1 Chronicles 17:16-27
How do you respond when things go your way? Are you a good winner? Or, do you allow success to get to your head, inflating your sense of self-worth, leading you to receive credit for your good fortune, and tempting you to believe that you deserve the good that has come your way?
How should we respond when the winds of fortune blow our way or when the blessings of God pour out on us? Should we shy away from it in some type of self-abasement, claiming that we are not worthy to receive such things? Should we reject the offer of good will extended to us by others or by God?
In David’s prayer we see a good model for how to handle it when good things happen.
1. Be Humble. (v. 16-17) To be humble is not to put yourself down. Humility is the act of seeing yourself the way God sees you, not the way you or anyone else sees you. God sees truth. God sees His child, who has been set free and given gifts to be used for His Kingdom. In humility we can say with David, “I am nothing, but you, oh Lord, have looked at me as though I were the most exalted of men.” In Christ you are an heir to the glory of God. Rejoice in that and carry that esteemed position with a cloak of humility.
2. Be Thankful.(vv. 18-19) To give thanks is to give honor where honor is due. When someone gives you a gift you say thank you because you didn’t do anything to produce this gift. All that we have in life is a gift from God, so we should be in a constant state of thanksgiving. A thankful heart says, “Wow, God, what you have given me is awesome, thanks!”
3. Give Praise. (vv.20-22) A thankful heart leads naturally into a heart of praise. When the realization washes over you that the Almighty God of the universe has freely given good things to you out of the goodness of His heart, you can’t help but stand up and shout, “Lord, you are the best!”
4. Get Aligned. (vv. 23-27) At the close of David’s prayer he makes a request of God. Does he say, “now that you have given me all this good stuff, will you throw in a new yacht as well?” No. David’s request is that God would do what He promised. Does that mean that if David didn’t ask for it that God would not keep His promise? This seems like a strange request. Why does David make this seemingly redundant petition? In asking for God to keep His promise, David is verbally aligning himself with God’s will. We know that we have reached a place of maturity when our will is aligned with God’s will. Many times people ask if they should ask God to grant the desires of their heart, or if they should ask for God to do His will in their life. The correct answer is that our goal should be for the desires of our heart to match the desires of God’s heart, so that the question becomes moot. In making this request David is saying, “Yes, Lord, I believe your promise and I agree that what you want for me is what I want for you as well.”
In many ways there are parallels between this prayer of David and the prayer of Jesus in Matthew 5, “Father, you are hallowed, Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is Heaven.”Once again, the main reason that David was a man after God’s own heart was because he was not a king after the kings own heart. From the beginning to the end, David was just a servant of God who had an authentic, open relationship with the maker and lover of his soul. May we be able to pray with the heart of David this week.