Faith and a Focused Heart

I haven’t felt well this past week–received an uninvited upper viral respiratory infection–which laid me low. However it gave me some extra time of reflection between coughs, sneezes and fevers! I just finished reading through 1, 2 Samuel, 1 , 2 Kings and a few minor prophets in my Bible reading plan. I began to meditate and ask the Holy Spirit about David’s heart versus the other kings who “did evil in the sight of the Lord”. What helped David develop a heart after God’s own?

Here are some things we do know about David. He was the youngest son of eight, to his father Jesse. He spent a lot of alone time out in the fields where he took care of some sheep. Was it this alone time that gave him ample time to worship and pray as he walked among the sheep? Did he develop his dependence and appreciation of God as he endured the elements? We see his resourcefulness as he developed his skill with his harp, sling and club! The short description found in I Samuel 17 where David defends his ability to defeat Goliath because of his previous accomplishments of dealing with lions and bears is done with humility, but persistence. Somehow, in his young life, he grew to trust in, rely on and walk in an amazing understanding of God and His faithfulness. even when he made horrendous mistakes he still walked in this trust. No matter if or when things were tough, he always returned to the goodness of God. Even when he sinned, he trusted in God’s character to restore and help him.

So how can we help foster this desire in our young people today? Was David an unique boy, who just happened to develop this personal trust in His God? I don’t think so. The Holy Spirit is at work calling and planting His passion in the hearts of many young people across the world. I believe there are young people everywhere who are growing into tenacious men and women of God who will fulfill their promised future. It is, obviously,their personal relationship with their Savior–but we can either be a help or sadly, a hinder.

The first place I must look is my own heart. It surprises me often with its critical tendencies, frustrations and un-Christ-like attitudes that seem to spring up from its depths that lead me off track. So as Jesus and I deal with these weeds with mercy, grace and repentance I still press on to the prize that awaits my finish line. My heart was hurt this week as I read about a well known influencer who has walked away from both his marriage as well as his faith in Christ. Even though we are warned about these things happening in the last days, it is my fervent prayer that my faith will overcome. Please do not underestimate the power of your “steady-walking” in Him. Consistency, stability and dependability is needed in God’s kingdom now even more than ever.

Older saints, do not let your heart grow cold or especially lukewarm. If the cares of this life–its disappointments, discouragements and griefs are touching your soul–take the time to deal with them. Ask for help from friends or counselors. Do not let discouragement ruin your later years of the fruitfulness of your life in Christ. I admit there have been times where I have felt tempted to draw back–but then I literally turn my heart to Him and think, “who else has the words of eternal life”? Where would I go? So I press in and on, often it seems with baby steps, but still I move forward, grateful for His mercy, once again.

Those of you who still move with the same faithful fervency–thank you. Thank you for being faith witnesses to our dear Savior. Thank you for weeding your own hearts and lives of those cares that would choke out His fruitfulness. Thank you for standing in the face of your adversities, overcoming the trials of life and walking with His loving grace. You are making a difference. A life lived with a focused heart, like David’s, produces much fruit. Do not let the distractions of this world draw you aside, but press on dear friends, press on.

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