23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
How can we keep our he] arts close to God. None better than David could be quoted for having such concern especially when he prayed for that in Psalm 139:23-24
1. A Heart of Patience
1 Samuel 22:1-5
1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and his father's household heard about it, they went down to him there.
2 All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.
3 From there David went to Mizpah in Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Would you let my father and mother come and stay with you until I learn what God will do for me?"
4 So he left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David was in the stronghold.
5 But the prophet Gad said to David, "Do not stay in the stronghold. Go into the land of Judah." So David left and went to the forest of Hereth.
David went through suffering one after the other. From Naioth to Ramah to Nob, to Gath, to Adullam, to Mizpah, to Judah, David was trying to save his life from the hands of Saul. Verse 3 talks about David's attitude towards those situations. As a disciple when we go through problems it is very easy to become negative, unlike David who patiently waited to learn what God would do.
Are we going through tough time? Probably God is allowing us to learn what He would do. Apostle Paul had similar convictions when he wrote Romans 12:12 to be patient in affliction.
2. A Heart of Loyalty
1 Samuel 22:6-16
6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul, spear in hand, was seated under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing around him.
7 Saul said to them, "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make all of you commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds?
8 Is that why you have all conspired against me? No one tells me when my son makes a covenant with the son of Jesse. None of you is concerned about me or tells me that my son has incited my servant to lie in wait for me, as he does today."
9 But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul's officials, said, "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech son of Ahitub at Nob.
10 Ahimelech inquired of the LORD for him; he also gave him provisions and the sword of Goliath the Philistine."
11 Then the king sent for the priest Ahimelech son of Ahitub and his father's whole family, who were the priests at Nob, and they all came to the king.
12 Saul said, "Listen now, son of Ahitub." "Yes, my lord," he answered.
13 Saul said to him, "Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, giving him bread and a sword and inquiring of God for him, so that he has rebelled against me and lies in wait for me, as he does today?"
14 Ahimelech answered the king, "Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household?
15 Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father's family, for your servant knows nothing at all about this whole affair."
16 But the king said, "You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and your father's whole family."
Saul was burning in anger against David because he thought the men of Benjamin were conspiring against him. When Saul came to know that the priesthood of Nob, Ahimelech son of Ahitub and his whole family had helped David, he became furious. In Verse 14, Ahimelech while answering the king boldly admired David's loyalty, being more than that of the kings son-in-law, captain of Saul's bodyguard and the highly respected in Saul's household.
Today would God call you the most loyal disciple?
3. A Heart of Care
1 Samuel 22:17-23
17 Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me." But the king's officials were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.
18 The king then ordered Doeg, "You turn and strike down the priests." So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.
19 He also put to the sword Nob, the town of the priests, with its men and women, its children and infants, and its cattle, donkeys and sheep.
20 But Abiathar, a son of Ahimelech son of Ahitub, escaped and fled to join David.
21 He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the LORD.
22 Then David said to Abiathar: "That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your father's whole family.
23 Stay with me; don't be afraid; the man who is seeking your life is seeking mine also. You will be safe with me."
When Doeg struck the priests of Nob, Abiathar son of Ahimelach escaped and fled to join David. When David heard about what happened, he stepped forward to take responsibility for all that occurred. David could have avoided the responsibility. But he faced it because he had a caring heart.
Many times as a disciple we fail to take responsibility for even small things. But we need to open our eyes to realize the tremendous responsibility we have in saving the lost. That could be accomplished only when we decide to have a caring heart.
Let us ask God earnestly to give us a heart of patience, loyalty and care.