Recent headlines about adultery by elected officials and public figures reminded me of a leader lesson I wrote several years ago. I revisited this teaching today in my own quiet time, and offer it to you in the same spirit.
David is one of the most recognizable men in the Bible. He was declared t(by God) to be a man after God’s own heart. What did he do to be that kind of person? How did he live? David’s story is told fully in 1 & 2 Samuel, but the Psalms reveal the inner person of David. Here David sang joyfully, prayed sorrowfully and acknowledged his weaknesses.
Read Psalm 51. This Psalm was written to record the time David was caught in an adulterous relationship. David turns back to God and his inner thoughts and feelings are recorded in the Psalm. Note the three key movements about David’s relationship with God in prayer.
I come to you with a clean heart.
I will not confine you.
I will submit to you.
David prays and expresses his anguish to God. Where in this Psalm do you see David moving through these three stages?
Looking at David’s personal thoughts and heart towards God reveals much about the relationship he had with God. Something within David was moved to always turn back to God and something within God was moved towards David. David records the relationship and openness in this way, “A broken and repentant heart, O God, you will not despise (v17).” It seems as if David is telling us, God can’t resist us when we have placed ourselves openly and honestly before him. By revealing ourselves openly, with a clean heart that does not confine him and seeks his ways, we can bring pleasure to God and find that our relationship grows.
1. How often do you enter prayer as a conversation with God? How does it feel? honest, awkward, or something else?
2. Which of the three movements do you see as key to your growth in prayer? Why?
3. How can you get better at distinguishing God’s voice from the other voices that you hear?