"I believe strongly that one thing the devil seeks to do is to sneak in and subtly distract our attention from the purity and simplicity of loving God. He doesn't mind if we exalt revival, healing, or anything else, as long as we lose our focus on the simplicity of heart-level lavish devotion to the Son of God.” - Mike Bickle
One of the battlegrounds of this present age is activity. The outward is most immediate for our attention. It demands our time and energy. We can feel trapped by the tyranny of the urgent. It’s Satan’s great strategy. If he can keep us constantly active, he has trapped us. We no longer are the captain of our soul, and we so easily sink into dullness in our Christian life. An impulsive desire of mankind is to avoid concentration on God. It’s so easy to work for Him any day than to let Him work in us.
David is a great biblical example of one whose primary ambition was to love God even in the midst of all the ups and downs of life. What was the secret to David’s success? Throughout his obscure life alone out in the fields as a shepherd boy, He continued to praise, worship, and thank God. He cultivated his heart and allowed God to root out self. All of this seemed so contrary to human wisdom, but God used David mightily in His perfect timing. He had a shepherd’s heart of trust and devotion. He was the giant killer, the composer of Psalms, Saul’s personal musician, Jonathan’s closest friend, a hunted fugitive and, finally, the King of Israel.
The Bible says that he was a man after God’s own heart. For the Bible to say this about a man is quite astounding. David used all his energies in pursuing God. He spent time with God. His inward life was more important than his outward activity. It was his highest priority, and he learned to work effectively from the inward to the outward. Out of our heart flow our energy, insight, and influence for God. David let God penetrate his heart deeply. God was his one dominant passion. The cost was high to feel God’s burden, to feel His anguish, to understand His heartache, and to stand in His truth day in and day out, but he was willing.
Are you tempted not to make prayer and devotion to Christ your first ambition in life? Does the devil tempt you with focusing on the externals of life rather than what is most important? Keeping Jesus as Lord of our life is the best way you and I can live. The following prayer will help you to keep Jesus in the center and cultivate a devoted heart.
A Prayer For a Heart After God
Dear Lord, help me to cultivate the simplicity of devotion to You. I want You to be my primary ambition in life. I desire to behold Your beauty, and dwell in Your house all the days of my life (Psalm 27:4). Let seeking Your heart be the goal of my life even in busy and stressful times. Help me to be one who seeks after Your beauty. Help me to discover Your emotions and the purposes of Your heart. I want to be a lover of God and thirst after You daily (Psalm 42:1-2). “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 17:8).
Teach me how to align my heart with Yours. I recommit myself as a man/woman after Your heart. I choose to seek Your face (Psalm 27:8). In difficult times, open my heart to receive Your revelation. Hide me in the shelter of your tabernacle (Psalm 27:5). Reveal deeply to my heart Your love for me. Rescue me in the midst of difficult circumstances, and bring me into a spacious place (Psalm 18:19). Teach me to enjoy life the way you desire. I choose to be confident in Your love. I am Your Bride. “I love you, O LORD, my strength” (Psalm 18:1).
“One thing I ask from the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock... I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:4-5, 13-14). In Jesus’ name, amen.
The Intercessors Arise International and Nations House of Prayer Equipping Center websites will help you to pursue God with all of your heart. Included are dozens of motivational teachings on prayer and intercession along with resources to help you in your daily walk with God.
“Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God” (Psalm 86:2).
Together in the Harvest,
Intercessors Arise International
International House of Prayer Kansas City (IHOPKC)