GOING AFTER THE HEART OF GOD
GOING AFTER THE THINGS OF GOD
1Sa 13:1-14 KJV 1 Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, 2 Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. 3 And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. 4 And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal. 5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Bethaven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. 7 And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. 8 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. 9 And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. 10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. 11 And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; 12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. 13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. 14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.
A man after God’s own heart.
This expression occurs only here and in the quotation, (Act 13:22 ) “I have found David the son of Jesse, (Psa 89:20 ) a man after my own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.
1. It was uttered by Samuel on the occasion of his reproving Saul for not obeying the commandment of the Lord (ver. 13).
2. It formed a part of the announcement of the purpose of God to appoint another man to be “captain over his people” in consequence thereof. The time of its fulfillment was not defined, nor was it known to the prophet who he should be; it is uncertain even whether David was yet born.
3. It was descriptive of his character in contrast to that of Saul, and it had respect to him in his public official capacity as theocratic sovereign rather than in his private moral life.
That this man was David is sufficiently clear from the sequel. But in what sense was he a man after God’s own heart? Answer:
1. In his strict attention to the law and worship of God.
2. In his admitting, in the whole of his conduct, that God was King in Israel, and that he himself was but his vicegerent
3. In never attempting to alter any of those laws, or in the least change the Israelitish constitution. 1Chr 11: 34-38
4. In all his public official conduct he acted according to the Divine mind, and fulfilled the will of his Maker: thus was he a man after God’s own heart. In reference to his private or personal moral conduct, the word is never used.
A man who has interest in how the things of God goes, a man who is zealous about the things that concern God. A man that is concerned with what concerns God.
Psa 132:1-5 KJV 1 A Song of degrees. LORD, remember David, and all his afflictions: 2 How he sware unto the LORD, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; 3 Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed; 4 I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, 5 Until I find out a place for the LORD, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
The solemn oath which he took that he would make this the first object; that he would give himself no rest until this was done; that he would sacrifice his personal ease and comfort in order that he might thus honor God. This oath or purpose is not recorded in the history
I will make it my first business to find a dwelling-place for the Lord; a place where the ark may repose
HE CARRIED IT OUT
2Sa 7:1-2 KJV 1 And it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.
GOD DID NOT ALLOW HIM TO CARRY IT OUT BUT SEE THE REWARD
2Sa 7:16 KJV And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.
Some people will say David was the king and he was comfortable that was why he did those things. Nope, that is not true. Look what he said:
1Ch 22:14 KJV Now, behold, in my trouble I have prepared for the house of the LORD an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; and of brass and iron without weight; for it is in abundance: timber also and stone have I prepared; and thou mayest add thereto.
Many of us may have one trouble or the other but from the example of David, those troubles are not enough to make us paranoid and unconcerned with the things of God.
Another instance was when he came across the Philistine called Goliath who had defiled the army of Israel for 40 days. David was sad because of what Goliath was saying and he defended the name of God.
1Sa 17:26 KJV And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
What of Solomon?
After he offered thousands of offerings unto the Lord then God appeared unto him.
1Ki 3:5-10 KJV 5 In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee. 6 And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day. 7 And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. 8 And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. 9 Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people? 10 And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
He asked God to give him wisdom to judge his people right and what was God’s response?
1Ki 3:11-13 KJV 11 And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing, and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; 12 Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee. 13 And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the kings like unto thee all thy days.
2Ch 1:11-12 KJV And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king: :12 KJV Wisdom and knowledge is granted unto thee; and I will give thee riches, and wealth, and honour, such as none of the kings have had that have been before thee, neither shall there any after thee have the like.
How did Solomon know what to ask? When you read the book of Proverbs you will see that David had taught him.
Pro 4:3-7 KJV 3 For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. 4 He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live. 5 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee. 7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
He went after the things of God and it paid off. He became the wisest man ever lived before Christ.
How about Hannah?
Hannah had a challenge but she equally knew what was going on in the heart of God. God needed a priest because Eli and his children had failed. When she went into the temple to pray she specifically asked for a male child not because she did not like a female child. Only male can become priests.
1Sa 1:11 KJV And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
She keyed into what matters to God. Did God reward her?
1Sa 2:20-21 KJV 20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
What of Nehemiah?
He heard of what happened to Jerusalem and he became sorrowful. He was comfortable in the palace, he needed not worry about what was happening at a far away home but look at what happened.
Neh 1:2-4 KJV 2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,
He obtained favour from the eyes of the KIng to go to Jerusalem. Provisions were made for him. He built the wall of Jerusalem and set the gate. He became the governor. When we serve God and go after the things that concern Him, we are favoured and rewarded.
What of Daniel?
Dan 9:2-3 KJV 2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
When he got the knowledge through the book of Jeremiah, he went into fasting and prayer to seek the face of God. He confessed the sins of his people. What was the reward?
Because of his prayers, God moved the heart of the king Cyrus and he let go back. There was restoration.
Ezr 1:1 KJV Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
What of our Lord Jesus?
He told His parents when He was 12 years that He must attend to His father’s business
Luk 2:49 KJV And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
YLT And he said unto them, `Why is it that ye were seeking me? did ye not know that in the things of my Father it behoveth me to be?’
When he went into the temple and saw people buying and selling, He flogged them out.
Joh 2:14-17 KJV 14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables; 16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise. 17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
It was the psalmist that wrote what they call prophetic or messianic psalm
Psa 69:9 KJV For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.
What is consuming many today is not the zeal for the house of God or the things of God but worry and anxiety over the mundane things of this life. It has taken over our heart and we are becoming sick, psychologically and mentally disturbed.
But this is what Jesus said and I believe many of us can remember this scripture. The disciples were worried about what they would wear or eat.
Mat 6:31-33 KJV 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Make the things of God as number one priority, be concerned with what concerns God, be zealous about His house and what Christ died for.
What are the things that matter to God or what are those things that are in the heart of God that we must go after?
In answering that question we must look at what brought Jesus to the earth, what He died for and what He commissioned us for. The great commission.
WE NEED TO KNOW HIS MISSION AND PURPOSE
Luk 5:32 KJV I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Luk 19:10 KJV For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Mar 2:17 KJV When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
Mat 20:28 KJV Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
When He was leaving he gave us this commission:
Mat 28:19-20 KJV 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Mar 16:15 KJV And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Act 1:8 KJV But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Why the commission?
It is because of the value that He places over a soul. The life of any soul worth the amount you are willing to pay for it. The worth of any soul worth the life of Jesus Himself. This is the reason why the Bible says there is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents than over 99 that does not need repentance.
Luk 15:7 KJV I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
Luk 15:10 KJV Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
He gave us the ministry of reconciliation. He has reconciled men back unto God and now it is our responsibility to continue.
2Co 5:18 KJV And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
WHAT HAPPEN WHEN WE GO AFTER THE HEART OF GOD?
Remember, going after the heart of God means loving what loves, championing the cause of God, being zealous for the kingdom, defending, working for and proclaiming the things of the kingdom and having the interest of the kingdom above all other things. It means to love what God loves and hate what God hates. It means to love God above all else.
So what happens when we do that?
- God reciprocates the gesture by special protection.
Eze 9:4 KJV And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof.
Eze 9:8 KJV And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem?
In times of evil, accidents and calamities heaven protects such a person because he is an asset to the kingdom. Others may die but he will be preserved. He said I will give men for your life. All of us are precious but such life becomes much more precious.
- We become exalted above our equals
Heb 1:9 KJV Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
- A book of remembrance is opened for us
Mal 3:16 KJV Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.
- We are rewarded
Num 25:11-13 KJV 11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
- IT GIVES YOU A “MOUTH” WITH GOD
Hezekiah was informed by prophet Isaiah to write his will and prepare to die. Hezekiah would not take that so he turned to the wall and prayed. His prayer was both a demand and prayer of faith.
Isa 38:3 KJV And said, Remember now, O LORD, I beseech thee, how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore.
The consequence was that the same prophet that pronounced him “dead” came back to tell him that he will live 15 more years. When we prioritize the things of the kingdom above all, it gives us a leverage for placing a demand on what is already ours.
God does not want to play second fiddle to anyone. He wants to be number one in all our affairs, usage of time. I know of people that pay tithe of time in prayers. Yet He is not overbearing or suppressive. He only asks us for one tenth which he will pay back again.
Under the new covenant, if we know how much God loves us and all that He did for us, they are enough to motivate us to go after the things of God. Those things we pray for will be an addition to us.
Many people don’t know the reason for their salvation, they don’t know the worth of a soul, they don’t have an idea why Jesus died for us.
Today there is a clash of interest between what matters to God and what matters to us. so many times we neglect the things of God. It is now a matter of convenience, whenever we are chanced, when we are less busy. Sometimes we feel God needs to first solve our own needs before we can be committed to His needs. Most people don’t even know that God has needs.
Our response in reciprocating the good gesture of God will be to go after the things that matters to Him most.
Go after the things of God. David said as the heart panteth after water so also his heart longeth after God.
In the days of David what matters to God was the temple but now we are the temple of God, in the days of Hannah it was a priest but now we are the priests Rev 1: 5, in the days of Solomon it was wisdom that was needed but you see under the new covenant Jesus is our wisdom 1Cor 1: 30. Under the new covenant and in our days what matters to God is what brings more joy in heaven and that is when sinners come to repentance. Let us all key into it. This is the season.
Psa 42:1 KJV To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.