Heart of the Matter

You may have heard the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” and you may have even used it a time or two. It essentially means that what you see isn’t always what you get. Whether it’s a flashy sports car that turns out to be a lemon, a sparkly diamond ring that is actually a fake, or a plain Jane who’s been overlooked but really has a heart of gold, we shouldn’t judge worth simply by what we see.

God operates by this same principle.

Read: 1 Samuel 16:1-13 NLT

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” - 1 Samuel 16:1-13 NLT

In this story, each of Jesse’s sons, all except David, came before Samuel. As Samuel was inspecting each one, there were several he thought qualified to be the anointed. They were strong and able; they looked the part. But God told him to keep searching, until finally Samuel asked Jesse if these were all the sons he had. Confused, Jesse motioned to the fields where his youngest and smallest was working. Surely, God could not have a place of leadership for someone like him, but that’s exactly what God had planned.

Journal: Have you ever had an experience like this? Maybe you were overlooked or you overlooked someone else because of outward perception. Share about it.

While the world is all about appearances, highlight reels and unrealistic filters, what matters most is who we are inside. All of us have a purpose. God has a plan for each of our lives. We may feel like we don’t look or act the part, but the Lord doesn’t see things the way we do. He looks at the heart.

Journal: What is something you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to do, but you don’t feel qualified to do it?

It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. - 2 Corinthians 3:5 NLT

None of us are fully qualified to accomplish anything on our own. Regardless of what we do, how we look, or how many followers we already have, we don’t have what it takes to lead through our own strength. We must position our hearts toward God and trust in Him, and He will take care of the rest. 

“God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”

David wasn’t qualified to lead a nation. He was a lowly shepherd boy. God looked past his position in life and chose to anoint David to do great things for Him.

Are you feeling left out, forgotten, overlooked, ignored? Do you feel like you don’t have anything to offer the Lord? God has not forgotten you. He has a path prepared for your life. Position your heart toward God and trust in Him. He will “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him…” (2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT)

Activation: Spend time in God’s Word this week and make a list of verses about being equipped and qualified by God. 

Prayer: Ask God to help you see others and yourself as He sees you and trust Him to equip you for the calling He has on your life.
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