A Heart of Praise

If I had no voice, if I had no tongue
I would dance for You like the rising sun
And when that day comes and I see Your face
I will shout Your endless, glorious praise

You Are | Colton Dixon

I usually wake up at 430AM for work. And then I have a long, dark drive along small and windy roads to the hospital. An HOUR-LONG drive. In case you were curious. It’s quite a trek, but I love my job, so I don’t mind making the drive. You can imagine how hard it is to stay awake while driving though. It’s something that I’m actually really scared about sometimes. But man, when this song comes on the radio, no matter how tired I am, I sit right up in my seat. It wakes me up and makes my heart smile.

Now that’s an interesting phrase, right? I never understood when people said that something made their heart “happy.” I didn’t understand because I had never experienced it before. But this song – it’s one of the things that makes my heart happy. It’s a beautiful song that is all about praising the Father for who He is and for all He has done.

While listening to this song, I’m reminded of King David. An amazing Psalmist, a man after God’s own heart. I don’t think I really appreciated David before. If I’m being honest, it was Francine River’s book, Unspoken (A Lineage of Grace series), that made me see David in a new light. Yes, I realize her books are pure fiction. And no, I am in no way saying that her books are equivalent to the Bible. They’re not. But the way she wrote about David really sparked my interest in knowing more about who he was. David wasn’t just a King. He wasn’t just a shepherd boy. He was an artist, a musician, a leader, a compassionate, wise and honorable man. But he wasn’t just those things either. He was also prideful and indulgent. He was an adulterer and a murderer. When you put all those things together, David was a good role model and a bad role model all squeezed into one man.

How is that possible? How is it that he can be so good and so bad all at the same time? How is it that the Word of God refers to him as a “man after God’s own heart?” It’s illogical to us. It’s completely contradictory. But we must remember that faith is not something that we can apply logic to. Our human understanding and reasoning is not broad enough, strong enough, or high enough to handle the things of God. At the same time, that’s not to say we don’t or can’t know anything. So let’s think about this without pushing our brains past their limits.

How can David be so good and so bad at the same time? How can an adulterer, a murderer, in our eyes, a man who committed some of the greatest sins against the Lord – how can he be called a “man after God’s own heart?”

To put it simply, he sought the Lord’s will in everything. Well, in almost everything. The times he failed in this were coincidentally, also the times in which he fell to sin. To seek the Lord’s will in every aspect of our lives – that is what it means to be a man/woman after God’s own heart. When our lives are in step with His will for us, it is a glorious thing.

David experienced this firsthand. He knew what it was like to seek the Lord and reap the blessings sown by his surrender. At the same time, he also knew what it was like to allow pride and arrogance deter his heart from seeking the Lord’s will, even more so, from doing the Lord’s will. Just as he reaped the blessings sown by surrender, David also reaped the consequences sown by his refusal to submit to the Lord. He experienced the highest highs and the lowest lows in his relationship with the Lord.

When we really take time to think about it, how different are we from David? We may not have murdered someone, we may not have committed adultery, but we have certainly grieved the Spirit with our actions, thoughts, and words. We are good and bad all at once. We are compassionate, generous, honest, and respectable, yes. But we are also corrupt, sinful, arrogant, and selfish. All good and all bad, all in one person. We are no different from David when it comes to character because we all possess both good and bad traits.

There is, however, one thing that differentiates us from David: the words that fell from his lips. While I’m sure David had some not-so-nice, angry, unpleasant things to say to God at different parts of his life (much like the rest of us), he is one of the few who constantly proclaimed praises to the Father. David authored countless psalms as an act of worship to God. In the midst of his trials, despite all his failures, David praised the Lord for all that He was and all that He had done. More so, he did this loudly and publicly.

proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
    and telling all your wondrous deeds.

Psalm 26:7

My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.

Psalm 26:12

and I will offer in his tent
    sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.

Psalm 27:6b

As children of the Lord, we must proclaim His goodness to others so that all may hear of this great God we serve! We must not keep silent of the Lord’s mercy and grace towards us. We are to always give Him the glory due His Name.

May we be like David in faith and in submission to the Lord. May our lips forever bring praises before the Father. May we be in full surrender to Him, always seeking His will in our lives. For when our actions and thoughts and everything that comes out of these lives we’ve been given are in accordance to the Lord’s will, our hearts beat in sync with His. And honestly, what is more perfect than that?

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