The Lord Looks at the Heart

By Michael Christian

One day the Lord sent the prophet Samuel to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite to choose one of his sons as the next king of Israel. Jesse brought the young men before the prophet. Eliab was so striking that Samuel thought surely he was the one. But the Lord responded:

The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Jesse paraded seven sons before the prophet, but the Lord did not choose any of them. Samuel asked if Jesse had any more sons. The youngest, the “baby” of the family, was out keeping the sheep. When Samuel saw David, the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one.” Samuel poured the anointing oil on him, “and the Spirit of the Lord came on David.” (1 Samuel 16:12-13. When a prophet poured oil on someone, it represented God pouring out His Holy Spirit to equip them for their assignment.)

When God looks at us, He isn’t looking at our outward appearance, our gender, our age, our economic status, or our height. He is looking at our heart. Despite his faults, David was a man “after God’s own heart.” The Holy Spirit gave him courage to slay both a lion and a bear stealing sheep from his father’s flock. A few years later, David slew Goliath, the Philistine giant. As a king, David freed Israel from Philistine domination.

When God sees you, He is not looking at the circumstances of your life or upbringing. He isn’t checking to see if you live in a little apartment or a big house. He doesn’t care what kind of car you drive. He is looking at the person you can become and the love you can show to others. From humble beginnings can come great things. Listen to your heart. Allow the Holy Spirit to live big in you. It takes courage and faith to slay your giants and fulfill your divine destiny. But as you make room for God in your life, He will develop the giftings you didn’t know you had within you.

But remember, He deals with you like you deal with Him. Ignore Him and He will ignore you. Give Him first place and treat Him royally, and He will do the same for you.

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