We can learn a great deal about our hearts by taking note of what is on our minds and in our speech. When we find ourselves overwhelmed with concerns of the world and in constant turmoil in our minds, we might greatly benefit by taking some time to uncover what we are seeking, what we cherish, and who we are aiming to please.
I was reading in Acts 4 this morning and found myself lingering over the words Peter and John spoke when they were told not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus any more. They answered and said “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (4:19-20) Once we have seen and heard from the One who provides living water, the one who is the bread of life, we must not cease from telling what we have seen and heard! Spreading the good news becomes our destiny, our most poignant mission.
I think so often of King David and how he knew God from his youth as a faithful servant, and then fell into sin, lived it out over time only to return to his first love broken and so aware of his failure. His words ring true to me from Psalm 51:3-4 “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” He goes on to ask in verses 7-10 “Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Finally he says to the Lord “do not cast me away from your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You.” (11-13)
David knew God deeply and intimately yet he miserably failed the Lord. How many of us can say we haven’t found ourselves broken of our own doing, cast down and in need of merciful grace and tender compassion? David knew that God could cleanse him and make him clean, restore him with joy and make salvation his comfort again. How precious it is to me when David repents and says “then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to you.” David had a love for God and for sinners. He longed to be restored to fellowship with His God and to lead others away from the horrors of sin. I believe true repentance always brings us to a place of sorrow over the sins of the whole world and creates a desire in each of us to share the glorious truth of the love of our Father.
Just as Peter and John knew they would continue to speak of what they had seen and heard, David knew he would go on in life to teach the ways of his Lord. When we find our minds and speech veering away from Him, may we run back to the cross and be reminded of our purpose as His children and let us glory only in Him!