Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Heart

I was just reading this week in I Samuel 16, where the young boy David is annointed king of Israel. If you'll remember, David was the scrawny kid who didn't even get asked to meet with Samuel when Jesse was asked to present his sons for kingly consideration. In fact, David was sent out to watch sheep while Samuel was judging the other guys. The oldest, tallest, and most athletic son, Eliab, passed the prophet and Samuel thought to himself that surely this was the Lord's annointed. (I thought, "Hello! Didn't he learn that lesson from the Saul situation!") At that moment, God corrects Samuel's misguided criteria in verse 7. "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 man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.'"

Being a rather short man, my first reaction to reading this statement was to smile! YES! God doesn't care about who looks like a leader. (Think about most high school football quarterbacks :) Most look like Abercrombie models....AKA: my polar opposite.) I once got to meet the leadership of a nationally prominent church and was intimidated by their towering height. I literally was looking up to them, as these 2 pastors are over 6' 3" easy. I felt like a little kid standing next to them.
So I was relieved that God doesn't care about my vertical challenges.
But then I got to thinking. Do I really want God to make my heart the criterion for whether or not He uses me? You can engineer all kinds of external changes to what man looks at (makeovers, diets, clothing updates...or even elevator shoes). At that moment I had to do a heart check. Is my heart qualified to lead? Are my desires and passions positioned in the right direction so God can use me? I had to pray David's words from Psalm 139:23-24 and soul search a bit, "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." I had some confessing to do...a heart check. I advise you to take some time today to take a heart inventory as well. Can God use you, based upon your affections, devotion, thoughts, and attitude?