"I believe strongly that one thing the devil seeks to do is to sneak in and subtly distract our attention from the purity and simplicity of loving God. He doesn't mind if we exalt revival, healing, or anything else, as long as we lose our focus on the simplicity of heart-level lavish devotion to the Son of God.”
Today if you look around the world, you will see people preoccupied with many things. Some people are preoccupied with getting a raise at work or watching the stock market rise or fall. Others are preoccupied with buying a new house or fixing up a broken down old one. Others are preoccupied with losing weight or getting their children through college. TV, the internet, changing weather patterns, and the elections eat away our time and energy. We live in a world of busy people concerned with a multitude of life issues. But in the midst of all this chaos, what is really important in life? What will bring stability in a world that seems so unpredictable?
I want to give you a simple test. This test has only one test question but your answer can make the difference between success or failure, strength or powerlessness, hope or defeat. Are you ready? What is the primary ambition of your life?
Is it to make money or get a good job?
Is it to get married or having a large family?
Is it to get a good education or have a great ministry?
Or is it to be a man or woman after God’s heart? Is it to behold the beauty of the Lord? Let’s look at the example of David. This is what he said:
“One thing I have desired of the Lord, that will I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple” (Psalm 27:4).
David’s primary occupation was to seek God and His beauty. God declared David to be a man after His own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Imagine that? Wouldn’t you love for God to say that about you? I know I would. David sought God when he was young and when he was old. He sought after Him when he was a young shepherd boy, praying and worshipping him in the fields where there was no human audience. He sought after God when he was a king and military leader when he was busy with responsibility and pressure. David sought after God’s heart during times of victory and times of testing. It was the goal and focus of his life. Perhaps we could say that David was on a lifelong treasure hunt to discover the beauty of God - to find out the commands of God’s heart and to fully obey them - to study God’s emotions and encounter Him in intimacy - to discover the purposes of God’s heart and contend in prayer for a breakthrough. David was one who loved to be in God’s house. He even raised up 4,000 musicians and 288 singers to worship God in His house (1 Chronicles 23:5, 25:7). David knew how to tap into the most important thing in life.
God wants us to seek His beauty. Presently my husband and I are on a vacation out in the beauty of nature in western New York. I must admit that it is taking time to quiet my heart enough to be still and really hear from God. The activity of life has taken it’s toll, and there is need of rest and recuperation. But one thing that God is impressing on my heart is that all of us need to be a people of one thing. This is what we are designed for. Being out of alignment brings great emotional and physical fatigue. We are created to seek first God’s Kingdom (Matthew 6:33). Our greatest ambition should be a lover of God. Just to emphasize my point, a beautiful and graceful deer just jumped across the yard. It reminds me of Psalm 42:1-2a.
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirst for God, for the living God.”
But how do we get started in thirsting after God’s heart? Take inventory of where you are presently by answering a few more questions. Is your relationship with God squeezed into a corner of your life? This may not be intentional but it happens over time. Or maybe you are filled with concern because of all the things you have to do on a daily basis. Deep in your heart, do you believe that God is for you or will help you if you put Him first? Maybe you are experiencing fatigue and weariness in the battle. Whatever the case, it’s time for all of us to seek the Lord and align our hearts after God. But how can we do this? Here are a few suggestions that will help us.
Aligning Your Hearts After God
- Spend time praising God through the Psalms - Pray through Psalm 27 out loud.
“My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8).
- Recommit yourself to being a man or woman after God’s heart - Making Him the primary ambition of your life is something we have to do this again and again in our life. We easily get distracted. Seek to be a lover of God.
“I will love you, O Lord, my strength” (Psalm 18:1).
- Realize that God’s strategy is to deliver your heart before He changes your circumstances - God allows pressure in our lives so that we cry out to Him and open our hearts to receive His revelation. He uses crisis to drive us to His face. Trouble helps us to determine to realign our heart towards God. It’s really a blessing in disguise.
“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle” (Psalm 27:5).
- Realize that your identity and success is found in your intimacy with God - It’s not in worldly pleasures or success as many of us may think.
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9).
- Ask God to reveal to your heart in a deeper measure you are loved by Him - Many of us have a hard time with this. Perhaps we had difficulties when we were growing up and our heart understanding of a loving father is damaged. God can change that. David had a revelation that he was dear to God even when he was weak. God sees your heart. You are the apple of His eye
“Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).
- Ask God to help you to enjoy intimacy with Him - Pray that He makes you confident in your love relationship with Him. God wants you to know that you are His “beloved”.
“My Beloved is mine, and I am His...” (Song of Solomon 2:16).
- Trust Him with your problems - Bring your concerns before Him in prayer. He is able to rescue you in the midst of difficult circumstances.
“He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because He delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19).
We met a young woman named Liddy who made a big impression on our lives many years ago. Liddy was 22 years old when we met her. She was a mongoloid child who was about 12 years old mentally. She had a good and enjoyable relationship with her parents, and you could instantly tell that they delighted in her. Although she wasn’t as intelligent as other children, she gave us the impression that she was very special. One day she came up to us and said with great joy and excitement, “I’m good!” And she meant it. She knew she was special. In her childlike way, she made us feel special to be around her. Liddy enjoyed life. She delighted in almost everything. I don’t think she ever felt like a failure about anything. Liddy made us look at life in a new dimension. She taught us in her simple childlike way to delight in life - to appreciate everything - and to know that we are loved. We stayed overnight in her Myrtle Beach home along the beautiful ocean front, and the next day when we awoke, we found a note typed by Liddy that said it all. The note said, “Love I you!” Liddy touched our heart deeply. We will never forget her.
Liddy didn’t have anything that the world would call a success or achievement. But she had loving parents, and she knew it. She had a big heart and was able to express it to everyone. She had a good relationship with her parents and knew how to leave her fears in their hands. She was able to express love freely and fully because she knew she was loved. She really felt like the apple of God’s eye. She was confident in love. In the world’s eyes she wouldn’t be thought of as anything of much worth, but personally she felt so important. And she was! You could see it in her simple joy. Liddy was a delightful person, a beloved in every aspect. She reminds me of how God sees each one of us. And because we are such a delight to Him, it should free us to live and love fully - to trust in Him completely - to realize His love in good times and bad.
“A believer confident in love before God will be more committed, resilient and persistent than others who constantly live under the threats and fears of failure and punishment. The most effective way to motivate people to 100-fold obedience is to establish them in confidence in love before God.” Mike Bickle