See Things God’s Way

See Things God’s Way

…Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”  But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:6–7)

Old, experienced Christians still make mistakes; and Samuel was no exception.

Even though Saul looked as kingly as any man could—tall, handsome, and impressive in his royal armor—he was a regal dud.  Samuel had experienced that firsthand on multiple occasions.

And yet, when God sent Samuel to anoint the next king, Samuel went all gaga over Eliab, another kingly-looking candidate.  He still hadn’t learned:  looks can be deceiving, even devastating.

“Mark” struggled through some of his seminary classes.  In a setting where intellect and complex doctrinal arguments were cherished, sometimes it seemed like he was out of his element.  He didn’t seem like pastoral material to some of his teachers.  But if they could only have seen him chatting up the local grocer, wooing her with the hope of Christ.  He’s passionate about the gospel; he loves people; he’s patient and kind.  I’d choose him as my pastor any day.

Whether looking for a church, a pastor, a spouse, or a friend, modern people are easily deceived by the Photoshop Facebook goggles we wear.  “Their worship music is so peppy, and they have a great website!”  “His Bible studies are so deep!”  “He/she looks great in a business/bathing suit.”

Don’t misunderstand–none of those things is inherently bad.  In fact, David was also healthy and handsome like Saul (v. 12).  But there was something more to David than Eliab and Saul; he was “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14).  Truthfully, David would make nearly as many mistakes as king Saul, some even worse.  But he would always run back to God for hope and salvation.

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you his eyes to see people the way he does—not for their appearance or intellect, but for his potent gospel work in their lives.  And remember, no matter how inadequate, ugly, or stupid you feel, the Spirit delights in you—pimples, knobby knees, average IQ, and all.  He has you where he wants you, and he’s working through you to glorify his name and bless others.

Prayer:  Honestly, Lord, I too often focus on the outward appearance—my own and others.  Help me see the world the way you do; and help me see your creative power and gospel work in my heart and the hearts of others.  Amen.