Friday 13th April / After God’s Heart 1 Samuel 8 & 17; 2 Samuel 7 & 11

“The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people” (1 Samuel 13:14)

Israel’s first attempt at Kingdom rule under Saul didn’t go well.  Saul was the tallest man in Israel, but unfortunately massively insecure.  Under the pressure of leadership, Saul unravelled, disobeying God and threatening to kill his own son.
The prophet Samuel launched a search for the man LOVE had chosen next.  Samuel looked for outer greatness.  But LOVE was looking for inner greatness and found it in David.  Underdog from the start, David defeated the giant Goliath not by his own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit in him.  David had pursued LOVE in his heart, and pursued LOVE’s ways in his actions.
The only thing David really needed to do to succeed was preserve his Integrity.  This was put to an early, extreme test under Saul’s persecution.  David passed the test.  But later, his lust for Bathsheba got the better of him.  David failed, committing adultery and murder.  David’s integrity was only restored when he turned from his wrong and returned to LOVE.
Nothing can separate us from LOVE’s saving action in our lives.  However badly you’ve failed, none of us will have fallen from the same height as David, and few of us will have sunk so low.  LOVE saved, forgave and restored David.  We can be sure then, that LOVE will save, forgive and restore you and I if only we will turn back to him.  The book of Psalms are a prayer book, written to help us constantly turn back to LOVE with total honesty.  Many of the psalms give voice to uncomfortable emotions and things about ourselves that we’d rather pretend aren’t there.  But LOVE wants all of us and is unafraid.  Our intimacy with LOVE will grow when we allow ourselves to be totally honest in prayer.
Let’s pray today for our honesty, purity and integrity.  Let’s ask LOVE to help us not to fall prey to temptation.  That we will be delivered from evil.  Let’s also pray for national and local leaders in government, business, education, health, media and the arts and also in the church.  They are under tremendous outer pressure and also – like all of us – must maintain their inner integrity too.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

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