A Man After God’s Own Heart

TBILISI GEORGIA - MAY 07: The statue of David the Builder in front of the Virgin Mary Metekhi church in Tbilisi Georgia on May 07 2016

Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 4–5; 1 Corinthians 15; Ezekiel 13; Psalms 52–54

My workgroup is preparing for a team building session next week. While I’m not generally a huge fan of team building exercises (because I’m afraid we’re going to have to hug, hold hands or do something else I don’t want to do), I have found value in the preparation work for this one.  The curriculum for our session next week is Strengths Finder 2.0, put out by the Gallup organization.  In preparation, each participant was asked to complete the Strengths Finder assessment then read the book.  Through a series of questions, the assessment tool is designed to identify each individual’s top five strengths.  Reading the book compliments the assessment by explaining what the strengths mean and how they often show up in daily life and work behaviors.

I went through the original Strengths Finder curriculum a number of years ago, but I didn’t keep the results when I changed employers. As a result, I needed to complete a “re-assessment”.  Even the second time around, seeing the key tenets of my personality summarized into five words was still a little shocking.  Though after reading more about the five strengths, then sharing them with my spouse, we smiled and concluded the assessment was probably pretty accurate.  Case in point – my top strength is Achiever.  The Achiever strength is best described as someone who must achieve a tangible result every day in order to feel good about themselves.  An Achiever’s internal fire continually pushes them to do more.  Even after accomplishing a big goal, celebration is short lived before an internal fire propels the Achiever to accomplish the next task.

Yep, this totally sounds like me. I love to make lists.  And, I celebrate a small victory every time I cross something off one of my lists.  Doesn’t matter if it is a to-do list, grocery list or packing list, I love them all.

As we’ve been reading 1st and 2nd Samuel over the past few weeks, I think Achiever would likely have been one of David’s top strengths five also.  The stories captured in these books show us he was a fierce warrior.  With God on his side, David conquered king after king, army after army and territory after territory.  David was also great poet and musician.  Whether it was winning battles or writing Psalms, David achieved much during his time on earth.  Our text in 2 Samuel chapter 5 today is clear that David knew the source of his achievement.  It was not an internal fire that propelled him to fight the next battle or write the next Psalm.  It was from God.

Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel (2 Samuel 5:12).

To remain great and continue to achieve, David knew he needed to keep a close relationship with God and keep his personal drive to achieve under control. God had to be first and serving as King over Israel had to be according to God’s plan.  Don’t get me wrong, we know David wasn’t perfect.  He was a sinner just like me and you (just wait, the story of David and Bathsheba is coming up in 2 Samuel 11 next Thursday).  Even so, in 1 Samuel 13:14, the Bible calls him a man after God’s own heart.

This is pretty humbling. I know all that I am and all that I have come from God.  But I have a long way to go to keep my personal drive under control and always give credit to God for my achievements.  Thank you God for Jesus.  Through his blood I am blameless and spotless in your sight.

  • Bj Armstrong

    I see a similar theme in today’s reading of 1 Corinthians 15. In verse 10, Paul recognizes that it was not his hard work, but the power of the Holy Spirit working through him that made his efforts worthwhile. He says, “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” Additionally, he continually looked to God for reassurance that his hard work was worthwhile and encourages us to do the same. Check out verse 58. It says, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”