For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. Acts 13:36
The Bible is an amazing book. Of course, it’s amazing because it’s God inspired and living but it’s also very honest. In the Bible, you find stories of men and women living at different times who were used by God in powerful ways. People who loved God… and failed miserably. Full of faith and full of flaws—stories like that of a man called David show us that Christianity speaks to human beings as they are. We are made in the image of God, with eternity inside us but living in the here and now with natures that sin. And sin regularly.
Do you know the story of David, the shepherd boy-turned-king, who was honored by God Himself, saying that he was a man after His own heart? David’s life is a study which offers great insights to those who are interested in knowing what it takes to accomplish God’s purpose in your life. David knew hardship, personal rejection, heartache, and moral failure. Not only was his record tarnished by an adulterous relationship, he also bore the guilt of having the woman’s husband killed. Yet in spite of his failures, you see a man of great generosity and a heart for God marked by sincerity, devotion, and commitment.
In one of the psalms he wrote, David gave us insights as to what he had learned, often the hard way. In Psalm 37 there is a series of directives which can help you stay focused on what is really important in life. He begins by saying, “Do not fret because of evil men”—people who get by, by dishonest and devious means. The word David used is a strong one. It doesn’t mean, “Just don’t be annoyed with these people,” but rather it means “don’t let them make you angry,” or “don’t get burned up with these liars and cheats.” He says their day is coming, and they will be cut down like the grass of summer.
Rather, says David, stay focused on God and His purpose in your life. He then uses four verbs in a sequence: trust, delight, commit, and rest.
First, he says, trust in the Lord and do good. David says those who do this will have the resources of the land and be fed. The goodness he speaks of is not that of someone who says all the right things, but of one whose right living stems from the kind of a person he or she is; one of integrity, not expedience.
Then David makes a strong statement with a blessing attached. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” he says, adding, “and he will give you the desires of your heart.” For a moment, take inventory. What do you really take delight in? Your looks, your influence, your abilities, your power? David had learned that all of these diminish, but he also knew that when you really delight in God, out of His goodness and grace, He gives you the things that your heart really desires—usually things which money cannot buy.
“Commit your way to Him,” he then instructs. “Trust in Him, and He will bring to pass what you really desire.” No, David didn’t “work God” to get what he wanted. Instead he learned that when you yield your will to His, you discover that God has a purpose for your life, and when you trust Him, God alone can bring that to pass.
Then David closes with his initial theme—evil people – saying, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.” God will ultimately and justly, deal with all evildoers.
Until then, learn a lesson from David. It can make you a better man, a better woman.
Resource reading: Psalm 37:1-8