God Wants Your Whole Heart
"With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments." (Psalm 119:10)
If you were participating in a Bible trivia game and were asked to name the first three kings of Israel, you would probably have no trouble jumping up and shouting out "Saul, David, and Solomon!" You have heard the stories of how Saul became king while looking for his father's donkeys (1 Samuel 9), how David killed Goliath with his slingshot (1 Samuel 17), and how Solomon asked God for wisdom instead of riches (2 Chronicles 1). But have you ever thought about what kind of heart each of these three kings had for their God? Did they follow God with their whole hearts, just parts of their hearts, or none of their hearts?
King David had a whole heart for God. The Bible describes him as a man "who followed [God] with all his heart," (1 Kings 14:8). You can open your Bible to the book of Psalms and read many of King David's prayers to the Lord. David had a desire to follow God with everything that he had.
King Solomon had half a heart for God. He started out wanting to serve God with all his heart, but as he grew older, he became distracted by the world. When comparing King Solomon with his father, King David, 1 Kings 11:4 says, "For it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods: and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his God, as was the heart of David his father." King Solomon got sidetracked from following God. He lost his focus on God and wandered away from God's commandments.
King Saul had no heart for God. God chose Saul to be the first king of Israel. But King Saul rejected the Lord, and the Lord rejected him. 1 Samuel 15:26, "And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel."
God wants you to seek Him and follow after Him with your whole heart! You must choose what kind of heart you are going to have for God. Will you be like King David, with a whole heart for God? Or will you be like King Saul and King Solomon, who both failed to follow God with their whole hearts?
The God of the Bible wants you to seek Him and follow after Him with your whole heart!
» Does God want just part of my attention, or just some of my obedience?
» What kind of heart do I have for God?
» How can I change to have a whole heart for God?
Truth In Real Life
"Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks.”
The name “Isaac Watts” is printed in nearly every modern hymnal today. Born the oldest of nine children on July 17, 1674, Isaac Watts would go down in history as “The Father of English Hymnody” – the father of hymns in the English language. Many of the 600 hymns he wrote during his lifetime are still sung today, including “I Sing the Mighty Power of God,” “Joy to the World,” and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
Watts intended to spend his life as a pastor, but shortly after accepting the job at his first church, he got very sick and never fully recovered. As a result of his poor health, he was forced to stay at home and write. Not surprisingly, God used Watts’ illness for His glory. Many of our hymns would never have been written had he not been sick enough to have to stay home!
Besides writing hymns, Watts wrote books on all kinds of other subjects – like astronomy, ethics, geography, and grammar. His writing was published by Benjamin Franklin, and his books were used in colleges around the country.
Standing only five feet tall, with a very weak and feeble body, Watts did not imagine God would ever use him – but how wrong he was! God used this poet – and continues to use him today! – in churches around the world. One of his little known hymns includes the following words:
Happy the man whose hopes rely
On Israel’s God: He made the sky,
And earth, and seas, with all their train:
His truth for ever stands secure;
He saves th’oppressed, He feeds the poor,
And none shall find His promises vain.
Do you doubt that God could use you in spite of your shortcomings and limitations? Encourage your heart with biblical truths about Whose strength and power and knowledge really matters (God’s!). Some of Watts’ hymn lyrics might help you meditate on right thoughts about God, too!
Ephesians 5:19 – Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.