Picture a hardened criminal on death row.

A man or woman tried and proven to have murdered another person in cold blood.

King David– the Jewish king that God honored countless times throughout history –was no better than that convict. King David was literally a murderer, but God still called him “a man after [My] own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). That may chaffe your religious sensitivities a little bit, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

God famously called David “a man after His own heart” knowing full well every failure and mistake he would commit. Click To Tweet

God famously called David “a man after His own heart” knowing full well every failure and mistake he would commit over the next sixty years, and in that moment, God set a precedent: He wasn’t seeking perfect men or women to follow Him. His primary goal was simply that they would be “after His own heart,” or in other words, that they would abide in His love and love Him in return.

We like to picture King David as a heartfelt worship leader, an artist and a lover, and he was certainly all of those things. But he wasn’t perfect. He was also a liar, an adulterer and a murderer–  and he knew it. For all his other faults, David was refreshingly self-aware. Even so, David carried that same certainty on the inside that John the Beloved would carry almost a thousand years later, an unshakable conviction that he was the one that God loved. Period.

When you try to imagine the most “successful” version of yourself, what do you see? Click To Tweet

This statement transformed every sphere of David’s life, and it can do the same for you. When you try to imagine the most “successful” version of yourself, what do you see?

A man or woman who can recite entire books of the Bible from memory?

A husband or wife so godly that it puts every other spouse in your small group to shame, or the parent whose well-behaved children cause all others to ask, “What’s your secret?”

(Don’t get me wrong. All of these are admirable things to strive for, but success is not tied up in any of these identities.)

But in order to be successful (you could easily substitute the words “victorious,” “triumphant,” “prosperous,” “thriving” or “satisfied” here), your sole identity can’t rest on any outside source. It has to be fully trusted to God.

In every circumstance, David rooted himself in this truth: “I am loved by God and I love God, therefore I am successful.” Click To Tweet

David lived as a shepherd, as a king and a fugitive, and in every circumstance, he rooted himself in this truth: “I am loved by God and I love God, therefore I am successful.”

As we meditate on God’s Word and love, we will experience the same unshakable peace King David did. And who wouldn’t want that?

Do you spend time each day thinking about how much God delights in you? If not, you should try it!

I’d love to hear about your experience below.

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Yosemite National Park, CA. Check out more of his work here.


I’m Justin Rizzo. I enable worship leaders who feel isolated, overworked, and unfocused to experience peace, confidence and create thriving worship communities.

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Light of the World (Acoustic)





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