In The Midst


Grace gives us the heart of a king, but gratitude, worship, and generosity help us maintain it. In the final message of this series, we’re reminded of the ways we can live a kingdom life in the midst of our circumstances. Let’s receive the heart of a king together!

Alright, hey everybody. Welcome to Valley Creek. Come on, wherever you’re at today, Denton, Flower Mound, Gainesville, Lewisville, The Venue or online somewhere in the world, let’s just welcome each other. Come on, come on, you can do better than that. Come on. Welcome each other in. Come on, we’re so glad that you’re here. And it has been a great week here at Valley Creek Church. I want to celebrate all of you for the amazing hope on the move thanksgiving groceries. You guys did an amazing job.

We like to say around here all the time, we’re one church, right, with multiple campuses. Well, when you’re one church and there’s multiple campuses participating, we can do extravagant things for this city. We can have a significant impact. And what I think is so cool is you guys did more in a global pandemic than you did last year in normal life.

So I want to celebrate every person that participated, every person that gave, that served, that brought what they could do to participate. Really we have a favor right now on our church in serving the city. God has given us these incredible opportunities and we want to be faithful to meet those needs that he’s bringing along the way. That’s what it means to be a movement of hope for the city and beyond. And that is the future of our church. So it’s a great week with serving the city. And it was also a great week because we wrapped up our fall circles semester this week. And so I want to celebrate circles for a moment. I want to celebrate every circle leader, every person that was in a circle. You say, what’s a circle?

A circle is people getting together in a circle, talking about the weekend message, reading the Bible, praying together, being disciples, making disciples, moving forward, that is the future of our church. And we had an amazing fall semester. And so I celebrate every leader, every person that was in a circle. You are making the heart of Valley Creek grow stronger and stronger. And I can’t wait for the spring semester to kick off. You should already decide now, I’m going to be in a circle because that’s where life change happens. And there’s favor right now on circles. That’s where God is doing some great things. And that’s where we become transformed and change. So great week at Valley Creek. Hope on the move. Circles. And we are wrapping up our series called The Heart of a King today. For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the life of King David. We’ve been reading first and second Samuel together.

And This has been a really big series. It’s been a really important series. It’s been a deep series. It’s been a long series. But it’s been a significant series. You see, what we’ve said is that we were created to live with the heart of a king. That you are created to live a life of royalty, of nobility, of character, of honor, of humility, of passion, of submission, of mission that we all start with this heart of a rebel, the heart of an orphan, the heart of a Pharisee, the heart of a slave. But when Jesus becomes the king of our heart, he gives us the heart of a king. And no longer do we live down to the world, we now live up to the Kingdom of God. And knowing that you’re royal, it doesn’t make you self-ish, it makes you self-less because kings don’t spend their lives for their good and their glory. They spend their lives for the good of others and the glory of God.

And as we’ve been going through this series, I realized there have been some big topics, some deep content. And I’ve been trying to stretch your mind and change your thinking. And if I could just simplify it for you. Here’s what we’ve talked about through this series. All we’ve been talking about is living a kingdom life. If you don’t get the whole heart of a king thing, that’s fine. All we’ve been talking about is living a kingdom life. In fact, look at this, Matthew chapter 4, “From that time on, Jesus began to preach, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Do you realize that Jesus only has one message? From that time on, he began to preach. He only has one message. Repent for the kingdom is at hand. Repent, like change your mind. Change your thinking. Change your direction. Change how you’re living because the kingdom is here. And you’re now a part of a kingdom. Not a democracy, not a dictatorship, not an anarchy. No, no. A kingdom.

And when you put your faith in Jesus, you become a part of that kingdom. And you’re not just a citizen of a kingdom, you are literally a son or a daughter of the king, which means you’re royal. You have royal blood, a royal spirit. You’re now a part of the divine nature because you’ve been included in Christ. And everything that’s true of Jesus is now true of you. And so we’re learning to change our mind because we’re now a part of a kingdom, which means we’ve been empowered by God to rule and reign with him. Rule, doesn’t mean to lord over, means to come under and lift others up and to reign. To literally release the victory of the finished work of Jesus into every area of authority and influence that we have. So change your mind because you’re now a part of a kingdom. So stop living like the world and start living like the kingdom. That’s what Jesus is saying. He’s saying, here’s a better way.

And that’s what we’ve been talking about in this series. We’ve talked about guarding our heart, we’ve talked about passion, we’ve talked about honor, we’ve talked about humility, submission, we’ve talked about holding on to hope, we’ve talked about living on mission. And if you’ve missed nay of those, please if you’re a part of our church, go back and watch them on YouTube because this really is the core of what kingdom living is all about. Repent, change your mind because you’ve been given the heart of a king. And I know it ain’t been an easy season. I know in so many ways, and shapes, and forms, so much has come at you and me over this past seven, eight, nine, ten months, whatever it’s been. I know there’s so much. But if I could just like help you peak behind the curtain for a moment and say, what is God really doing in this season? They feel so confusing and so disorienting. Well, I think he’s trying to create within you the heart of a king.

In fact, Romans chapter 8, this verse, like we love this verse when life gets hard, “And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Like I bet you got that on a knick knack somewhere in your house. Because we like this verse, right, when it’s hard? We’re like, in all things, God is working for the good. How many of you got some all kinds of things coming at you in this season? Yeah. Okay. And he promises he’s working for good behind the scenes. But did you ever catch the next verse? For those God foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His son. See if you can catch this. God says in the midst of everything that’s happening in your life, He is always behind the scenes working for the good. And what he is doing is you are destined to be conformed to the image and likeness of Jesus. So he is actually helping shape, mold, create the heart of a king within you.

Your destiny is to be like Jesus. Jesus has the heart of a king. So maybe, just maybe, in this season, God has been trying to shape within you the heart of a king and that’s the good that he’s been doing. In the midst of the trials, in the storms, in the brokenness and the pain, maybe behind the scenes it’s all about you learning to live a kingdom life. Because I would bet you’ve had plenty of opportunity to have the heart of a king shaped within you. Plenty of opportunity to deal with some humility and some honor. And some passion and apathy, and strengthening yourself in the Lord, and living on mission. And oh, our favorite word, submission. Haha, yeah. In all things, behind the scenes, He’s trying to shape within you the heart of a king.

How differently would we view this season if we actually thought that that was true? Maybe instead of complaining about it and trying to get of it, or sitting down and quitting in the middle of it, we would start catching this bigger perspective of like, God is trying to help me learn to rule and reign with him. In fact, look what Peter says, I love this. He says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while you have had to suffer grief and all kinds of trials. Come on, who feels like they’ve been suffering grief and trials, right? Well, let me encourage you, it’s only been a little while. Like you do realize it’s only been like ten months. I know it feels like ten years. But it’s really only been like ten months. It’s okay. You’re suffering grief, there’s some trials. But why? These have come so that your faith, which is of greater worth than gold, which parishes even though refined by fire maybe proved genuine.

He says, hey, I know life is hard. I know it’s not easy. I know it’s not your favorite. But guess what? Behind the scenes, God’s doing a good thing. These things have come so that within you can be created the heart of a king. Come on, have you ever seen like gold get refined? What they do is they take a big chunk of gold and they’ll throw it in a crucible and they’ll make it super, super hot and melt it down. And when that first happens, it looks like it’s pure gold. Like all you can see is the gold, everything melts and you’re like, oh my goodness, it’s pure gold. But it’s not even close. They have to turn up the heat and they have to let that thing simmer there for a long time so that all the impurities within the middle of it come to the surface and can be removed. How many of you know that in this season, all of the impurities way down deep in here are the ones that are being brought to the surface? Why? Because God’s trying to refine you. He’s trying to create within you the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world.

And this is why David is so inspiring. David doesn’t just start with the heart of a king. David lives his life with the heart of a king. And David dies with the heart of a king. Somehow he was able to grow that heart all throughout, all of the trials, all of the difficulties, all of the challenges that have come through his life. In fact, Acts 13, talking about him, it says, “I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.” David had the heart of a king before he even became a king. And David had the heart of a king when he was on his death bed. He found a way of maintaining the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world. How did he do that? Well, our theme verse which is Proverbs 4, “Above all else, guard you heart for it’s the wellspring of life.” Do you know that is written by Solomon, David’s son?

Solomon is a king, so these are king’s words. But Solomon was taught this by his dad. David taught Solomon, hey, Solomon, more than anything else, you need to guard your heart. Why? Because it’s the wellspring of life. Whatever happens in here is going to flow out like a stream into every other area of your marriage, your finances, your work, your calling, your destiny, your ministry. He says, you need to guard your — above all else, make sure you maintain the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world. Okay. But how did he do that? And that’s how I want to try to tie this whole series up together. And what I want to do is I want to give you three examples from David’s life real quick. If you’ve been with us in these series, every week I’ve given you — I told you like an example and said that that’s the heart of a king. Let me give you three from David on how he maintained the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world as we pull this all together. Are you with me on that?

Okay. First one is this. David was anointed to be the king of Israel, but he wasn’t yet appointed to be the king.

Saul was the current king of Israel and Saul wasn’t really a great guy, but David served him well. David served with everything he had with all of his passion, with all of his ability, with all his heart. He did amazing things for Saul. He played the harp, let worship for Saul when Saul was being attacked or challenged by demonic spirits. And then David went out and killed Goliath for Saul. David went and fought great battles and won great victories for Saul. But the more David kept growing and experiencing victories, the more Saul became insecure and jealous and to the point that he wanted to kill David. So he tries to kill David and take his life. And so David has to run and he’s on the run, he’s living for years in the wilderness, in the desert, making his home in caves. And eventually, his own people were even going to turn him over to Saul. So David’s got to go live in enemy territory.

And when he goes in enemy territory, he gets captured by the Philistines, his enemies have him. And yet God rescues David from his enemies’ hands. And when that happens, David writes Psalm 56, this beautiful psalm and here’s what he says, “So I’m thanking you with all my heart, with gratitude for all you’ve done.” That’s the heart of a king. Gratitude is the heart of a king. Catch it. He didn’t have a palace, he didn’t have a nation, he didn’t have a people, he didn’t have riches, he doesn’t have authority, he doesn’t have power. He’s still living in the wilderness, on the run, in the midst of some of the hardest circumstances in life. And yet, he can sit there and say, I’m thanking you with all my heart, with gratitude for all you’ve done. That is the heart of a king, to give thanks no matter what’s happening.

The second story is that when David becomes king, David loves the presence of God. And he wants to build not only his life but the entire nation around the presence of God. And so he wants to get the ark of the covenant and bring it to Jerusalem. It’s one of the first things David does as king. He wants to get the ark which is a picture of the presence of God, like the Holy Spirit in you and me today, would be the presence of God in this kind of box. And so David goes through great lengths and great cost to figure out how to get the presence of God, how to get it to Jerusalem. And when he brings it into the city, carried by the priests, there is this great celebration. All of the nation has showed up. They’re there to worship. And check out this next verse, it says, “David wearing a linen ephod danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”

That’s the heart of a king. Worship is the heart of a king. David dances. He shouts, he sings, he yells, he celebrates, he raises his hands, lifts his voice, turns his heart. David worships the presence of God in front of everyone to the point that it literally says, his wife despised him. She was embarrassed by David’s worship and said, how dare you act like that in front of all these people. And David said, I don’t really care what anyone thinks about me because I’m here to worship the Lord.

That is the heart of a king.

And the last story is David at the end of his life, he’s amassed treasures and wealth and fortune and all of this stuff, and yet at the end of his life, David doesn’t use all of his resources to build a bunch of monuments for himself.

He didn’t go out and build the fifth and the sixth house, or buy all of that exotic, luxury stuff, to try to create a legacy for himself. No, no, no. David takes everything he has and he wants to use it to build a temple for the Lord. Check out this verse. But who am I, this is David talking to God, “Who am I? And who are my people that we should be able to give as generously as this?
Everything comes from you and we have given you only what comes from your hand. Oh Lord our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for Your holy name, it comes from your hand and all of it belongs to you.” That is the heart of a king.

Generosity is the heart of a king. At the end of his life, David doesn’t want to keep what he has for his good and his glory.

He wants to use it for God’s glory and for the good of people to create a temple where they can come and enjoy the presence of God. That’s the heart of a king. And you say, okay, so what does that matter? Well, here’s what all that matters. Gratitude, worship and generosity are how you maintain the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world. Gratitude, worship and generosity are like the cleansing agents that keep us clean, keep us living a kingdom life in the midst of all of the things that come against us. This is what makes David so amazing. If you’ve been reading with us, you literally can’t find a season of David’s life, first and second Samuel, first Chronicles, all throughout — you cannot find a season of his life where there is not some form or fashion of gratitude, worship and generosity. It was like who he was. It was how he lived. It was by grace that he got the heart of a king.

But it was through gratitude, worship and generosity that he maintained the heart of a king. And the same is true for you and me. So let me just like ask you, like how has your gratitude been in this season? Because here’s the deal, gratitude keeps us from entitlement. Gratitude keeps us free from entitlement. If you just give thanks to God, what you’re doing is you’re acknowledging His goodness, His grace. You’re acknowledging His provision, your dependence upon Him, your need for Him. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Gratitude washes entitlement out of heart. Because you know what an entitlement is, right? Entitlement is this sense of like, I deserved, I earned, it’s owed to me. Like check it, look at how entitled we all feel to toilet paper.

I’m just saying it’s important, but why do you think you deserve it? Seriously. The fact that we go to stores and get angry that something isn’t convenient for us is entitlement screaming its little head out. Gratitude which is David — you want to talk about — David had the right to be entitled. You want to — anybody could walk around and — but David was grateful for everything that God gave him. Gratitude keeps your heart free from entitlement. Worship keeps your heart free from pride. Worship keeps your heart free. You say, what is worship? Worship is turning the attention, the affection and the devotion of our heart to God. It’s lifting Him up over our lives. And just, let me help you understand, when you start worshipping God, you stop worshipping yourself. Because you can only worship one thing or one person at a time.

And worship is literally declaring, You are my king. That You are the king. I’m not the king. In fact, the only reason I even have the heart of a king is Because you gave me your heart, so You are the king and You are my king. Worship the Lord with gladness. The Lord gives, the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. So have your worshipped in this season because it keeps pride out of your life. And then generosity keeps us free from selfishness, from selfishness. It’s so easy in this season to be selfish, to grab on everything, to hold as if it’s your own. And this is mine and this poverty mindset and trying to hold everything back. No, generosity is freely you have received, freely given. Give with a generous heart so you don’t have a bitter and begrudging spirit. This is the way of the kingdom. In fact, this is what tithing is all about.

Tithing is giving God the first and best 10% portion of your income. The reason it’s called first fruits is because the farmers would literally pick their first fruits and give them to God not knowing if any other fruit was going to grow. That’s tithing. And what does that mean? It means I’m trusting and depending on God, even in the midst of economic difficulties and it takes the selfishness right out of my life. And it positions me to live with a heart of a king. So genuinely in this season, how’s your gratitude, worship and generosity? Or do you have a thousand excuses of why you can’t be grateful, why you can’t worship and why you can’t be generous? Because when David was living in the dessert, in the wilderness, without a pillow to lay his head at night, or without any toilet paper to use in his own life, he was still grateful, he still worshipped and he was still generous.

You see, all these three things are his response to God’s grace. Gratitude, worship and generosity are the response, the natural response, the normal response to God’s grace. And this is how David kept his heart healthy. He never lost sight of grace. David, when you’re reading, you read him say, who am I? Why would you have picked me, God. I was just a shepherd somewhere out there in the field, and yet your grace picked me, your grace wanted me, your grace cleansed me, your grace changed me, your grace empowered me, your grace has led me, your grace has loved me, your grace has protected me. So how can I not be grateful and worship and be generous? The problem is, is we lose sight of grace. I’m trying to bring this whole message to this point for you. We lose sight of grace. We forget that we were lost, lonely and broken.

We forget that we were enemies with God, hostile towards Him, wanting nothing to do with Him. And yet, when we were at our worst, Jesus came with the heart of a king, with the kingdom, laid down his life, poured out his life, gave us a new identity, a new relationship, a new purpose, completely cleansed us and transformed us, empowered us from the inside out. And we forget that. And when you forget that, you live with a heart of a rebel or an orphan or a Pharisee or a slave. In fact, look what Peter says in this elegant portion. I don’t have time for it. You can read it on your own. He talks all about what the heart of a king looks like. And then he says basically, “If you don’t have a heart of a king,” he’s saying, here’s what happens, “If anyone does not have them, the heart of a king, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

He says when you lose sight of grace, you’ll stop living with the heart of a king. Have you lost sight of this in this season? The full cleansing forgiveness of Jesus? Or how about Romans 5 that says, those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus. When I’m not reigning, walking in victory with the heart of a king, regardless of circumstances, it’s because I’ve lost sight of the gift of righteousness and the abundant provision of grace. Because when I’m holding on to the abundant, the abundant, not the scarce, the abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness, not righteousness earned, given to me by the grace of Jesus, I can’t help but reign and walk in victory in life.

Gratitude, worship and generosity are the ways you maintain the heart of a king in the midst of a rebellious world. Grace gives you the heart of the king, those things help you maintain the heart of a king. And so if there’s no gratitude and there’s no worship and there’s no generosity, not only are you not guarding your heart, it tells you that you’ve lost — you’ve taken your eyes off of Jesus. And this has been a really easy season to do that. And so my guess would be as we’ve gone through the series and maybe even today, the Holy Spirit is coming to your life and He’s bringing some conviction, some good healthy conviction, pointing some places out where we missed it, we’re living down to the world. And He’s saying, no, no, you’re supposed to live up here to the kingdom of God.

That’s great. That means you’re alive. That means the grace of God is moving in your life. That means the spirit is saying, come on, there’s more for you than you’re currently living. Let’s not allow this season to define us or become our destiny. No, no, no, let’s live up and have a bigger picture and perspective of what God is doing. That’s the Holy Spirit. That’s what He’s doing.

That’s how He’s moving and He’s being kind gracious to you. And I want you to just realize, what a privilege we have to live our life with the heart of a king. And not only is it a privilege, it’s a responsibility, to actually live like we believe the kingdom is superior to the inferior realities of this world. Come on, dads, lead your family with the heart of a king. Come on, moms, raise your children with the heart of a king. Business people, do business with the heart of a king. Students, go to school and study with the heart of a king. Hope carriers, go take a hope to the world with the heart of a king. Valley Creekers, don’t let this just be a series, rise up and live with the heart of a king. Come on.
Last verse, here’s what David said, David, the guy with the heart of a king. And then we’re going to do something together. He says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” So even the primary example we use in the Bible of a guy who lived with the heart of a king, the guy who God says is a man after my own heart, even David says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

What if we do that right now? What if we finish this series by saying, God, would you search me? Would you know my heart? Would you test me and see where there’s anxious thoughts? See if there’s offensive ways in me, and then lead me in the way of the kingdom. So wherever you are, will you just do this with me? Will you just set your stuff down for a moment? Will you just close your eyes? Whether you’re in a campus, whether you’re at home, today wasn’t a bunch of additional teaching, today is an opportunity for us to respond to what the Holy Spirit has been doing in our lives. So maybe even in your own way, you can just open up your hands. And maybe we just say to the Spirit, like Holy Spirit, would you search me?

Would you know my heart? Would you come, Holy Spirit and point out any offensive ways that are within me? And then let’s take to heart Jesus’ main message, repent for the kingdom is at hand. Repent, change your mind, change your direction, come in to agreement with the goodness and the grace of God, and let Him rule and reign over your lives. So Holy Spirit, come right now and walk us through this moment. Come on, can you just say, Holy Spirit, in your own way. Holy Spirit, come walk me through this moment. Because here’s what I want to invite you to do. I want to walk through the four types of hearts and give you a chance to repent.

So where do you need to repent for having a rebellious heart? Where, right now, in your life, do you know –the places you know, you’re doing what you want, how you want, when you want, and where you want. Where are the places that you know there’s ongoing unrepentant, active, willful sin in your life. That’s the heart of a rebel.

But by God’s grace, He wants to heal you and forgive you. So where do you need to confess and repent? Rebellion with your eyes. Rebellion with mind. Rebellion with your action. Rebellion with your words. Rebellion with how you were living. Come on, where are you — just like flat, like you just know. Like no one needs to tell you. The Holy Spirit doesn’t even need to nudge you at it because you just know. Come on, can you confess and repent?

Let’s be free in Jesus’ name. God, I confess and repent the parts of — the rebellious parts of my heart in Jesus’ name. Come on, now. Where do you need to repent for having the heart of a Pharisee? Where other parts of your heart that are so focused on looking good on the outside, but inside it’s full of judgment, and criticism, shame, guilt, the sense of pride, superiority, where do you need to repent of being offended? All of those things are the heart of a Pharisee. It’s religion. It’s form without power, it’s trying to look really good, but it’s really broken on the inside.

Where do you need to just say, God, I confess and repent from the places of judgment, criticism, offense in my heart. Would you come cleanse me and wash me, and renew me. Come on now where do you need to repent of having the heart of a slave? Where is your heart in bondage. Where are there addictions and co-dependencies? Where are there places where you live with a victim mindset? With a sense of inferiority and despair? Places that are so full of doubt and defeatism. That’s the heart of a slave.

That’s the heart of bondage. Come on, in Jesus’ name, confess and repent and be specific. Lord, I confess and repeat for this specific thing. That’s the heart of a slave. And I don’t want to live like a slave because you came to set me free, to be the son. Come on, we’ve walked through this whole series to get to this five minutes. Where do you need to confess and repent of having the heart of a slave? Because he who the son set free shall be freed indeed. I just declare over some of you in Jesus’ name, today is the day that addiction ends. Today is the day that that breakthrough comes. Today is the day where the door has been flung open. And you now have the freedom to walk out.

And then finally, where do you need to confess and repent of having a heart of an orphan? The heart that lives for their good and their glory? The heart that’s so full of insecurity, poverty, fear, selfishness, pride. Come on, where is that orphan heart taken root in your life? Confess and repent of that insecurity. That poverty mindset, that fear that there’s never going to be enough. That sense that you’re on your own and have to take care of it all yourself, I declare victory over you in Jesus’ name. The orphan heart gets displaced by receiving the spirit of sonship. So may the spirit of a son come into your life.

Come on, search me O God and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there’d be any offensive way, God, any part of my heart that is offensive, that’s missing the mark, that’s off track, that’s rebellious, pharisitical, enslaved or orphaned. In Jesus’ name, I confess it, I repent of it. I want to be free from it, in Jesus’ name. And I receive the heart of a king. So right now in your own way, can you just picture the grace of Jesus removing from you the heart of stone, and putting within you this beautiful, multifaceted, Technicolor heart of a king?

In Jesus’ name, may the colorful heart of the kingdom define your life. Above all else, guard that heart. See it for what it is. The beauty, the grace, the hope, the destiny, the joy, the authority, the security, the power, the life of his heart that he has given to you in Jesus’ name. And the greatest way you can respond to that grace is by choosing to just give it right back to him. And so wherever you are, whether you’re in a campus or you’re at home, would you just stand up with me for a moment? Would you just stand up with me? And I just want to invite you for two minutes. Would you just in your own way, if you have the courage and the faith to do this, would you offer your heart to God? You say, God, you can have my heart, in Jesus’ name.

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