After God’s Heart: Wednesday in the Word

“After God’s heart” feels like an impossible task. Yet right there in 1 Samuel 13:14 it states, “The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.” God sought a man after his own heart, and God found that man. But God found him in the least likely place, at least to the prophet Samuel. And if God surprised His own prophet with the choice, I can imagine it surprised others even more so.

After Samuel and Jesse mistakenly thought Eliab would be king, God gave the prophet a powerful message. “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'” Message given. Message received. Only not.

Jesse continued to parade his biggest and best before the prophet seven more times. Each time, Samuel delivered the disappointing news. God has not chosen this one either. It didn’t even cross Jesse’s mind to bring his youngest, the music loving shepherd, David in from the fields. Samuel had to ask if there was another son available. David’s own dad didn’t think him worthy of the crown!

Samuel and Jesse focused on the wrong thing. The king was to be a man after God’s own heart. To find this man, one needed to look at the heart. Jesse’s other sons were capable. Bravery, strength, and charisma might have oozed from every pore. They may have looked like kings. But they were not chosen for this task.

Instead, God chose the least of the brothers to take the crown. David’s passion for the Lord couldn’t be denied. Sometimes, through the years, he got off track in how he chose to show it. And he made some really awful, sinful choices that affected his family, his legacy as king, and the families of others. Envy, lying, adultery, and murder are the big ones that affected David.

Looking at David from man’s perspective, it’s hard to see how he could be a man after God’s heart. But we’re looking through the wrong lens. When confronted with his sin, David mourned his actions. His sin deeply affected his relationship with God. So, his sin deeply affected him. David wanted to be right with God again, no matter what his sinful actions cost him physically. He didn’t come to God with a “you fix this and then I’ll come back” attitude. No matter what consequences he had to live through, David still sought restoration with God above everything else.

A man after God’s heart isn’t a perfect man. Looking back at 1 Samuel 13, we see a person after God’s own heart is one who keeps what the Lord commands. It’s a person who deems important the things God deems important. It’s one who loves the things God loves. A person who is after God’s own heart is one that reflects the image of Jesus to the world in their actions, words, and priorities. And when they stumble and sin, a person after God’s heart, like David, will feel the distance between them and God and stop at nothing to see the relationship made right once more.

One day I hope others look at my life, with all its successes and failures, and are able to say I was a person after God’s own heart.

Why These Verses?

Normally, I leave Wednesday in the Word posts as devotions only. But I shared these scriptures with you today and my thoughts on them because over the last year, they have taken on deeper meaning to me as I’ve written. My newest novel, Love in the Squared Circle, releases on April 19th. It’s a story that encourages us to look at others with God’s eyes instead of man’s.

Blane Sterling is the current champion of the Universal Wrestling Organization. When widowed mom, Trinity Sterling, meets Blane for the first time, she finds his look intimidating. His fierceness in ring only backs up this perception. But through her interactions with him, Trinity begins to understand there’s more to Blane than she first realized. Soon, she begins to see him as God sees him. But will the other people in her life be able to do the same?

Blane isn’t perfect. Neither is Trinity. And their story, while full of fun and romance, is one that also reminds no one in life is perfect. But like Trinity and Blane, like King David, God doesn’t require perfection to consider people after His own heart. Love in the Squared Circle encourages us to see others the way God sees them and to be the kind of person that when others look at our hearts, they see God’s heart.

Pre-order your eBook copy of Love in the Squared Circle at the link above before April 19th for only $3.99! The sale ends on release day.



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