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Column: PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – A Man After God’s Own Heart

By: Steve Wilmot

Some strange items find their way to Lost and Found areas in public buildings, airports, schools, amusement parks, and even in Ubers.

Every year, hundreds of articles are left behind in Ubers by passengers who use the service. Uber annually publishes a list of the weirdest items forgotten by passengers that year.

The list for 2021 includes: a human tooth, 22 bundt cakes, part of an ankle monitor, a dinosaur costume, a pinata, a toilet seat, a sack of potatoes, lots of meat and fish products, a raw chicken, a catheter, a neck brace, an oxygen tank, a prosthetic leg, a pan of macaroni and cheese, and a beloved pet’s ashes from his cremation.

Uber reports their drivers were able to return almost all these items to their owners. No word if any of them were so embarrassed by the item that they said it wasn’t there’s.

By contrast, God never loses anything. But he constantly searches for people with specific characteristics to play a role in his unfolding eternal plan.

In a sermon that traced God’s work among the people of Israel from Egyptian bondage to the reign of King David, Paul pinpointed the most important trait God searches for among men and women.

“After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him, ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do’” (Acts 13.22).

God searches for men and women who have a heart like his. A heart which beats in synch with his. It’s the heart that matters to God above every other quality.

God never settles for men or women who look a cut above to the naked eye. He knows it’s a waste of time because failure is guaranteed.

So, when he needed a man to replace Israel’s first king, Saul, he found David — a man after his own heart. It’s always the heart that matters with God.

Why is the heart so critical? Read two reasons spelled out by Solomon and Jesus. “Above all else, guard your heart because everything you do flows from” (Proverbs 4.23).

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15.19).

God searches for individuals who chase after God’s heart to think, act, and feel like God does. Pause and consider the word “after.” It’s a proposition with a dual meaning here.

It can mean there is something you don’t have, so you’re after it. “I’m after that promotion and I won’t give up until I get it.”

The man God is looking for is someone who recognizes he doesn’t have God’s heart yet, but he’s after it. He wants it.

He longs for it like a man parched and dying in the desert thinks only about how he’s going to get water. He’s seeking it and won’t quit until his heart is like God’s.

“After” can also describe someone who demonstrates more and more of the qualities and desires of God’s heart. Like the person someone remarks about, “Look at Suzie.

She sure takes after her mother, doesn’t she?” People can observe areas of similarity between Mother and daughter, and between God’s heart and a person’s heart. “Look at Eddie. He sure takes after the heart of God, doesn’t he?”

In Paul’s sermon, he makes clear that a man after God’s own heart has one overriding characteristic — he does everything God tells him.

Not just the stuff that doesn’t scare him, or that isn’t outside his comfort zone, or that he must understand the reasons behind it first, or that he feels like doing it, or that he doesn’t think will be opposed by others.

Not just 99.999 percent of what God tells him to do, or 80 percent, or 75 percent, or 50 percent. Everything.

King Saul didn’t do everything God told him, but only what he thought best. (Read 1 Samuel 15.3-11, 17-21, 26-28). He was replaced by David, a man who elevated God’s thoughts above his own.

Don’t miss this: The distinguishing characteristic of someone after the heart of God is obedience. Complete. Surrendered. Instant. Undeterred by feelings, fear, risk, or opposition.

When the Bible writers refer to the heart, they have in view the mind, the will, and the emotions of a person. That’s what the heart is comprised of.

A man who’s after God’s heart will…Center his mind on the Word and thoughts of God and choose them over his own thoughts.

Submit his will to do whatever God wants him to do no matter what. Keeps his emotions balanced by setting his mind on God’s Word, promises, faithfulness, and character.

You can choose to center your mind on God’s Word, submit your will to God’s will, and not let your emotions dictate your actions and what you believe.

If you do so consistently and over the long haul, you will become a person after God’s own heart, and God will position you to experience a life beyond your wildest expectations.

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Steve Wilmot is a former Edgerton, Ohio area pastor who now seeks “to still bear fruit in old age” through writing. He is the author of seven books designed to assist believers to make steady progress on their spiritual journey.


 

The post Column: PASTOR’S PONDERINGS – A Man After God’s Own Heart first appeared on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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