by Stefan Miller
Great leaders have an uncompromising, narrow, overshadowing passion that drives everything they do and are about. David was that kind of leader and was dominated by one singular vision.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
David truly desired just one thing. Psalm 27:4 wasn’t poetic language to him. Nor hollow lifeless words. The superior pleasure found in fellowship with God is tangible and real and was the longing that dominated the entirety of his life. He knew that the beauty of God alone is what satisfies the human soul to the uttermost (Ps. 37:4). And his unflinching resolve to pursue depth in this reality set his people aflame and ultimately reformed an entire society around this singular devotion. Literally, tens of thousands of his followers were released and funded to give themselves full time to the occupation and ministry of adoration of the beautiful God (1 Chronicles 23-25).
The reason why David’s vision succeeded in leading and impacting generations for the glory of God was that David lived it out himself. Most Christians today accept David’s “one thing” heart cry as good and valid and yet few people actually buy in and live a “one thing” lifestyle. Like the culture around us, our lives are given to a multitude of things. The one thing reality eludes us.
And yet David walked in it and spent himself on pleasure in God’s beauty, with abandonment and without compromise. That’s what made him “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam.13:14; Acts 13:22). It was his obsession in adolescence. It was his steady passion through trial and opposition. It was his devotion in adulthood. And at the end of his life it inherited his wealth, resources and time to pass his vision on to future generations (1 Chronicles 23-25). It consumed him constantly and unswervingly. And that is why it consumed those he led.
David was great because his passion was the one thing that matters. David was a great leader because his vision for his followers was his vision for himself.