I don’t know what is going on with me lately, maybe it’s just part of getting older, but I have found myself in a spot where I can’t look at life, or my children, or just different things without seeing all of it.  Don’t worry I’m going to explain that.  So a couple weeks ago I watched my oldest daughter graduate High School.  I just sat there watching her walk in her cap and gown, they called her name, and a young woman walked across the stage where my little girls was supposed to be to receive her diploma…but for me I was seeing all of it, the ups and the downs, all that she’s done, all that she is becoming, and all that she has walked through in life and it is a bit overwhelming.  It is beautiful, but I can’t seem to see it any other way right now.  I see all of it, all at once.  When I see my sons and they are mowing my grass, or driving my cars, or out running faster and farther than I ever could…it’s the same thing.  They are as tall as I am at this point, and as I watch my sons, I just see all their lives up until this point all at once…and it is stunning.  I see the entire process, not just the moment.  Last weekend I’m at a soccer tournament for my youngest daughter, and she played so well, and she is now old enough to play 11v11, so she is on the big field now and I can’t help but still see that little girl that would run around and couldn’t even do certain turns because the ball was too big to fit through her little legs!  I picture all the decisions I tried to make to put her in the best spots I could for her, and I still see her running around in a practice pinnie that went down over her knees and it’s overwhelming to see how far she has come…again I can’t just see the moment, I see all of it.  Do you see the whole process of things or do you just see the end result?

It’s a beautiful thing when you can take in the whole process in, it can be overwhelming, but it will change your perspectives.  It’s like having someone work, and work, and work on their home for years to get it to where they want it to be.  The years of tearing the house up, the sacrifices made to get there, then the day they finish, it looks so nice and they have someone over who only sees the finished product, and they walk around thinking, “wow, these people are so lucky, it must be nice to be have this beautiful home!”  Yes, we all want the nice home, but not everyone is willing to work, and sacrifice, and take the time and energy to get there.  This happens in so many aspects of life.  20 years ago, MRC was a calling in Ken’s heart, and today we have a church building, and have planted a second church.  Some people could look at that and say, “it must be nice to be in that spot” while discounting the process, and all the ups and downs, and the blood, the sweat, and the tears it takes to be in that spot today.  I could go on and on about this, but I will back off a bit.  I wanted you to begin thinking this way, seeing the whole process because I think it’s often overlooked in life, and it’s an important thing to see in our study today.  We are going to begin to talk about David today, and he is big deal.  We read about him all through our Bibles, we study his writings and his songs, and all the great things David has accomplished.  David is a warrior a real-life superhero.  He has warriors who would do anything for him.  He is an amazing King, a giant slayer.  People adored him, men followed him and I think it can be easy to see David sitting on the throne as this powerful warrior King and just think; “it must be nice, David is so lucky” but I wanted you to see what made David all of those things, because to me it goes back to what we spoke of earlier…we have to see all of David’s life and how he lived it, to get a greater understanding of why he was such an awesome warrior King.  We need to understand the process, we need to see all of it, and I think as we do and start to see all of it our perspective will change.

Last week Ken talked to us about Saul.  Saul was the first King of Israel, and I think he gets a bit of a bad wrap, I mean the poor guy wasn’t exactly pumped to be King in the first place, but with Saul we saw a man who struggled with people pleasing, and eventually oversteps God trying to keep people happy and is being pulled off the throne by God…then he has this young man David around that everyone loves, that just drives him nuts…Ken showed us something about Saul.  He was not fully surrendered to God, and because of that things didn’t go well.  I loved Ken’s talk last week, it was so helpful for us to see the importance of living a life fully surrendered to God and the freedom we can have in life when we do so.  We saw last week that Saul messed up and God comes to Samuel and says it’s time to find a new King…remember what the Lord said to Samuel?

1 Samuel 15:10 Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11 “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night. NIV

It’s at this moment that God sends Samuel looking for a new King, one who will not turn away from him, God wants someone who carries out His commands…which leads Samuel to the house of Jesse to find and anoint the next King.

1 Samuel 16:1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” NIV

So Samuel heads out, very aware that this wouldn’t make Saul happy, and comes to the house of Jesse and we see something really interesting here as Samuel goes through Jesse’s sons looking for the next great King.

1 Samuel 16:6 When they arrived, Samuel took one look at Eliab and thought, “Surely this is the Lord’s anointed!” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 8 Then Jesse told his son Abinadab to step forward and walk in front of Samuel. But Samuel said, “This is not the one the Lord has chosen.” 9 Next Jesse summoned Shimea, but Samuel said, “Neither is this the one the Lord has chosen.” 10 In the same way all seven of Jesse’s sons were presented to Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.” “Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.” 12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.  And the Lord said, “This is the one; anoint him.” 13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David from that day on. Then Samuel returned to Ramah. NLT

So this is really important, it is a very different selection for King.  Do you remember who Saul was?

1 Samuel 9:1 There was a wealthy, influential man named Kish from the tribe of Benjamin…2 His son Saul was the most handsome man in Israel—head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. NLT

If you think about it God was not happy that the Children of Israel were rejecting Him as their King, we spoke of this two weeks ago.  Remember they wanted to look like other nations, they were turning to other things other than God and rejected God as their King and God told Samuel to warn them of what the King would do to them.  Then God gives them the King they would want, the King that makes sense to their human eyes…the most handsome man in Israel, he was big, taller than the rest, from a wealthy family, with an influential father named Kish…this would make sense to them…and it’s interesting because now looking for a new King, Samuel is sent to Jesse’s family, and takes one look at Eliab and thinks…that has to be the next King because he looks right to Samuel…but what we see next is the key.

Vs 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NLT

The Lord says I don’t see things the way you see them…people see all the flash, and the outward stuff, but God looks at the heart.  What is really interesting is how opposite Saul and David are from the start, I mean David isn’t even invited to meet the Prophet, he is in the fields, taking care of the sheep…yet he is God’s anointed and it’s this heart that we will come back to today.  I want you to see something here.  David is anointed to be King!  This is not a small thing.  I mean imagine someone coming to your home and telling you, that you would be the next leader of the United States of America!  What would you do?  How would you react?  Wouldn’t you have more questions?  Like when will this happen!  But David goes back to the fields, back to tending the sheep, and serving his family…and also begins serving Saul, you know the guy he is supposed to replace.

1 Samuel 16:14 At that very moment the Spirit of God left Saul and in its place a black mood sent by God settled on him. He was terrified. 15 Saul’s advisors said, “This awful tormenting depression from God is making your life miserable. 16 O master, let us help. Let us look for someone who can play the harp. When the black mood from God moves in, he’ll play his music and you’ll feel better.” 17 Saul told his servants, “Go ahead. Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.” 18 One of the young men spoke up, “I know someone. I’ve seen him myself: the son of Jesse of Bethlehem, an excellent musician. He’s also courageous, of age, well-spoken, and good-looking. And God is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse requesting, “Send your son David to me, the one who tends the sheep.” 20 Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with a couple of loaves of bread, a flask of wine, and a young goat, and sent his son David with it to Saul. 21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him immediately and made him his right-hand man.  22 Saul sent word back to Jesse: “Thank you. David will stay here. He’s just the one I was looking for. I’m very impressed by him.” 23 After that, whenever the bad depression from God tormented Saul, David got out his harp and played. That would calm Saul down, and he would feel better as the moodiness lifted. MSG

So let me ask you something.  You have been anointed the next King.  You have greatness in front of you.  How do you respond?  What do you do next?  I think this heart that God was looking for is showing up in David’s actions.  David, doesn’t force it.  He doesn’t go out and start a rebellion against Saul to try and supplant him as King.  David went back to the fields and humbly served his family.  He eventually is brought to Saul and he serves this King honorably and to the best of his ability and rises through the ranks to be an armor bearer for Saul.  Is this what you would do?  David knows he is to be King, but it doesn’t happen right away.  In fact, it takes 15 years for David to become King and at that point he only becomes King of part of the Kingdom.  It takes another 7 years for him to reunite Israel, so 22 years of serving of ups and downs, over 2 decades of pain and challenges before he would sit on a throne and have people look at him and say.  “David is so lucky; I wish I was the King.”  Which takes us back to the picture we were painting earlier…and looking at the process of David’s life that puts him in the place everyone wishes for…as this amazing leader.  Someone that warriors would die for, someone everyone loved and followed, I mean David was the man…the warrior of all warriors, a real-life superhero…so what made him this way?  Well I think it goes back to the process and it centers around who He is on the inside.  Remember what God said about this new King?

Vs 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NLT

Let’s take a moment and focus in on that last sentence… “People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”  When you hear of David you may immediately think of some of the great moments he had like killing Goliath, or some of his amazing writings…but if you notice, God is focused on who David is, and later in Scripture we find God describing David this way…

Acts 13:22 But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’ NLT

So God calls David a man after His own heart.  This is the key, and this is what I wanted you to see because it’s this heart that is on full display as David waits over 2 decades to become King.  It’s this heart that makes David worthy of the throne.  It’s this heart that allows the warrior to become a King that people follow because they are watching this heart come out in his life and when we can look at the whole process and not just the one moment, I think we some really important things about David that we can apply to our lives too because a lot of people are looking for the leadership spot.  They want the title, they look at someone in that spot and think…man I wish I was like David, with all those warriors who would follow me but they don’t realize what it takes to get there.  They look at the King and his crown and his power…but they aren’t thinking about the 22 years of serving, of humbly and quietly doing the right thing…of fleeing for his life as a jealous King Saul wants to kill him, of never pushing for the spot, that we see this heart of God found in David…it’s important to look at the process.

Do you want to be like David?  Do you want to be a man or woman who leads, and is successful?  Do you want to be a person that is blessed the way David is?  Do you want people to follow your leadership the way they followed David?  Well it starts with the heart…it doesn’t start with the success, or the position, or the title…it doesn’t start the day you are the leader, or by what you say, it starts in the depths of who you are as a person and how you live your life.  This is what made David so amazingly successful over time…it was how he lived his life as a man after God’s own heart and I want you to see something about this.  We can be described as these types of people too.

What would it look like for you to live as a person after God’s own heart?  Well that could be a rather long discussion, but I will bring it back to this conclusion.  I think it would mean that you were described as a person who lives a life of love.  David lived a life of love.  Wait, David was a warrior, with so much blood on his sword he can’t build God’s temple?  So how can you say he lived a life of love…isn’t love for softies?  Well no actually, it’s quite the opposite and I want you to see this.  God says David was a man after God’s own heart and we know something…God is love.

1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love…(16) God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. NLT

God is love, and to live this life of love is to live out a life after God’s own heart…like David did.

He is a ferocious warrior, a passionate God worshiper, and we need to see the reason he was so successful was the fact that he lived out this heart of God…this life of love.  Which Paul describes love this way…

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. NIV

So God is love and David is a man after this heart of love and as you look at Paul’s different attributes of love and lay them up against David’s life we realize he is basically describing how David lived!  I mean we don’t always tie Warriors and Kings to the love chapter that we like to read at weddings, but we need to see this!  David lived a life of love which came out in his actions…and it made him who he was.  This is what inspired people about him and made him a great leader.  It wasn’t what he TOLD people he was, it was WHO he was and how he lived.  Do you see it?

In verse 4 Paul says: 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

What did we see in David’s life?  He is anointed King then waits over 22 years for that all to come to fruition…during that time he doesn’t envy, he isn’t proud, he just humbly serves his family out in the fields, he takes food to his brothers, he even gives his best to the man God calls him to replace!

In verse 5 Paul says: Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  

David isn’t rude, he doesn’t call attention to himself.  Now by doing what God asks he does gain attention, but it’s through his service and faith in the Lord.  He isn’t easily angered, and he certainly keeps no record of wrongs…I mean how many times does Saul try to kill him and he forgives and continues to serve him.  If he kept ‘records of wrongs’ he would have killed Saul in the cave!

In verse 6 Paul says: 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  

David delights in the Lord, doesn’t mean he didn’t fall to sin, but he doesn’t delight in evil…he focuses on and rejoices in the truth this becomes clear in many of his Psalms.

In verse 7 Paul says: Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  

This is who David is, he trusts in the Lord, hopes in the Lord, he perseveres through so much and is The Protector.

It’s very clear that David lives a life of love; this is a man after God’s own heart.  It is what made him so successful.  This is what put him in the spot that everyone looked up to, and I wanted you to see that this is all about centering on God and then actually allowing His love to pour in and out of us in such away that it comes out in our actions.  It’s interesting, people love David.  People served his leadership.  Warriors were willing to die to protect him.  He rose to power at a level and favor with God the likes of which is never seen again and I wanted you to see that it started with his heart.  It started with who he was on the inside.  It wasn’t always flashy; it was a life focused on and centered on God.  It was what was going on that no one knew about, it was about him and God, and those days out in the pasture tending to his father’s sheep as he walked in a relationship with God.  The key was him living a life of love.  This is what people saw, this is what drove Saul nuts, this is what had warriors willing to follow him, this is what made him the leader he was…not what he said, but how he lived.  Remember what God said as Samuel looked through Jesse’s sons for the next King…

Vs 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” NLT

As I walk through life lately, I just can’t help but see the entire process of what is going on around me.  I find it beautiful and amazing.  It’s hard for me to walk into our churches without thinking about all 20 years of the process, the ups and the downs, the good times and the painful times that led us to where we are today.  As my daughter walked across the stage and got her diploma from Principle Lehman, I couldn’t help but see all of her life that led her to that point and it’s amazing.  I can’t look at my children, and how they have grown without thinking through all of their lives…and all we have come through to get where we are.  I think in many ways the more time I spend with God, the more He is showing me the process, rather than just the moment, and it’s important to see.  It changes your perspective and I think when we look at David’s life and these 22 years waiting to be King of Israel it can change how we see things in a good way.

Many people would look at David and say they would love to be a King or a Queen sitting on the throne and running the show.  Many would say they would love for people to respond to them the way people responded to David and his leadership.  They want that, but are they willing to walk through all the pain, the fights, the good stuff, and all the challenges that took place over two decades to get to that spot?  Are they living with the character and love needed to earn it?  I wanted you to see something to day…that while we don’t see things the way God does, there is a reason people would follow David…and it’s because they saw a person living after God’s own heart, they saw who he was over time, and they would follow that anywhere!  It’s easy to want the spot, it’s a whole other thing to live the life of love necessary to earn that spot over time.  So as we close today I want to ask you some questions.

If you were anointed King, and told of your greatness to come:  

  • Could you be patient and wait on God’s timing or would you try to force it? 
  • Would you humbly serve your family, heading back out to the fields to tend the sheep knowing you would be the great King someday? 
  • Could you serve the leader you will someday replace the way David served Saul or would you try to push past that leader to take what God has promised you? 
  • Would you serve others, or would you expect others to serve you? 
  • Could you remain faithful even when so much time passes, or would you begin to question God’s call? 
  • Would you be described as a person after God’s own heart?  Do you live a life of love?  If you aren’t sure how to answer that, your actions will answer it for you…so how are you living?

Remember what Paul said, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” NIV

I wanted you to see something especially important today.  David had a lot of amazing moments, but I think it’s important to see what God saw in him.  It’s important to remember the process that put him on that throne, not just the moment he sat on it.  What made David great was the fact that he lived a life after God’s own heart…a life of love, which means that you and I can be like David, we can live this life too and it starts by centering on and submitting to God, when you do, people will see God coming out of your life the way he comes out of David…over time, through the whole process of your lives.