Developing a heart for God

Olu JegedeDevotional

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“2Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 

King Asa had carried out a great rule over Judah.  He had seen God move mightily in his kingdom.  However in his latter years he got comfortable, and ended his reign in military conflict and eventually contracted a sickness that let to his death. The verse above was proclaimed by the prophet as he announced God’s impending judgment to the king. 

He wanted him to know that if he had stayed committed to God then God would have stayed committed to him, for God had his eyes on him the whole time.

See the truth is that God sees everything.  And he especially sees the hearts of humanity.  Indeed, his eyes are running to and fro, all over the earth to see who has a worthy heart so that they may come to him.

Asa wasn’t such a person, but Abraham was and God came to him. This was even before Abraham knew God.  He was a pagan worshipper in Mesopotamia, but there was something different about him – he had a heart that was committed to knowing God.  This kind of heart is not something manufacturable. Or something that can be feigned. Instead it is something that only God can give you.  Because of Abraham’s commitment to God, God made a covenant, blessed him and entrusted him with much.

David was another person who had a heart that was committed to God, and again God found him, blessed him and entrusted him with a kingdom.

So how do you develop a heart for God?  You can’t. It’s a gift from God. But, you can put yourself in a position where God can find you.

I believe that one clear way this happens is by association.

King David learned to spend time with God in the endless hours he spent alone tending sheep in the middle of the night.  He was blessed with a real commitment to God.

David had a friend named Jonathan.  Jonathan was from a completely different world than David.  Jonathan was a prince, born to royalty, schooled in the finer things of life.  David was from a humble family, a shepherd boy who nurtured and protected the sheep he cared for.

Regardless of their differences, Jonathan desired a friendship with David.  We are told that David loved Jonathan and they made a covenant of friendship in this regard.  Jonathan and David became aligned in mind and in purpose and when pivotal decisions of integrity and justice had to be made, Jonathan was blameless.  I truly believe Jonathan developed a heart for God largely because of his association with David.  

In my life, and maybe in yours, this holds true as well.  I can remember admiring a mentor because of a spiritual quality they had. Now by association, this same attribute has become mine as well.  

Prophet Elisha demonstrates this, where he had an uncommon resolve not to end his relationship with his mentor Elijah, and eventually, upon Elijah’s passing, the same spirit came upon Elisha.  

Let’s be people that God can find as he looks for the committed.  Let’s put ourselves in those contexts and relationships where our hearts can be warmed for God and our desire for him can be stoked so that we can serve him wholeheartedly.

– Pastor Olu Jegede