I have always enjoyed studying David, the first God-appointed King of Israel. Although God referred to him as a man after His own heart, David was also a deeply flawed individual. Behaviorally speaking, he was capable of the highest highs and the lowest lows. Yet, whether in good times or bad, victory or failure, confidence or fear; David always turned to God. David understood his own frailty and where his strength came from. He had a relationship with the living God developed in his boyhood when he spent many lonely nights out in the field watching the sheep. His understanding and trust in who God is allowed him to stand before Goliath and say, “You come to me with sword, spear and javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the armies of Israel.” David’s courage and strength in that situation came from a conscious and determined CHOICE to rely on his God.
The Bible gives us insight into the many times when David’s choices were not so courageous or God-honoring. In a flash of anger over Nabal’s insults, David was going to wipe out an entire village; while looking for safety from Saul (apparently forgetting that God was his protector), David allied with the Philistines, Israel’s archenemies; and after becoming complacent in his relationship with the Lord, David committed adultery and murder. Like us, David responded to life’s circumstances by making choices.
In Psalms 101:2 David says, “I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” David is making a determined choice as he proclaims that he WILL behave wisely in a perfect way and WILL walk within his house with a perfect heart, but how does a flawed man actually do this? Right in the middle of David’s two “I will” declarations we can see a familiar battle playing out. David tries to change his conduct, but quickly recognizes he must have God’s help. He cries out to God “Oh, when will You come to me?” I sense urgency in this request as David struggles to live out his commitment. As much as he desires perfect conduct and a perfect heart, David knows that he is unable to sustain this behavior in any meaningful way. In his own strength he will repeatedly try and fail.
Like David, we can experience a desire for a victorious and transformed life; however it is important to note that a mere desire is not enough. We must make a determined choice to pursue it by turning to God for His guiding and equipping. David asked God, “Oh, when will You come to me?” We still need to cry out to God for His help, but unlike David, we have access to the Holy of Holies and we have been assured that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13).