Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Heart Of The Matter

Probably everyone has a character or a story in the Bible that is their favorite and for me, mine has to be David. I have always loved reading about David's life.

I was reading this week in I Samuel 16 about when Samuel went to Bethlehem to anoint the king that the Lord had told him that He had chosen. The Lord told Samuel to take a heifer with him and to invite Jesse to the sacrifice because one of Jesse's sons would be anointed king. Samuel did what the Lord asked him to do and when he saw Jesse's oldest son, he assumed that he had to be the one. (I am just picturing that he was tall, dark and handsome!) The Lord told Samuel not to look at his outward appearance, because he had rejected him. One by one each of Jesse's sons paraded by Samuel and He rejected all 6 of Jesse's sons that were at the sacrifice that day. But...guess what? Jesse had SEVEN sons and the baby boy of the family was named David. David's father was aware that a new king would soon be found and yet he had not even brought him to the sacrifice that day -- he had left him at home tending the sheep. David was obviously not his father's first choice! No one ever even thought to call David because he would never wear a crown!

Can you remember a time in your life when you felt like you weren't wanted or like you really didn't matter? Like you were someone's last choice?

I believe that Jesse, Samuel and David ALL learned something on that day. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We can tell how men look, but God can tell what they are. We tend to make so many assumptions about people solely based on their appearances. We can be so judgmental at times, can't we? We can be driving down the street and just pass someone on the side of the road dressed differently than we are and we automatically make assumptions about what kind of person they are. Aren't you so thankful that God doesn't do that? Do you remember what you looked like when God found you? I do and I am so thankful that He was not concerned with my outward appearance. He looked at my heart! God doesn't choose any of us by accident and he didn't choose David by accident, either. He knew exactly what He was doing.

I wonder, though, if we had seen David, what we would have seen. I am afraid that I might have just seen a shepherd boy and wondered how in the world God could use him? Just think of the lessons that God had already been teaching David through his experiences of tending sheep. God had been preparing David all along.

God has also been preparing you and me. I wonder what life experiences He has allowed me to go through to better equip me for His service? What skills has He given me that will enable me to be a better servant? More importantly, am I using those skills for His glory?

David may not have thought that he had any skills that God could use . After all, he was taking care of dirty, smelly sheep! How could that equip him to be a king? But God was looking at his heart and David had a heart for the lost sheep. He wasn't the oldest or the strongest or maybe even the best looking of his brothers, but giants would fall and nations would tremble when they stood in David's way!

Things to ponder:
What life experiences has God let me go through in the past, or am I going through right now? Am I using the skills and life experiences that I have learned in the way that God wants me to? Am I learning to not look at outward appearances? Not to be judgemental? I wonder when God looks at my heart, what does He see?


Julie said...

Thank you for this post. It was painful to read because it was convicting. I needed this reminder to realize the painful experiences I may be in the midst of are the experiences God could use to better equip me for the service HE has for me. I also needed the reminder not to look at the outward appearance (both for myself and others).

Thank you for these words!!

Kelly said...

Faith is at the VERY top of my list and I have NO DOUBT I will be crossing her name off my list as a praise very soon.

Kristen said...

I love this post!!! You remind me so much of my mom...she is such an encourager and I "see" that in you as well.
This was something I needed to read today, so thank for your inspiring me!

Heather said...

I love this...I, too, have always loved David and his story. He was flawed, but still loved God as a "man after His own heart." May we always remember that God looks at our HEARTS!!!!

Jenna said...

Oh MiMi!! :) Your words are so good for my soul! I am so encouraged by your blog and this post just hit me right in the heart. Thank you so much for sharing this!

P.S. And thank you also for sweet comment on my blog. You are a treasure!

"Just Me - NC Beth" said...

I've always loved the story of David...I think because through all of his faults, God loved him and used him in mighty ways. None of us are perfect and some of us have made wrong choices as we have traveled life's path, but it's encouraging to know that after repentance and a forgiving Father, He can still use us in some way to bring glory to Him.

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

What great thoughts!!! Insted of smelly, nasty sheep, so many of us mom's are changing smelly, nasty diapers wondering how on earth God would ever use that???

This goes right along with HIM taking our bad, and making it into somethign good! I felt like I was experiencing She Speaks all over again as I read this!! =) Thanks for the poweful words!

Faith said...

Great post, and very convicting. I pray that I would learn to see others through Jesus' eyes and see them as souls who need Him, no matter what they look like on the outside. I am thankful that God can use anyone, even me!

Betsy said...

I love the life of David. He was just so I am!! I think it's so important to just be looking for the lessons we can learn from all the things God lets us walk through. Every experience we have is sifted through God's hands (even the insignificant or painful ones) and can help us become more like Him!

Thank you for sharing that today!

petrii said...

What thought proving questions Emilie. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. It is sometimes painful to walk through the valleys, but God uses those valleys to shape and mold us on the way through.
Thank you for this post,