You are invited!
You are invited!
David’s life is chronicled for us so that we also know of his weaknesses and failures, not just of his more honorable exploits or God-glorifying endeavors. If you read the Psalms written by David, he admits to a number of ineptitudes. He readily confesses to sin, to worry, depression, doubt, insecurity, and other character flaws that might make you wonder if this is the same man we read about in the other narratives of his life.
However, David is motivated by a desire to have a heart right with God. He writes, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened (Psalm 66:18).” David was convinced that God knew his heart and heard His prayers. He believed God would not reject his prayers nor withhold His love or favor from him. But, David also understood that sin in his heart would affect God’s response towards him. David knew that he had to completely surrender his heart to God. He had to be completely transparent with God.
David wrote, “You desire truth in the inner being…teach me wisdom in my secret heart…Create in me a clean (pure) heart (Psalm 51:6-10).” Anderson and Reese suggest that, similarly, when Solomon was given his one wish from the Lord, he asked for a lave shemiah,which they interpret as an “open heart.”
Loving God with our whole heart
What would it be like if we loved the Lord with a whole heart, an honest heart, one that was open to God and not willing to hold anything back? Albert Schweitzer made the statement, “…there can be no Kingdom of God in the world without the Kingdom of God in our hearts. The Spirit of God will only strive against the Spirit of the world when it has won its victory over that spirit in our hearts.”
Our failure is in not allowing God’s rule in every area of our hearts. When people live under the rule of God, their inner beings are healed, transformed, and renewed. The reign of God in our hearts impacts our actions, thoughts, relationships, families, communities, the places we work and live.
Time and again, we read in the Scripture that we are to love the LORD, our God, with all our heart…not part of it. The question I have to ask myself is whether God is the Lord in my life or if I am still sitting on the throne? I don’t believe that God is willing to occupy only a portion of our hearts, and allow us the rest. He has greater things in mind.
Jesus asked the question, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Jesus is not demanding perfection but He is asking why we fail to trust? Why do we continue to live our lives under our own authority as opposed to fully surrendering to Him?
In the end, God will reign over all the earth as He does in heaven; but we have the opportunity to bring about His reign now in our own hearts. The invitation is open to us. All we have to do is accept it.
Phillip A. Foster, Ph.D., as a psychologist and Director of AuthenticQuest.org, provides spiritual direction, counseling, training and consulting, to those in ministry or other roles of leadership in the church. He is also the author of Here’s My Heart, Lord.
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