One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: April 13
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Do you seek God?
Who does God seek? He is seeking the man – or woman – after God’s own heart. These are the words that God used to described David. But what does that look like? Sometimes, in order to understand something, we need to see what it isn’t first. So in 1 Samuel 13, we are told about King Saul’s battle against the Philistines and his impatience to wait as the prophet Samuel had instructed him.
Saul did seek God, but did not follow Samuel’s instructions
In 1 Samuel 13, King Saul had been given instruction to wait seven days for Samuel to come and when he arrived, Samuel would then sacrifice to the Lord. But the Philistines were getting ready for battle and Saul’s army became scared and they started scattering. Saul waited the seven days, but not long enough. He chose to do the sacrifice himself. Samuel came right after it had been done. How often do pray for something and when God doesn’t answer fast enough for us, we take matters into our own hand and “help God out”? I wonder when we get to heaven if we will know the number of times we missed out on God’s best because we didn’t wait long enough and it was just one prayer away from God’s answer.
Saul did seek God, but his response was foolish
He asked Saul, “What have you done?” Saul says, “When I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had mustered at Michmash, I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the favor of the Lord.’ So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” Saul understands that he did something he shouldn’t have and he showed his lack of trust in God. This is why he says he “forced” himself to do the sacrifice. Samuel’s instructions were clear. Saul was to wait for him and Samuel was to offer the sacrifice. So Samuel then responds, “You have done foolishly.”
Why was Saul’s response of his own way to seek God foolish?
Saul’s response was foolish because he did not obey the instructions given to Saul by God through Samuel. Samuel tells Saul, “You have not kept the command of the Lord your God, with which he commanded you. For then the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.” Saul’s foolish and hasty response cost him the throne. As a result God now seeks a man after his own heart to rule over Israel.
When we seek God, it can be hard to wait on God
For the sake of a few more moments, and Saul lost the right to be king. Waiting on God can be hard, especially when it feel like God isn’t listening to our prayers or He isn’t moving at the speed that we would like. But how often do we lose the blessing for the sake of waiting just a little longer? We can’t always see how God is working “behind the scenes” of our lives and orchestrating things to happen at just the right moment. Saul didn’t trust or believe that Samuel would arrive on time so he overstepped his bounds and the result was losing the kingship. What could be the result of you not waiting on God for whatever it is that has you seeking God today?
Seek to be a man or woman after God’s own heart
So then what does a man after God’s own heart look like? If this is the kind of person God seeks – then we need to know what this person is like a strive to be like him. Let look at some of the characteristics of David to see what this person is like.
David had a love for God’s Word.
“Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against Thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
David earnestly sought the Lord.
“With my whole heart have I sought thee” (Psalm 119:10)
David loved communicating with God.
“I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.” (Psalm 116:1-2)
David loved praising God.
“I will praise thee, Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous works.” (Psalm 9:1) In Palm 104:33, he wrote: “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live. And I will praise my God to my last breath!”
David hated anything that went against God’s commands.
“I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; and I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil… I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach… I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence.” Psalm 101:3-4, 6-7)
David fulfilled God’s Will.
Luke wrote in Acts 13:22, “he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.”
What about you? Is your heart aligned with God’s
What about you? Do you love God’s Word? Do you love spending time communicating with God through prayer? Are you seeking God with all of your heart? Do you love praising Him? Do you have a hatred for sin? Are you willing to fulfill all of God’s will? The person who is “after God’s own heart” is one who’s heart is aligned with God’s. Would God say you are a man – or woman – after His heart?
Father, may we strive to be people after your heart. People who long to hear from you through your Word, long to speak to you through prayer, joyfully offering praise to you, willing to follow your will, and detest anything that does not bring you honor.
#ReadYourBible #1Samuel #Luke #seekingGod
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