For the friend that feels divided in a million different ways, this post is for you. For the weary soul that feels like you’ve lost your passion for the things that once gave you life, this is for you. For those white knuckling your way through your days thinking it will just get better if you get through your to-do lists, this is for you.
Let’s talk about what it means to be whole.
This is a topic that is so close to my heart because anything I share today is such a personal part of my story. Things God is teaching me. Things God is ironing out in my life right now. And I want to invite you today to join me in a deep hunger to live a wholehearted life for God.
I want you to close your eyes. Clear your mind. Think back to a time, maybe it was yesterday, last week, five years ago, when you were five, but think about a time you truly felt alive. A time you felt wholehearted. Don’t overcomplicate it. Think about where you were. Think about who you were with. What were you doing? What were you thinking about? What were you NOT thinking about? What were you not worried or anxious about that you might be struggling with now? How present were you?
Now open your eyes.
Friend, whatever that moment was for you, I want you to realize the holiness of that moment. I want you to see that the state you were in, that’s God heart for you. Not the anxiousness and half-heartedness you might find yourself in. It doesn’t mean all our moments will be like that one, but the beauty of a life lived with Jesus is that there is a peace that surpasses our circumstances. A wholeness of heart that can transcend our broken situations.
I think for too long we have been letting our circumstances determine the way we live wholeheartedly. This IS not God’s heart for us.
If we want to be wholehearted, we have to know and have a true understanding and love for the Father’s heart.
When we know the Father’s heart for us, everything changes.
Most of you know King David. He was the appointed King of Israel from the tribe of Judah. He was an unassuming shepherd who God chose to use in mighty ways. In humility toward God, he accomplished great things in his life, check it out:
- A humble leader – and from him we get the phrase “man looks at the outward appearance, God looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
- A fierce warrior, to the point he had songs sung about him in battle.
- He killed Goliath – enough said.
- He escaped death countless times and then extending mercy to those who tried to kill him.
- He is the writer of most of the Psalms (think NYT best-selling author and top Christian Album on Apple… no big deal.)
And don’t get me wrong, David also had a past. He was a murderer and an adulterer, but still God saw David as a “man after his own heart.” If anything, this points to the goodness of the unconditional love of a Father.
And the Lord makes a covenant with David that he IS the rightful king of Israel, and that his throne will be established forever.
David had many children but one of his children was Solomon.
And one of the greatest tasks of David’s life was to prepare for a temple to be made for the Lord’s presence. He was old in age, so God charged Solomon to build it.
David knew as a Father that he had to prepare everything for Solomon to be able to pull this thing off:
“David said, “My son Solomon is young and inexperienced, and the house to be built for the Lord should be of great magnificence and fame and splendor in the sight of all the nations. Therefore, I will make preparations for it.” So David made extensive preparations before his death.” (1 Chronicles 22:5)
He prepared every stone, gold, silver, bronze, iron, all workers, all positions, musicians, gatekeepers (security), treasurers, military, and every single other thing he would need.
Maybe you need to hear that today, that your Heavenly Father prepares for you exactly what you’ll need to accomplish what He has called you to.
David did it ALL.
And at the very end of his life, he gives a monumental speech and prayer to the people of Israel and to his son.
If you’ve ever seen someone at the end of their life, you know that they use their words wisely. We should all pay attention to this charge.
He prays this prayer for his son and God’s people:
“O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep your commandments, your testimonies, and your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.” 1 Chronicles 29:16-19
What a beautiful prayer. Solomon doesn’t pray that God would make his son rich, established, or “successful”, but wholly sincere and dedicated to God. That’s the good news – that we have a God that just asks us to be whole. Not perfect, but whole. See there’s a difference.
Perfection is about achievement.
Wholeness is about giving what you have.
Perfection is all about the end result.
Wholeness is about the journey.
Perfection is about pride.
Wholeness is about humility.
David didn’t need his son to be perfect, He just needed him to give all that he had knowing that God would sustain him. Knowing that the good work he had begun in him, HE would bring it to completion (Philippians 1:6).
Hopefully right about now if you appreciate a good story, you’re asking the question, well… did he? Did Solomon remain wholehearted?
Here’s the bad news…. no, he did not. He did for a while, but he didn’t stay dedicated to the one hope that God had for him. And it’s interesting because there are three main factors that drew him away from wholeheartedness that I believe God wants us to be aware of as a warning so that we might resist the schemes of the enemy.
Let me break this down.
1. He loved the things of the world more than the things of God.
Solomon does what was commanded of him, he built the temple, he asked for wisdom, and things seemed to be going well. The people were happy. And then there’s a shift.
Because God blessed Solomon’s reign, the riches and honor came flooding in and with that, Solomon shifted from worshipping God to allowing others, and eventually himself, to become to object of his worship.
He loved that people came to him for wisdom, the wisdom given to him by God. (1 Kings 10:24)
He loved the gifts more than the Giver and kept them for himself. (1 Kings 10:25)
He loved receiving glory and status more than giving all the glory to God. (1 Kings 10:18-21)
2. He let the wrong voices be the loudest voices.
Over time, Solomon acquired many wives of foreign women who worshipped other gods. These voices, the closest voices to him, because the loudest voices in his life. (1 Kings 11:1-4)
Before you think this isn’t relatable, don’t underestimate the power of even one relationship having a huge impact on your wholeheartedness. Some of you might not even have one wife or husband, but you follow more than 100 people on Instagram, right? Each of those voices you’re letting speak things and ideas into your life without even knowing it.
The voices we let into our life will either lead or mislead us into intimacy with our Heavenly Father.
3. He filled the wrong temple.
Solomon thought he was wholeheartedly serving the Lord by building the temple as he asked. And he did to an extent. But why do you think that God wanted the temple in the first place? So He could be with us. So He could fill us with His love and presence.
The temple was God’s way to be with us. To dwell among us… and Solomon missed it. He was so caught up in doing, achieving, completing, that he left vacant the main thing God wanted to fill, which was himself. Friend, God wants us. Anything He asks us to do will only be a means to an end to bring us to him.
David asked Solomon to be whole – to have an “undivided” heart to build the temple. But really it was never fully about the building, God wanted to fill a different empty space.
And maybe today as you read this, there are idols, or some spaces, or some voices that need redemption today. If so, God is near, and loves doing the impossible.
So Solomons life ends with bondage to idolatry and a love for the world over God. (1 Kings 11:6)
I know this feels discouraging because we love a happy ending.
But praise be to God, there is one.
Solomon wasn’t the golden child of David, but God the Father was faithful.
So much so that when Jesus puts on flesh to enter the cosmos, he is called the “son of David” (Matthew 12:23).
See, Jesus was wholeheartedly devoted to the things of God. Jesus lived a perfect life. Even when met with temptation of worldly status, he rejected it by becoming a humble servant.
When the wrong voices tried to speak into his life, he retreated to let God be the loudest voice.
When everyone around him was trying to earn salvation by works, he purchased that salvation through pouring out his blood for us.
In Solomon we see failure, in Jesus we see fulfillment. Through Jesus, now we are the temple that God wants to fill. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
This IS the Father’s love on display.
SO HOW DO WE LIVE A WHOLEHEARTED LIFE?
You see, the first thing said about Solomon was that he was loved from the start. (2 Samuel 12:24)
So today, know that you’re loved. Know that God wants to be the ultimate Provider for you. If He sent us Jesus, won’t he give us everything little thing that we’ll need? Just like Solomon, won’t God our Father provide? (Matthew 6:27-31)
Through Jesus, God has made a way for us to be a recipient of wholehearted love.
What a kind, loving Father we have.
If you want this today, or if you want to go deeper into a life of wholeheartedness, I would encourage you to repent, which means “to turn” away from the things leaving you less than whole.
The good news is that it’s through the Father’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
It’s his kindness, it’s his LOVE that gives us a whole heart. What a whole hope we have today through the loving Father and the perfect son.
Morgan Krueger is part of Team LO and loves any opportunity to hear someones heart. In her free time she loves drinking coffee with friends, watching British baking shows, and leading their local church’s young adult ministry in West Monroe, LA with her husband, Ryan.