I am honored to have the wise words of a mentor of mine, Jewl Westphalen, grace my blog today. It was the act of confiding and confessing to Jewl recently that helped make some of my ogres disappear in a ker-puffle, as I blogged about last Wednesday. This is the type of woman who chose for years with her husband to spend time in our young families community group most Sundays so she could help disciple us. She could have met with her own age group, but she chose instead to invest in us. I love her heart for discipleship, truth, grace, and prayer. Enjoy her words about David and God’s grace.
David: A Man After God’s Own Heart
“After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’” Acts 13:22
“Which Bible hero would you most want to be like?” The question seemed innocent enough, but I paused, stuck. “David” was the first response that came to my mind, likely because his life was the topic this small group had formed to study. It was the first time I had considered this question, and being the newcomer to the group, I wanted to make sure my answer really represented my aspirations. Seeking to be a “woman after God’s own heart” really resonated with my spirit, but remembering that David was also well known for his adultery with Bathsheba then killing her husband to cover it up made my answer stop in my throat. Uncontrolled lust and murder are not heroic at all! Did I really want to identify with someone tagged by those? What if the people in this new group questioned my character as a result? I ended up not responding at all. But the question stayed with me. How could a holy God who hated sin more than I did give such a high mark to a king who had strayed so far?
This question of who I would choose for a hero was posed to me thirty years ago, yet I still consider it ironic that out of all the characters in the Bible, God chose David to depict as a man after His own heart. Do I really want to be like this guy? Ummm. Would I want my daughter to marry a guy with this kind of record? Kind of sketchy!
Yes, David’s worship through song and dance expresses wholehearted love for God, his self-control to refuse revenge even when King Saul sought his demise exhibits great respect for authority, and his historic wins in battle reveal a man who consulted first with God, but for God to esteem his heart above others seems rather unwarranted. God’s high regard for him didn’t change even after his waywardness: “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the LORD and had not failed to keep any of the LORD’s commands all the days of his life—except in the case of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kings 15:4-5).
However. I have been a David. We all have. We have gone our own way. We have coveted, chosen selfishness, and become entangled in sin like an adulterer, even though we, the bride, have the most perfect Groom. Then we have allowed fear to drive us to hide instead of coming clean.
Thank goodness God chooses to have a short memory for those of us who have accepted His payment for our sin! While hating our offensive wrongs and still allowing us the immediate consequences of them, he throws the accusations and sins far away, and his pitch is better than any baseball player! When God looks at David, or you or me, His eyes fill with compassion. Instead of characterizing us by our sin, he sees our heart and calls us to come to Him boldly as His children, sons and daughters of the king. And, on the way there, we can see other Davids finding grace enough too.
Jewl Westphalen’s life impetus is to be an arsonist for God, as frail and imperfect as she is. She aims to live her life as a worship offering to the Lord, inciting others to join her at the throne. She’s had the great privilege of carrying the message of salvation in Christ, discipling women, and offering training so other believers can know their identity is in Christ and how to take their thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ first with Cru and now with Freedom in Christ Ministries for a total of 31 years. Her husband, Brian, and their daughters bring her joy. Soon their girls will graduate from a home school cooperative near their home in TN.
You can find more about the identity in Christ message and plentiful resources on such topics as spiritual battle, depression, fear, anger, addiction, and more at www.ficm.org.
Jewl recently recorded a two part podcast series as a guest in Long Story, Short Podcast entitled “Road Trip to Revival” where she tells the story of how God renewed her heart then placed her and Brian in settings of public revival in 1995. Find her podcasts in these links here for Part One and Part Two.