This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free, compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Yang Zhang (A fiery evangelist from China writing under a pseudonym for his own protection), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
. . . A man after His own heart. (1 Samuel 13:14)
The one who obeys God is not necessarily a person after God's heart. Of course, God wants us to obey Him.
But obedience does not always come voluntarily. We can obey God because we feel we have to, whereas a person after God's heart obeys the Lord's will fully and voluntarily.
The first is a matter of will; the second a matter of the heart. David was such a person.
He said: "I desire to do your will, O my God" (Psalm 40:8).
Not because he had to, but because he wanted to. That is what made David one after God's heart. Why? Because David knew that God wants the best for us. That God's will is perfect. Many people say God's will is a yoke or a burden. David's assertion was: "His yoke is easy and His burden is light." That makes all the difference.
Such a person can face problems, overcome temptations, and be steadfast in times of persecution.
Why should I not be that person?
A moment of introspection: After God's heart... How we yearn to be known as such, to be described as having God's own vision, having His own love and compassion towards others, being fully committed to doing His will--in short, to be said to be one "after God's heart." Obedience is a hard subject, a point of daily struggle in my own heart (and, I'd guess in others' as well). To move from I should want to obey God and His commands, to actually wanting to do so, takes time, and openness to His Spirit, and motivation, and openness to His Spirit, and practice, and openness to His Spirit, and lots of prayer. Along with David, we too know that God wants the best for us; we know Him as "Abba, Father", One who knows how to give good gifts to those who ask Him (Matthew 7:11). So we trust God, knowing His will is perfect (for Romans 12:2 talks about God's "good, pleasing and perfect will.") Trusting God . . . obeying Him. I think of the old hymn, "Trust and Obey":
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Refrain: Trust and obey, for there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
These lyrics resonate with our spirits, wanting to trust and obey. "He abides with us still, and with all who will trust and obey." And they confidently say, "...there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." We, too, can be persons who face problems, overcome temptations, and are steadfast in times of persecution. We can be someone "after God's heart." Let us individually choose to be that someone for whom obedience comes voluntarily.