God Looks at the Heart - 1 Samuel 16:7

Verse of the Day - Day 227

God Looks at the Heart
Photo Source: Pixabay / Composition: Sue Chastain

Welcome to Verse of the Day!

Today's Bible Verse:

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." (ESV)

Today's Inspiring Thought: God Looks at the Heart

As Samuel sought to anoint God's chosen candidate to become king over Israel, he favored David's tallest brother.

But the Lord reminded him, "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature ..." It's our natural tendency as humans to look at outward appearance when judging a person's qualifications for ministry. But God looks at the heart.

Although David was handsome, at that time he was not an impressive figure. He was still a boy. David's father and brothers thought he was unfit for anything but the lowest position. But God has reserved for him the highest honor. During those isolated hours of shepherding, David was developing a heart after God's own heart. This inner impression is what caught the Lord's eye when he chose David to serve him as king.

When Jesus walked the earth, he, too, was not impressed by status or appearance. He associated with lepers, the poor, the blind, the uneducated, and the inferior. He loved people who were great sinners, like tax collectors and prostitutes.

He looked beyond their visual blemishes to value the person inside.

Humans tend to focus on superficial and non-spiritual characteristics when choosing a leader. We prefer to follow tall, attractive, charismatic, and well-spoken individuals. God's criteria for choosing his leaders is based on their inner qualities.

Are You Someone God Can Use?

In 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9, the New Testament office of elder was instituted. These passages outline the inner characteristics that God focuses on when selecting someone he can use.

God looks for individuals with faithful hearts. Are you loyal to God and faithful to your spouse? You are likely someone God would choose. Rather than lose control of your temper, do you practice self-control? Do you seek not to argue and treat others with gentleness? You may be someone God can use.

Are you balanced, not given to extremes, humble, and hospitable to guest and strangers? Can you teach others while remaining teachable? Do your children respect you? Are you maturing in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you generous and detached from the lure of money and wealth. When God looks at your heart, these are all qualities he wants to see. 

If you feel unqualified for ministry, remember how God chose David while he was just a boy. And even though he was a model of faithfulness, he failed in this area, too. Yet, throughout his entire life, David loved God deeply and passionately. He was consumed by this love, which is why David bears the honor of being called a man after God's own heart by God himself.

Heart Attitudes Speak Louder Than Actions

God cares more about our attitudes and the motives of our heart than the things we accomplish. We can fool people with our actions and deeds, but God knows what's what we're thinking. He sees what's really going on inside our hearts.

God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart. (Psalm 44:21, NLT)

The condition of our heart determines the fruitfulness of our life. Proverbs 4:23 says:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (NIV)

God doesn't care how we appear to others. He's concerned about the state of our heart. He wants to transform us from within so that we are so full of his Spirit that his abundant life spills out and touches others.

When you consider your own abilities and qualifications for serving the Lord, remember that God judges by different standards than humans do.

The Lord alone has the capacity to observe our hearts--our thoughts, emotions, and intentions. On God's measuring scale, who you are on the inside far outweighs all other aspects of your life.

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