The Heart in Transformation: The Life of David
Rev. Dr. Mark Raeburn Johnston
– one –
A Life Purposed by Divine Design
Later this month we hope to re-open our church for Sunday fellowship. Of course, we will observe the necessary protocols to ensure the safety, health and well-being of each congregant and those guidelines will be published in advance of our first Sunday meeting.
Because we will not have the privilege of worshiping together in our beautiful sanctuary over the next few weeks, I am posting a series of devotionals entitled; The Heart in Transformation: The Life of David. This series can be read on our Facebook and Web sites and I hope these messages will bring some measure of comfort and inspiration to readers.
I am calling the first devotional, A Life Purposed by Divine Design which is meant to reassure each of us that the living God knows us and has a wonderful plan for our lives.
When Michelangelo sculpted his magnificent 17 foot, marble statue of David, he claimed that he simply chipped away until David emerged from his stony captivity. Michelangelo believed that the image of David “had been trapped inside the block of marble.”
After three years of intense labor, that image was set free for all the world to view. Concerning the move of the six-ton statue, Michelangelo wrote in his diaries “it took forty men five days to move it. Once in place, the statue was a warning…whoever governed Florence should govern justly and defend it bravely…”
Michelangelo’s message in stone was that those who would presume to lead a people are accountable to both God and man.
This ties us into the larger story of David, a study of faith and accountability of a man who was a shepherd and king, a son and a father, a husband and friend, a warrior and a worshiper.
According to First Samuel, chapter 13 verse 14, ‘David was a man after God’s own heart’ which means that David looked to God for guidance on a daily basis. As a consequence, David’s life was a life purposed by divine design! The realization of divine purpose occurs within the framework of faith.
To better understand David we must remember the story of his great-grandmother, Ruth, a Moabite woman of faith. Ruth teaches us that accountability to God begins by walking in obedience with the Lord, Who brings us from famine to feast, from failure to victory, from alienation to family.
We learn that faith in God shapes our futures with unimagined possibilities. We are liberated from the prisons of doubt, low self-esteem and uncertainty when the Sculptor of our destiny is the living God! We walk with the promise that God can do something wonderful with our lives when we place our trust in Him!
A friend once told me that the wealthiest place in any community is not the bank, not the stock-market, nor any other institution, but rather, the local cemetery.
Buried in every graveyard are the marvelous inventions, the wonderful cures and amazing discoveries that should have come into the world but were never realized because of a lack of self-confidence and reliance upon the Lord. How many of us have ‘buried’ our talents and gifts? Who among us has forgotten the inspired dreams that promised so much but never materialized because of some criticism?
May I suggest that no matter your age, level of education of social standing, “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” (Philippians chapter 4 verse 13).
In other words, those who actively seek the Lord are better postured to realize the divine purpose of God in this life. In this manner, shepherds have become kings.
Because the eye of the Sculptor sees something in each of us, what we might call ‘our potential’ or the ‘what could be’ factor, our lives are open ended with incredible possibilities that can honor God while blessing others!
However, this requires that His skilled hands chip away the unnecessary stone that so often traps and hinders our potential. Such processes are always difficult and sometimes painful.
But the polished result becomes a witness to the entire world!
From dust and stone emerges the eternal image of His grace! His Holy Spirit convicts, guides and counsels us while transforming our hearts as children of God.
As we search for Scriptural truths about this beloved shepherd king named David, let’s also search our own hearts and stand ready for the touch of God, our heavenly Sculptor! Then let’s commit our lives in service to God and others.
The most beautiful heart is the heart sculpted by God
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”