"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
What Is Idolatry? Final Part
We can never say that we have no sin in us according to First John 1:10, however, we can have a heart without idols. King David in all his awful sin was a man after God’s own heart:
“13 And Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” (First Samuel 13:13-14 NKJV)
What is a heart after God? What does that kind of heart look like? Acts 13:22 gives us insight as we try to answer these questions:
“And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.” (NKJV)
A man after God’s heart is a man that:
1. Is passionate about God’s will:
This is a man that will do literally whatever God tells him to do.
2. Recognizes that he is nothing without the Lord:
“O my soul, you have said to the Lord, “You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.” (Psalm 16:2 NKJV)
There is very little room for personal arrogance for a man or a woman whose heart is after God. They recognize and admit their own humanity.
3. Is quick to repent when engaging in sin:
When David slept with Bathsheba, Prophet Nathan confronted him. David could have gotten Nathan killed for daring to confront him in such way, but he did not. In Second Samuel 12:7-15 we see how this awful story unfolded:
“7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon. 10 Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’”
13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.” (NKJV)
4. Is hungry and thirsty for God’s manifested presence:
It may sound strange, but even as a heart without idols still struggles with sin, because his spirit is free from idols, God’s manifested presence is indeed what they desire the most. In God’s presence they are happy, in God’s presence they are free and only in His presence are their souls totally satisfied.
“One thing I have desired of the Lord, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord, And to inquire in His temple.” (Psalm 27:4 NKJV)
5. It is a heart that has a relentless trust in God and brings giants down with ease:
Somebody with a heart after God is a courageous person. This is the kind of heart that David showed when he killed Goliath.
6. Is a heart that honors God’s anointed leaders:
David had two chances to kill Soul who wanted to kill him over jealousy; however David did not do it because of His respect for God. David could have said: “I am anointed by God to be the next king” and thus accelerate the process to be the king by killing soul, but he did not. David refused to kill God’s anointed even as it was justifiable to do so (First Samuel 24).
7. Knows how to receive God’s forgiveness:
Many of us have a hard time receiving God’s forgiveness; that could be, believe it or not, a sign of pride as you find yourself surprised that you screwed up so bad. But David knew he messed up, repented from his heart every time, recognized his condition according to Psalm 51, and then knew that God forgave him. In Psalm 26:1-6 David made some of the most shocking statements:
“Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. 2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. 3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O Lord.”
The same David that took one of his faithful soldier’s wife and then set the man up to be killed in battle. The same man that ordered a census of the people, even as that was something that God said not to do. Even with all the blood in his hands, David establishes his integrity, challenges the Lord to search his heart and declares his innocence. Wow! But do you know why he was able to make these statements? Because David knew God in an intimate way and he knew that God forgave him.
8. Is free:
Having a heart after God does not mean that you will not suffer. David suffered a great deal; however God healed him from all of his pain. First King 1:29 tells us:
“And the king took an oath and said, “As the Lord lives, who has redeemed my life from every distress.” (NKJV)
Beloved, today…right now…is a good time to throw away the idols in your life. Today is a good day to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. Today is a good day to be a man or a woman after God’s heart. Today you can enjoy a heart without idols. Today you can set your spirit free. Today I encourage you, in the name of the Lord, to go after the promise land of your destiny and destroy the giants that get in your way…Go, for if you destroy your idols, God will be with you and will give you great victories to destroy the giants!