I live in a house full of girls. I am outnumbered three to one. One of the most difficult things for me to deal with, especially over the past three-month Christmas Holiday, is what movies do we watch.  It seems that there is always a Hallmark, now Great American Family, Christmas show being watched. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing specifically wrong with these shows, but they are not usually my cup of tea.  And I am usually outvoted, especially if they start the show before I get in the house.  These shows always pull at the heartstrings and make you wish for something that you either have never experienced or would like to experience again. They have done a masterful job of knowing where a girl’s heart is and going after it.

Now on the opposite side are the movies I pick but seldom get to watch.  Movies like “Band of Brothers,” “Saving Private Ryan,” and the ultimate Christmas movie “Die Hard.”  Just kidding on the last one. These are movies of warriors doing the impossible, but just like on the girls’ side, these are shows that pull at my heartstrings and make me wish for an experience I have never had or would like to experience again. The one common thing with both these genres is that they know the audience’s heart.

God has been working in me lately over my own heart: where it is and what does it want. Many times, it is in the right place, but a lot of times, it is selfish, narcistic, jealous, and self-centered. I struggle with not getting what I want the way I want it. Just like what draws us to those movies; I either want an experience I have never had or want to experience something again.  It is where my heart is and when I don’t get what “my” heart wants, I pout, I complain, I get moody, and I distance myself. Now these are all traits that I would never proclaim as positive or something I would want to continue, but yet I do. (Romans 7:18-20) This is why God is having me examine my own heart.

King David was an extraordinary man in the Bible. He did some remarkable things. I can guarantee you that if “The Slaying of Goliath” (1 Samuel 17) was a movie I would be ready with my popcorn.  Yet again, this is because that story pulls at my heartstrings.  Because of that, I began to study David and who he was. David was a regular guy and by some accounts maybe even below average in some ways (1 Samuel 17:14&42). The overcoming of difficult situations is what always made David stand out and make me say, “Man I want to do that.”

Although the more I study, the more I began to understand there was more to the story than just overcoming. There was a secret to his success, and when he deviated from that it was disastrous. Many might say that the secret was that David knew his own heart and went after it.  When in actuality the secret to his success was the opposite.  The heart he went after was God’s.  Many times in the stories of David, it says he was a man after God’s own heart, and that is absolutely without a doubt the secret to his success.

The one time he gave into his own heart (2 Samuel 11:1-5) it ended up in him sending Urijah into battle to die for his own desires (2 Samuel 11:6-14). That ultimately cost him the opportunity to build the temple.  So what does it mean to be a man after God’s own heart?    For me, it means that you seek what He wants, His desires, and His plan. How is that done? Yet again, David is a great example. Every time before David went into battle, he asked God what He wanted him to do, and God would answer him. It was not always what was in David’s heart.  The time he snuck into the cave where Saul was sleeping and God told him not to kill Saul but to only cut a piece of his garment and take it (1 Samuel 24:1-7). David had the opportunity to destroy the one seeking to destroy him, but he sought God’s heart, not his own. Another time he asked God if he was to go into battle, and God told him to wait and when he heard the rustling of the mulberry trees then go (2 Samuel 5:22-25).  He sought God’s heart and was yet again successful.

Why was I taken down this path and how was this revealed to me you might ask?  Well, I was taken down this path, because I spend way too much time worrying about what I want, what my desires are, or how I am going to solve something. These should not be my worries. These should not be my stresses. These should not be my concerns.  I recently had the opportunity to follow my own heart or seek God’s heart. I did not want to do what God had placed in front of me.  We at Sanctuary Family Farms were given the opportunity to go Christmas caroling.  Not where my heart was.  I did not have the time, I was tired, and frankly I sing like a frog with the flu.  Yeah, picture that.  But it was not about where my heart was.  It was about where God’s heart was.  It turned out to be a fantastic experience for me where I could see how God truly touched these people through us.  It was, as Tammy Gibbs said, “A hallmark moment.”

So with all these examples and experiences, it shows me that I should have one simple concern and everything come down to one question, “Am I a man after God’s own heart?”

— Written by Chris

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