A pathological and extremely efficient cardiologist, is my working definition of God my Father, as a heart expert! His words to Samuel when Samuel was discerning which one of the seven sons who stood before him was the new king are a helpful reminder –
“Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Sam 16:7
Eliab, was the eldest of the seven and Samuel when he saw him, made a decision – surely the Lord’s anointed stands before me!
Samuel saw but God looked and Eliab was not the one.
Fast forward a few years to the encounter with Goliath, the man mountain and Eliab and David’s other brothers would stand frozen for forty days and nights before Goliath’s challenge.
The day David arrived, he went out to meet Goliath. God saw the difference and chose David.
It’s worth remembering that the challenge of Goliath was for everyone and everything, because all the people, their land, houses and goods, would be to be given to the victorious one and vice versa.
David’s answer to Saul gives us a real insight into what is the opposite of a hard or a cold heart – “your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep…1 Sam 17:34. David had a sense, to be more precise, he was sensitive to the prompts of the Spirit of Almighty God. He knew that today, as he delivered the cheese butties, was going to be a life-changing day!
A hard heart, as described in Proverbs 28:14 and a cold heart, as described in Revelation 3:15 are about love for God and His purposes. In both of these verses, the love of the servant is under attack from outside forces, who are seeking to stop the servant from taking action, prompted by love and supported by faith, so that Father’s kingdom would come.
David’s heart was not perfect but it was maturing and central to this maturity is an attitude David adopted throughout his life which he wrote about in Ps 37:4 –
“delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
The word David and the Spirit chose for delight means to live tenderly and delicately at heart, to be sensitive at the core of our being to His love – delight yourself in the Lord. Our being should have its being and becoming in His love, His friendship, His purposes. The Father and His ways should be our greatest desire and from this starting point, He will give us the desires of our heart, that He has placed there!
An illustration might help us – being and remaining like putty in His hand. Pliable and responsive is the baseline and our Father who is a master potter will push and work, at our pliable heart level to form and mould us, ready for the purposes He has already prepared ahead of time for us. Eph 2:10
Hard and cold putty is anything but pliable and as a result, it becomes unworkable.
So, what can we do to remain pliable at heart and avoid the state of being unworkable?
- Adopt David’s attitude & approach – “Search me O God, & know my heart
- Know that His adoptive love already accepted & approves of in Christ.
- The primary role of the Holy Spirit, is to testify WE ARE HIS!!!1
- His agenda is that His perfect love would drive out fear within our hearts
- Fear keeps us in, holds us back and stops us taking on our Goliath
- Worship and Word, keep us pliable at heart.
- Worship gets us of ourselves and over ourselves
- His Word gives us the insight into the height & depth & the width & length of His love
- His Word reveals how we can serve Him & obedience to His Word shows our love for Him
The final action is taking action, as He prompts us, towards the people and purposes He has in his heart and mind.