The Lord is searching for those who hunger after His heart. Scripture declares that the Lord’s eyes “run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him” (2 Chron. 16:9). The Lord is still looking for the “heart of David” in His people. When He finds this, His kingdom will be released and established. In order to better understand the “heart of David,” let’s first examine the best example found in scripture of the complete opposite nature – that exhibited by King Saul.
In 1 Sam. 13:11-14 (NKJV) the scripture records the conversation between the prophet Samuel and King Saul as follows: “And Samuel said: ‘What have you done?’ Saul said, ‘When I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered together at Michmash, then I said, The Philistines will now come down on me at Gilgal, and I have not made supplication to the Lord. Therefore I felt compelled, and offered a burnt sacrifice.’ And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which He commanded you. For now the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.’”
Saul failed the tests of leadership, not because he wanted to fail, but because he chose his own way over God’s and then made excuses for it. The Lord told him through Samuel that such a motive and heart attitude was rejected by Himself. The Lord then sent the prophet Samuel to find the next king, who had His heart – David. What characteristics did the Lord see in David that made him fit to be a king, with authority like no one else ever had? What was it that the Lord found within David that He would later say in Luke 1:30-33, that God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man, would inherit David’s throne?
David, first and foremost, was a man of passionate devotion and love for God. King David had a revelatory glimpse and insight into God’s heart, particularly God’s emotions and desire for fellowship with himself and mankind in general. David was a lovesick lover of God before he ever became a warrior or king. It was out of his intimacy and passion for the Lord that he was chosen to be ruler. The Lord knows that lovers will obey for the sake of love, and lovers will always out-work workers! Because of David’s insight into the beauty of God’s holy love and passion for him, he understood that all he could do is freely give himself back to the One who loved him. This is what I call “holy psychology.” We love Him because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). A heart that is fascinated and lovesick for God becomes holy and desires to obey out of a holy love and not out of a grumpy “have to” attitude. The contrast is delight vs. duty.
Although David was rejected and lonely while suffering under the rebellious King Saul, he also cultivated a deep relationship with the Lord during this time. The Lord responded by awakening David’s heart and giving David revelatory insight to God’s very nature. David was “ruined” to anything that man or this world could offer him. He lived in the light of God’s passion for him, and not out of a desire for the approval of men or human structures or systems. This is the “heart of David” that God desires to cultivate in His kingdom leaders. In contrast, Saul cared more about keeping his place and position in the kingdom and before the people. The Lord rejects this approach. Because of David’s deep love and passion for the Lord, the Lord saw that David would obey Him in all David was asked to do, without taking matters into his own hands. Acts 13:22 states: “And when He had removed him (Saul), He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, ‘I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’” Out of David’s vision of the burning heart of God for himself and humanity, obedience became the natural overflow of this relationship. Obedience becomes easy when the “obeyer” knows that he is loved, not because he is perfect and jumps through all the hoops, but even in his weakness and immaturity, his is loved and enjoyed. It is a hard concept for religiously hardened hearts and minds to conceive, but the Lord enjoys us…right now…just as we are! God will not just enjoy us when we are in a perfect resurrection body and there is no longer a sin nature to exert its influence. He cannot love, take pleasure in, or enjoy us more in heaven than He does now. David understood this and it made him bold, outrageous in his demonstration of that love, and obedient to all the Lord asked or called him to do. This is the heart of a kingdom shaker. This is the life that the Lord will entrust with His authority, anointing, and resources.
Although David understood and experienced the burning heart of God’s emotions, it wasn’t enough for David to just know the Lord for himself. He wanted to bring God’s manifest presence (the Ark, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ), back to Jerusalem where everyone could see and know the “beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4). David wanted true revival. David wanted to see the people, the land, the culture and the nations surrounding Israel transformed and know this same eternal Bridegroom God he had come to know. He knew the only way to do that was to establish a place for the manifest presence of the Lord to rest and to abide. One man’s passion and lovesick heart for God changed the way a whole nation, and ultimately all of mankind related to God. The Lord used this man to bring and establish His presence back in its intended place, and then begin to transform the whole nation of Israel and the nations surrounding them.
David established a tent on Mount Zion for the Ark, brought His presence in, and then established a priesthood of Levites to musically worship and intercede before the presence of the living God day and night. Was this just ritual and rote? I don’t think so. When everyone came in contact with the limitless magnificence, holiness, and beauty of the Lord, they were also transformed. In 2 Cor. 3:18, the scripture says, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is true that we become what we behold. If we “behold” the Lord as an aloof, continually disappointed, benevolently tolerant despot, we will reflect the same.
As an army of lovesick, worshipping intercessors began to be established day and night, the authority, anointing and power of the Lord began to be released against the ruling authorities, both spiritual and physical, throughout the known world. David’s passion for and vision of the beauty of the Lord became the whole nation’s passion, and Israel was transformed into a kingdom of priests through which God exerted His authority. This brought entire nations into subjection under God’s rule and reign. The result was international revival, but the mitigating factor was a lovesick heart that was broken, humble, and hungry for the Lord’s presence and glory.
David was a transitional man between the dead orthodoxy, rebellion, and disobedience of Saul’s reign and that of vibrant revival, victory and a passion for a godly life. But David was not the end-all. His primary mission was to establish God’s presence in revival and through transformation to prepare it for the succeeding generation under Solomon. There is a “transitional generation” coming to the forefront in this day who have a “heart after God’s own heart,” and have been ruined by the impact of His beauty and presence. They are being used to prepare a whole generation that will take this revival and transformation to successive levels of citywide, nationwide, and eventually worldwide reach. Solomon’s name means “peace.” What David began through His passion and warrior-spirit, He passed along to the succeeding generation who was brought to a position of “rest and peace.” The kingdom was extended and the name of Yahweh became known worldwide. The “God of peace” found a resting place among His people and crushed Satan under their feet (Romans 16:20).