As believers in Jesus Christ, we are all on a faith journey with Christ. Whether we are old or young, a new believer or a mature follower, we are being transformed into the image of Christ as we live in and through Him. As you reflect over your faith journey, even over the last year what noticeable difference has Christ made in your life? As a new creation in Christ Jesus, how do you think differently as you mature and bring every thought under the obedience of Christ? When you make decisions, do you consider how Jesus would respond if He were to make that same decision? Can you see how your responses are becoming less like the world and more like Christ? Do you search His heart through the Scripture and follow His example? Does your heart reflect the Christ within? Are you walking close enough to your Savior to see how God is developing you on your faith journey in and through Him?
Let us consider David since God testified that he was “a man after His own heart” (1 Sam 13:14; Acts 13:14). David lived out his faith confidently knowing in Whom he stood. God developed David’s faith in the fields caring for his father’s sheep. The omniscience God knew that one day David was going to need the strength, courage, and total dependency on Him to stand and fight the giant Goliath to protect God’s flock, so he allowed him to fight and have victory over the bear and a lion to protect Jesse’s flock. David knew in Whom he “lived, breathed, and had his being” (Acts 17:28). Listen to the words of David to assure Saul that he could stand against Goliath: “When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock…Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear…The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Sam 17:34-37). Embrace the strength in the LORD with David as he rebukes Goliath for defying “the armies of the living God…You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” (1 Sam 17:36-45). Praise be to God!!! To Him be the glory!!
David made hard decisions even against the advice of his mighty men because of his heart for the LORD. He honored Saul’s position as God’s anointed and refused to take his life twice, even though Saul was continuously pursuing David to kill him (1 Sam 24:1-22; 26:1-25). David stood strong against his own men attesting, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD” (1 Sam 24:6, 10; 26:9-11). David even rebuke Abner for not protecting Saul: “Why didn’t you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. What you have done is not good. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men must die, because you did not guard your master, the LORD’s anointed. Look around you. Where are the king’s spear and water jug that were near his head?” (26:15-16). Praise be to God! Where are we on our faith journey? Would we stand against our closest friends and counselors to do what’s right in God’s eyes?
David was far from perfect, but when he sinned, he had a true heart of repentance. Remember how deep David fell into sin with Bathsheba and his heartless plan to cover up his sin, but when God sent Nathan to rebuke him, he was broken to the core (2 Sam 11:1-12:25). Listen to the heartbreaking Words of the LORD: “I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul…I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? (12:7-9). “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD…He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground. The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them…Then David got up from the ground…he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (12:13-20). To God be the glory! What about us, do we humble ourselves and have a true heart of repentance with a turning from our sin before the LORD? Sadly, I’m afraid, if we truly search our motives for saying “I’m sorry” we will find it still comes from a self-seeking heart not one of true repentance. Do we walk in Truth?
So, where are we on our faith journey? Are we authentic? Do we seek and search for the heart of God in the Scriptures and then apply that wisdom to our lives? Would God testify those beautiful words over us: “He/She is a man/woman after My own heart?” When I go on from this life to meet my Savior face-to-face I long to hear those most precious words, “She is a woman after my own heart. Well done my good and faithful servant. She fought the good fight; she finished the race. Welcome home.” Praise be to God!! To Him be the glory!! Amen.