A Heart for God
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Watch A Heart for God video.
Scripture: Acts 13:16-23
I. Introduction: How would you like to be remembered? Saints such as Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, and Paul have inspired believers throughout the ages. Each of them, although imperfect, is an amazing example of what the Lord can do through hearts that are truly committed to Him. Do you want to be like them—a person who honors God wholeheartedly?
II. We have an excellent example to follow.
The Bible says that King David followed God with all his heart (Acts 13:22-23). At the core of everything he did was a desire to exalt the Lord. The Father wants our paths to be governed by His plans, our interests to be defined by His purposes, and our love to motivate us to obey Him without reservation. When we pursue God’s heart, we find life at its best and a legacy worth leaving to those who come after us.
III. How can we know if we are following God with all our heart?
A. The priority of our life is our personal relationship with the Lord.
A person after God’s heart makes his or her relationship with Him a top priority.David had an overwhelming love and respect for Scripture because it taught him how to draw closer to the Father (Ps. 119:15-16, 105). He often sought God in prayer for strength, wisdom, and the Father’s wonderful presence (Ps. 5:3, 63:6-8).
B. We place our trust in the Lord when facing trials and difficulties.
David trusted in God no matter what hardship he faced. While the rest of Israel’s warriors cowered before Goliath’s terrifying nine-foot frame, David was outraged by how the Philistine dishonored God’s name (1 Sam. 17:45-46). Throughout his life, he endured extraordinary challenges with great confidence that the Lord would help him. Because of David’s faith and leadership, Israel prospered in a manner unsurpassed to this day.
C. We have a strong, passionate desire to obey God.
As a man after God’s heart, David delighted in accomplishing the Lord’s will. His obedience wasn’t motivated by the fear of sin’s consequences. Rather, it was David’s trust and love for God that led him to submit wholly to the Lord. On two occasions, David had the opportunity to kill Saul and take the throne of Israel. Yet he preferred to be obedient to God than to be the king (1 Sam. 24:6).
D. We demonstrate a spirit of humility.
This future king also shows us that a person with a heart for God is humble. David had many reasons to be proud—he was a handsome man, a skilled musician, the Lord’s anointed ruler, a triumphant warrior, and a national hero. Yet in 2 Samuel 7:18, David said, “Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that You have brought me this far?”
E. We demonstrate the spirit of a servant.
When he was young, David accepted his father’s authority and obediently tended sheep. As a worker in Saul’s household, David offered his very best to the king, including his musical talents and skills as a military leader. Finally, David served the people of Israel wholeheartedly as their king. In each instance, he was a dedicated, faithful servant of God.
IV. Conclusion: Do you desire to mirror God’s heart and to influence those around you for good? You would be wise to follow David’s example. Make your relationship with the Lord a top priority, and trust and obey Him in everything. When you succeed, remember that all you are and have is a gift from God. Then you will show the world that your heart belongs exclusively to Him.