It is beyond me, past my feeble ability to comprehend that the God of the Universe, the Creator of all that Exists, Lord of heaven and earth “wants” for anything.
David, King of Israel by a resume’ forged in the hills among sheep and pasture and lions and bears declared “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. . .” The verse has been rightly interpreted, “I shall have no lack.”
The word, “want” is “lack.” My mind grasps, struggles, and concedes as I try to comprehend that the God Who owns far more than the cattle on a thousand hills could possible lack anything.
But He does.
He wants; He needs for His creation to love Him,
and loving Him, to know Him,
and knowing Him, to commune with Him
and in communion with Him, to serve Him, to co-labor with Him.
God needs for man – for you and for me – to serve Him not because we fear hell and somehow by serving God our escape from hell is purchased. Our Creator needs for us to serve Him not because someone with religious power and authority demands that we serve Him. God desires that we follow Him and know Him because we are nothing without Him and because we desperately need Him even when we do not know that we need Him.
God is not Law, or Commandment or Duty or Obligation: God is Love.
He is Giver, Father, Lover of His creation; of all His creation, and the manifestation of God is the Son, Jesus. It was He Who gave us the revelation: “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” He chose those words carefully. He did not say “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Ruler of the earth or the Judge of all flesh or the Creator of all life,” but you have seen – “Father.”
In Jesus we look into the very heart of God and find there an unfathomable depth of compassion and love and mercy.
In Jesus we see God’s desire to come close to mankind. In Him we learn that God longs to make His home in our hearts so that He can draw near to the center of our brokenness and be close to our wounds and our fears and myriad struggles in our lives.
In Jesus we make the inconceivable discovery that God is willing to pay an exorbitant price to create intimacy with our fallen, muddied, life-torn souls. The terrible price of the Cross and its agony; a darkness and judgment and curse we can never comprehend was paid so that we might return to our Maker and in returning, find that He had moved to us before we had ever moved to Him.
We have a God with a heart. More than Righteous Judge, more than all-powerful Creator, more than all the adjectives and superlatives and descriptions both revealed and given, our God has a heart! We must know that truth; we must immerse ourselves in that reality, we must understand because when trials come, when pain presses us into near-insanity, when a baby dies for no rational purpose, when the cancer grows, when friends forsake us, we see the pain but we don’t see God and we don’t realize the miracle that is in process.
In the noise and in the confusion we don’t sense the restoration. It’s then and it is there we must understand the heart of God. The heart of our Father, God. When the pressure of life is applied, we must know that what Jesus did for a woman with an issue of blood; what He did for a lame man and a blind man, and a young, dead girl, He does for people today. He restores us to a place of acceptance and blessing in the family. He renews our hope and gives us a future. He guarantees a time to come when death will be no more; a time and a place when crying and suffering and every pain will be forever erased.
We look into God’s heart and find there love and life and restoration. We discover passion and possibility. And only when we see God’s heart can we begin to understand what He meant when He revealed that David had a heart after His own heart.
The Key to finding the heart of God is to find the things God cares about and to find ourselves caring about those things. Jesus was asked by taunting Scribes “what is the first commandment?” The learned men who asked were not surprised when He answered, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” These Scribes knew very well the proper response, but none could have imagined His next words, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The Lord of life put in context in four, brief sentences the heart and the crux of all the Law and in the same moment, revealed for all who would hear, and for all who would see, the very heart of His Father God. And it is “love.” “. . . Love the Lord your God with all your heart. . .”
The heart first; not the soul or the mind or strength, but the heart. The issue, the heart of the matter, is the heart.
It was said of David “he will do all My will,” because he was “a man after God’s own heart,” God’s broken heart. He, Jesus is our peace, Who has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity that is the law of commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in Himself one new man from the two; thus making peace and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. Oh, what an incredible, incomparable heart.
This incredible heart. This incomparable heart. The heart of God is pressed into us, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Hearts of stone are impregnable, impenetrable, they are resistant to wounding by sword or spear or speech. Hearts of stone neither embrace nor notice when injury or despair or loneliness are present. Hearts of flesh are vulnerable, easily pierced, frequently wounded, repeatedly healed.
What heaven desires, what God is asking is for the divine-human exchange to take place, “Old hearts for new,” broken hearts for His broken heart. Hearts of stone replaced with hearts of flesh so that the world that surrounds us, the people who pass by our homes and who fill our streets and who buy their groceries alongside and all about us will know the heart of God through the pulse of our lives, because we, like David, King of Israel have hearts, have fleshy, vulnerable, loving “hearts after God’s own heart.”