Interview with Andy Percey - author of 'After God's Heart'

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Interview with Andy Percey - author of 'After God's Heart'

The Bible devotes more verses to David than anyone else except Jesus. God called David a man after his own heart, yet he made monumental mistakes. So why was this flawed king so esteemed and what can we learn?

Touching on universal themes such as being overlooked, family tensions, conflict, and temptation, After God’s Heart draws out biblical truths that gently challenge us to look at our lives and draw closer to Jesus.

Andy Percey is married to Bex, and together with their son Leo they live in Bath where Andy is the minister of Manvers Street Baptist Church.

Andy, why did you decide to write After God’s Heart?

I have always wanted to write a book on David. He is a character at the centre of the Bible story and one we can learn a great deal from. After preaching a short series on David during Covid19 lockdown, I decided to go further and write this book.

Who have you written this book for?

This book is for anyone who wants to go deeper on their journey of discipleship.

There are many books on the life of David, what makes After God’s Heart different?

This book is about David, but it also about discipleship. It’s not a commentary or a chronicle of David’s life, but it’s about the lessons we can learn for our own lives and journeys as we explore his story.

When we think of David, we think of Goliath or Bathsheba perhaps, which you have included in the book, but you also include a lot of other lesser well- known stories. How did you choose which parts of the story to include and why was it important to go deeper than just those obvious stories?

It was difficult! Other than Jesus, nobody is talked about more in Scripture than David. So, I knew I was either going to have to write a mammoth book, or I was going to have to leave some things out. For example, there isn’t a specific chapter looking at David’s family struggle, which towards the end of his life certainly had a big impact. In many ways these are the stories that jumped out at me, for readers there will be others, but the question remains the same: What lessons can I learn from them as I seek to follow Jesus today?

One of the key themes running through the book is discipleship – why is this so important to you?

The role of a disciple is to carry on the ministry of Jesus, in the power of the Holy Spirit. One of the most powerful ways we do that is when the Spirit of God breathes life into the words and stories of Scripture so that they can become life for us. We need to read the story of David with that heart, allowing the breath of the Spirit to flow through his story and be life for us as we follow Jesus.

One of the challenges in the book is for us to be ‘after God’s heart’ as well. What does that mean and is it really attainable?

I read recently that a goldsmith was asked how he knew the gold was refined. He replied, ‘when I can see my face in it’. What does it mean to be a person after God’s heart? For me, it means that increasingly our hearts start to look more like God’s. With that transformation our choices and actions change, and our hearts become the place where God looks and says, ‘I can see my face in it’. That seems not only attainable, but the goal of becoming more like Jesus.

You include some thought-provoking questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. Why did you do this and what do you think they add to the book?

With my previous book Made to Belong, some helpful feedback I received was that those kinds of questions would have been good at the end of each chapter, both for individual reflection but also for small groups, so with this book I thought it was important to put them in. I think they add to the book, in the sense that they aid the reader in learning the lessons from David’s story.

What was the most challenging element of writing the book?

Knowing what to choose from David’s life and what to leave out. That was the question that kept coming to me through the process. You have to stop somewhere.

And what was the most rewarding element of writing this book?

I think I have grown in my faith and walk of discipleship as I have written it.

Have you learnt anything new/ been reminded afresh about God/ your faith while writing this book?

David’s life is both extraordinary and ordinary at the same time. But it is often in the ordinary moments that we have the most lessons to learn. It’s easy to look like a godly king when you are being anointed by the prophet Samuel, but what about when you are taking a walk on the balcony and you come across temptation?

How do we remain faithful in our walk of discipleship in the moments when we aren’t really thinking about it? Being faithful in the ordinary moments was something God reminded me about while writing this book. And, that God remains faithful to David, even when David seems to be in self destruct mode.

What do you hope readers will most get out of reading this book?

I hope that readers will be encouraged to keep walking the path of discipleship. I hope that they will find something from David’s life that connects with their own story, and that through exploring the book, that connection brings them to a greater and deeper walk with Jesus.

In one sentence, how would you describe After God’s Heart?

A book for everyday disciples who want to follow in the footsteps of the King of kings.

Is there anything we can pray for you?

Ongoing wisdom to manage energy following my return to work post-surgery.  

Authentic Media

Authentic Media is a UK Christian publishing house committed to delivering quality Christian books, music and film to help people on their journey of faith. They are based in Milton Keynes.

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