives and – this is so exciting! – He will guide us toward actions tailor-made for the purpose of enhancing the depth of our experience of His kingdom. Our obedient openness to this guidance is especially important to pursuing a relationship with God because, in reality, the nowness of God’s kingdom resides within followers of Christ and is expressed as we enter into divine partnership with Him to serve as His heart, head and hands here until His final return to earth.
Just as God gave David a heart and passion for responding where spiritual desire and actions meet, He stands ready to instill within us that same willingness to respond in ways that show us to be men and women after His own heart. It is here – where our mere desire and active response come together – that God is glorified through our examples of obedience as well as the fruit that grows from that obedience.
Conclude Day 14 by reflecting on the following questions, then document your PRAYER conversation for today in light of your answers.
In what, if any, ways does joy stir your soul when you think of God calling you to
come and talk with [Him]?
come and talk with [Him]?
How might David’s answer, Lord, I am coming, serve as a structural pattern for your
relationship with God?
relationship with God?
What pro-active steps might you take toward implementing this structure?
Please see Day 1 of the series for suggested content regarding the PRAYER conversation associated with this series.
Praise and Thanksgiving:
Copyright 2017 Carole Anne Hallyburton. All rights reserved.