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 Sam. 16:7
Not long ago my wife filled a bottle of what was originally iced tea with Coke. She remarked that every time she picked it up to take a sip she subconsciously expected tea flavor and not Coke, because of the labeling on the bottle. The markings on the outside did not reflect the contents on the inside.
In the scripture above, God is warning Samuel that in is perusal of possible King choices, he shouldn’t pay much attention to the person’s exterior appearance or stature. In Samuel’s mind, what he saw in Jesse’s son Eliab matched what he thought royalty should look like. But God instructs Samuel that while people can get caught up in outward appearances, he instead looks past that to what lies in the heart. It is the core of our being that God examines most.
What does God see when he looks at your heart? Does he see a heart that seeks to know him more? Does he find a spirit thirsty for truth and goodness? Does he find a will that bends toward obedience? While we can fool people all day long by saying and doing the “right things”, God sees past those to our motives and the deep desires at our core. Does this mean that we must be perfect? No. It does mean that the passion of our heart is to move intentionally and intently toward him. Throwing off a spirit of self-focus or even ambivalence in pursuit of the One who relentlessly pursues us.
On this Monday morning, may God be pleased as he gazes past our outside and into the sacred places of our hearts.
Surely You desire truth in the inmost being; You teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Purify me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Ps. 51:6-7
Live this week on purpose,