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Genuineness of heart
- Jacob Ninan
What does the Lord want of us? Does He want us to do many things for Him in the short time that we have here on earth? The fact is that even though He has great plans for each of His children, it is not always in terms of the quantity of output that He expects from us. Even when God had trained someone like Moses to accomplish something great for Him, He was willing to put him aside when he didn't behave the way He wanted (Nu.20:12). On the other hand, what was it that made God consider David as a man after His own heart even after he had fallen into adultery and murder (Ac.13:22)?
This is something that doesn't occur to Christians who come into positions of leadership. Many a time, their mind is turned towards achieving great things that are very much linked to their name and fame that will live on after them. In their path towards this goal, they take moral shortcuts, ignore warnings of the Holy Spirit and well wishers, tread down people who stand in their way, and go on just as they would have done if they were earthly kings expanding their kingdom or political leaders increasing their influence.
But God looks at the heart (1Sa.16:7), always and every time. He would rather have in us a genuine love for Him, more than we have for everyone and everything else (Mt.10:37,38), than someone who towers above others as a great achiever whom even unbelievers will recognise. Our honesty and sincerity before Him are tested every day, sometimes in the big moments of life, but mostly in the small choices that we make.
We are tempted to take shelter under the spiritual gifts which God has given us, which other people appreciate and admire, while ignoring the pricks of our conscience which are warnings God gives us in love. God's patience waits for long, hoping that we would come to our senses (Lk.15:17) and repent (2Pe.3:9). But it can also happen that we take God's grace for granted once too many times and find ourselves without being able to repent (He.10:26,27).
David's heart was right before God at the time when He chose him to be the king of Israel (1Sa.13:14). But like many others in similar position he became careless and fell terribly into sin, and then he tried his best to cover it up. But when the prophet Nathan confronted him about his sin, he acknowledged it immediately, showing that he knew all along in his heart about his failure. What this teaches us is not that whatever sin we fall into all we need to do is to acknowledge it, but that even in our struggle with sin we need to keep an honest heart before God. That was why God referred to David as a man after His own heart even after he had fallen.
Let us ask God to give us such a tender heart towards Him, which will be sensitive to His warnings and corrections. That's something He values (1Pe.3:4). Whatever mistakes we make or whatever sins we fall into, let us remember to be open towards God. Trying to justify ourselves will only serve to harden our hearts.