Engaging the Father's Heart
“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).
Of all the interesting human characters in the Bible, I am most intrigued by King David. Not because of his pure ingenuity in penning some of the most beautiful and fascinating psalms; not because of his interesting personality; not even because of all the great feats he achieved, but because of all the men mentioned in the Bible, David is the only one the Father called a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). What did he do to earn him such an exalted place of honour? What was it about this imperfect man that engaged the Father’s heart in such a profound way? How could this be the man after the Father’s heart despite his life being so full of drama and troubles? In the midst of it all, he must have done something right.
As I studied the life of David, I found a man who was passionate about God to the point of obsession. He was a man with a deep reverential fear of the Lord; he constantly inquired of the Lord for guidance; he was humble and quick to repent, and most importantly; he diligently obeyed the voice of the Lord. I found a courageous warrior whose trust in the Lord was unshakable; whose confidence was not in his own ability, but in the power of his God. I found a man who boldly made his boast in the Lord; a skilled and acclaimed musician whose anointing was potent enough to drive out an evil spirit. I found an audacious risk-taker who stepped forward to defend the name and people of the Lord when others retreated in sheer terror; a man whose fervent love for the Lord bordered on fanaticism. I found a man who was not too cool to offer undignified worship to the Lord, not caring that he was being ridiculed. I found a man who was unapologetically a “God freak”. His HEART attracted and held the attention of the Father.
The Book Of Psalms is every songwriter’s “Go To” in the bible and David is widely reputed to have written about half of the Book of Psalms. The desperate desire of every worshipper and worship leader is to feel the Father’s pulse and to capture the Father’s heart, which David seemed to have done very successfully.
Below are some of the key lessons I believe every worshipper can learn from David’s very impactful life:
1. David loved God deeply and passionately. He pro-actively sought after God with all his heart, as evidenced by his writings. He put a priority on developing his relationship with God. (Psalm 18:1, Psalm 26:5, Psalm 116:1, Psalm 132:1-5)
2. David lived a life of obedience. It is expressly made clear in Acts 13:22 that it was his heart of obedience which qualified him to be the man after God’s heart. Not only did He seek instructions from God, he obeyed the voice of the Lord. Of course, he had his moments of weakness, but he was quick to turn back to God when he missed it. (1 Kings 11:4, 1 King 15:5)
3. David loved the law of the Lord. His delight was in the law of the Lord, and he meditated upon it with great zest and devotion. (Psalm 40:5, Psalm 19:7, Psalm 119:47-48)
4. David constantly inquired of the Lord for guidance before making decisions. He was attentive and receptive to carry out the Lord’s instructions. He regularly communed and communicated with God, and constantly sought God’s will for his life. (I Samuel 23:2, I Samuel 30:8, 2 Samuel 2:1, Psalm 27:4)
5. David was humble and was not too proud to readily admit his transgressions. Whenever he sinned, he was quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. He was open to sound counsel, rebuke and correction, even as a king. (2 Samuel 12:13, 2 Samuel 24:10, Psalm 51:1-2)
6. David was a prayerful and an extravagant worshipper. He put priority on praising and worshipping God. He was more interested in pleasing God than in impressing people. His worship was not affected even when his request was not granted (e.g. when he lost his child with Bathsheba). (Psalm 5: 3, Psalm 55: 7, Psalm 9: 1-2, 2 Samuel 6:22)
7. David respected God ordained authority. Even when he had good reason to, he refused to touch the Lord’s anointed because of his reverential fear of the Lord. He was afforded multiple opportunities to easily kill Saul knowing that Saul was after his life, but He reverenced God too much to touch the king. (I Samuel 24:10, I Samuel 26:23-24)
8. David had great faith in God. Throughout his life, his faith would be tested on a grand scale, but his faith and trust in God did not waver. His faith in God made him bold and courageous in the face of danger and terror. In his confrontation with Goliath, we see him venture into a potentially fatal situation with such calm and confidence in the Lord. (I Samuel 17:45-47, Psalm 18:2-3, Psalm 31:14)
9. David always acknowledged God and never took the glory for what God did. He made his boast in God. In all his victories and accomplishments, he always gave glory to God. (1 Samuel 17:37, Psalm 34:1-2, Psalm 144:9-10)
10. David loved the people of God. David’s love for God translated and transferred to God’s people. This love drove him to put himself in harm’s way to defend God’s people.
I am sure there are many more lessons that we can learn if we take the time to study David’s life and the Psalms he wrote, but this gives us a glimpse into why he was considered to be a 'man after God's own heart.' If David could engage the Father’s heart in such a profound way without the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, how much more for us who are in Christ Jesus who have the privilege of the ever present help of the Holy Spirit. Only through engaging the Father’s heart can we help others to come into a place of intimacy with the Father.
Isabella Ogo-Uzodike (Isabella Melodies) is part of the Soul Survivor Watford Worship Team. She is a passionate worship leader, speaker and award winning gospel recording artist with 8 studio albums under her belt. She is also the author of the book, The Worshipper After The Father’s Heart. Isabella is married to Pastor Ogo and they have four grown children. We love you Isabella!