Most of us are familiar with the Scripture where God calls King David “a man after My own heart” and we often refer to David as a man after God’s own heart. As we look at the Word to understand more about having a heart after God like David did, we will see what it means and how to keep our heart ready and prepared for more of God. We will also see that we are responsible for the condition of our own heart. God helps and heals but we must maintain a heart after God at all times.
Preparing Your Heart For More of God EBook Devotional is one of the steps in this process and you can purchase the EBook Devotional below and begin preparing your own heart by working through this 14 day devotional. Prepare your heart to receive all God has for you.
The first mention of God looking for a man after His own heart is in 1 Samuel 13:13-14. Samuel, Israel’s prophet, was speaking to Saul who was King of Israel about his impatience and disobedience. The Philistines had gathered to do battle with Israel and the Israelites knew they were in great danger. It was customary in situations like this for the priests (which Samuel also was) to offer a sacrifice to God as they asked for help and guidance. Saul was the but did not have the authority to offer the sacrifices. That job had been given to Samuel by God.
Saul got tired of waiting for Samuel to arrive and perform this duty so he did it himself. Samuel arrived just as Saul was sinning in this way and said to him, “You have done foolishly. You 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. 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 of His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you. ” 1 Samuel 13:13-14 NKJV
A Heart After God
At this time, David would have been a very young boy or perhaps was not even born. Yet, God had already chosen him. Saul continued to be King for 7 more years and, by Chapter 16, we see that a new King is being chosen to replace Saul. Samuel, whose duty it was to find a new King, goes to a man named Jesse and has Jesse bring all his sons before him. Eliab, the eldest son, came before Samuel and Samuel said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” But God answered and said, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.”
Eliab was a handsome man from a Godly family, so why did God reject him? Next, 6 more of Jesse’s sons came before Samuel but none of them were the one. Samuel asked Jessie if he had anymore sons and Jessie said he had one more son who was out tending sheep. Samuel asked for the boy to be brought before him and along came David.
The Bible says he was ruddy (perhaps fair-skinned or red-headed) bright-eyed and good looking. And God said, “Arise, anoint him. For this is the one!” So, David the youngest and least likely of Jesse’s 8 sons was anointed as King of Israel even though Saul was still on the throne and would continue to be for 7 more years. Samuel anointed David and “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that day forward.”
David – A Man After God’s own Heart
David was a very young man when he was first anointed and was anointed as King on 2 more occasions. He had to wait seven years after his first anointing to finally become King.
Acts 13:20b-22 NIV says this, “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. After removing Saul, he made David their king. God 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.’
David had a heart after God and God had known it since before he was even born!
And, David did follow God in everything except one thing. 1 Kings 15:5 NIV, “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” When David sinned against Uriah, he also repented. He had lusted after Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, and then ordered that Uriah, a brave and faithful soldier, be put in the front of a battle knowing that he would likely be killed. He was and Bathsheba became David’s wife.
Psalm 51 is David’s song of repentance. Everyone in Israel knew what David had done. Everyone then knew of his repentance before God. In fact, millions and millions of people know of David’s sins.
For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
The Imperfect Example is Perfect
David, the man who had a heart after God, sinned openly, endured the consequence openly, and repented openly. He made no excuses for what he had done and he sought forgiveness and help from the God he served and loved with every part of his being. David is our example of how to have a heart after God. He’s the perfect example because he was so imperfect! Like us, he failed. As our example, he kept his heart pure through open, honest repentance. The man with a heart after God, was the perfect imperfect example for us.
The Word has a lot to say about the heart. As we just saw, the heart is what God looks at. We can look pure and awesome on the outside, but if our heart is defiled, that is what God sees. Saul was tall and handsome. The people really liked him. But Samuel had seen the problems with Saul from the beginning. The people got what they wanted – the man who looked so good on the outside. But God saw his heart and it was not a heart after God.
What is the heart in Scripture? Here is Psalm 51, the Hebrew word used for heart is led. Here is the definition of that word from Strong’s Concordance:
Strong’s Hebrew 3820: 1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding 1a) inner part, midst 1a1) midst (of things) 1a2) heart (of man) 1a3) soul, heart (of man) 1a4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory 1a5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will) 1a6) conscience 1a7) heart (of moral character) 1a8) as seat of appetites 1a9) as seat of emotions and passions 1a10) as seat of courage.
Heart After God Scriptures
The heart in the Bible is the seat of everything that comprises a human being except for the physical body. It is our innermost being – heart, soul, mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, inclination, resolution, will, conscience, moral character, appetites, emotions, passions, and courage. This is the part of us that must be guarded, kept pure, and given fully to God. We must continually ask ourselves, “Is my heart a heart after God?” The scriptures on our heart are many and here are a few that sum up the importance of our heart.
Psalm 51:10-17 TPT, Create a new, clean heart within me. Fill me with pure thoughts and holy desires, ready to please You. May You never reject me! May You never take from me Your sacred Spirit! Let my passion for life be restored, tasting joy in every breakthrough You bring to me. Hold me close to You with a willing spirit that obeys whatever You say.
Then I can show to other guilty ones how loving and merciful You are. they will find their way back home to You, knowing that You will forgive them.
O God, my saving God, deliver me fully from every sin, even the sin that brought blood guilt.
Then my heart will once again be thrilled to sing the passionate songs of joy and deliverance!
Lord God, unlock my heart, unlock my lips, and I will overcome with my joyous praise!
For the source of Your pleasure is not in my performance or the sacrifices I might offer You. The fountain of Your pleasure is found in the sacrifice of my shattered heart before You.
You will not despise my tenderness as I humbly bow down at Your fee
The Heart of man
This incredible passage written by King David gives us full instruction regarding repentance, forgiveness, grace, praise, and how to maintain a heart after God. David says that God takes pleasure in his shattered heart. Why would God want our heart to be shattered? The Bible says that God gives us a new heart. He takes away our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh.
The only way to fix a hard heart is to shatter it. A stone can’t be softened and turned back into clay. Instead, it must be shattered completely to make way for the new one. Just as the we must put off the old man who loves sin and put on the new man (Christ), our heart must also be renewed and exchanged.
Ezekiel 36:26 NIRV, “I will give you new hearts. I will give you a new spirit that is faithful to me. I will remove your stubborn hearts from you. I will give you hearts that obey me.”
Jeremiah 17:9 NIRV, “A human heart is more dishonest than anything else. It can’t be healed. Who can understand it?“
Proverbs 4:23 NIRV, “Above everything else, guard your heart. Everything you do comes from it.”
Matthew 5:8 NIRV, “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure. They will see God.”
Jeremiah 17:10 NIRV, “The Lord says, “I look deep down inside human hearts. I see what is in people’s minds. I reward each person in keeping with their conduct. I bless them based on what they have done.”
Some of these verses should be eye-opening:
- Our heart is more dishonest than anything!
- Everything we do comes from our heart and it is our responsibility to guard our heart.
- God sees everything that’s in our hearts and minds.
Hebrews 4:12 NIRV, “The word of God is alive and active. It is sharper than any sword that has two edges. It cuts deep enough to separate soul from spirit. It can separate bones from joints. It judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart.
Matthew 15:18-20 NIRV, “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart. Those are the things that make someone ‘unclean.’ Evil thoughts come out of a person’s heart. So do murder, adultery, and other sexual sins. And so do stealing, false witness, and telling lies about others. Those are the things that make you ‘unclean.’ But eating without washing your hands does not make you ‘unclean.’ ”
James 4:8 TPT, “Move your heart closer and closer to God, and he will come even closer to you. But make sure you cleanse your life, you sinners, and keep your heart pure and stop doubting.”
In James we again see the responsibility we have for maintaining a pure heart. Only a pure heart can be a heart after God! But how do you do that and why do you need to do that? I think the Scriptures we’ve looked at explain why. If you want to be be closer to God, more like Jesus, and experience the fullness of God’s pleasure and love, you need a pure heart – a heart after God.
Jesus said this, “You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment..’ Mark 12:30 TPT
Nothing is held back – God wants every part of us – intellect, will, emotion, body, soul, and spirit. He wants to see a heart after God. He wants our heart to reflect His heart.
Proverbs 3:3-4 TPT, “Hold on to loyal love and don’t let go, and be faithful to all that you’ve been taught. Let your life be shaped by integrity, with truth written upon your heart. That’s how you will find favor and understanding with both God and men—you will gain the reputation of living life well.“
Proverbs 28:14 NIV, “Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.“
Psalm 119:11 NIRV, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t sin against you.”
Those three verses give you some tips on maintaining a heart after God and protecting your own heart along with telling us how to protect our own hearts:
- Hang on, don’t let go of your love for God.
- Be faithful to what you have been taught in the Word
- Live a life of integrity.
- Write truth on your heart.
- Always be in awe of God.
- Don’t harden your own heart.
- Hide the Word of God within you – memorize and know it.
Preparing Your Heart For More Of God
If our heart is filled with anger, resentment, hatred, indifference, or sin, we need to work on getting it ready, preparing it to be able to receive more of God.
God always wants to give us more but our heart must be a heart after God or it can’t receive what He has for us. Preparing your heart and then knowing how to keep it in good condition will allow you to receive all God wants to give you. He wants to give more than you realize. We are His only hindrance. We need to open our hearts, minds, and souls to receive and prepared for what God wants to do.
A Heart After God
The goodness of God is what draws us to repent of our sin. it isn’t fear or guilt or shame. It is His goodness. From the beginning, He wanted to be all we needed. He wanted to protect and care for us. Now, through Jesus that is again a reality. Through Christ, we can experience all the goodness of God. But, it requires our hearts to be in the right condition – a heart after God. Our heart must be fully His and must be a heart after God every moment of our lives.
Like David, we don’t have to be perfect, just honest with God about our failures weaknesses, turning to Him for all our needs. God does not condemn or mock us. Instead, He extends His goodness, mercy, and love toward us and we can receive it as long as our hearts and desires are after Him. Keeping our heart searching after God is the basis of our walk of faith.
*SYBN uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one please visit this page – Scripture Citations.