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.
– 1 Samuel 16:7
When I was 15 years old, a friend of mine would pick me up for school in his green Datsun. One morning he was driving a little crazy. I remember the window was down and I had my arm resting on the door. As he hit a speed bump, my right forearm hit the top of the door frame. I looked at my arm to see if there was any blood, but everything looked fine. My last class of the day was shop class – oh the good ole’ days. As we sat at our tables waiting for the bell to ring, another student in the class wanted to arm wrestle me. So, we began our wrestling match and after several seconds, there was a loud popping sound. We looked at each other thinking where did that noise come from – me or you? The bell rang, I left school and was dropped off at my after-school job. As I began working, my arm began to swell. There was no visible sign that anything was wrong until it started swelling. One of the ladies at work or my mom took me to the doctor. The doctor took an x-ray of my arm which revealed it was broken. Evidently, it was fractured in the car when we hit the speed bump, and then it completely broke when we were arm wrestling. I left that doctor’s appointment with a cast on my arm.
As I was thinking about this story, I thought about how we have a tendency to look at the outside when we see others and assume or think that they have a relationship with Jesus Christ, especially those we see serving and attending church. On May 7, 1989, I remember walking down the aisle at church during the invitation to publicly say, “I want to trust Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.” That Sunday night I was baptized, and I remember people coming up to me saying, “I thought you were already saved.” Much like I could not tell that my arm was broken because I was looking at the outside, those individuals were looking at me on the outside. I went to church, I hung around church people, I helped and served whenever I could, and I even tithed. I looked good on the outside. I don’t recall ever being asked when I became a Christian.
1 Samuel 16:7 tells us, “When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him. 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.” The Bible tells us Jesse presented 7 of his sons to Samuel, but the Lord had not chosen any of them. He reminded Samuel that He does not look at the outward appearance as man does, but instead God sees the heart. And, in doing so, we know that God chose the youngest of Jesse’s sons, David, to be king.
So many times, we look at what some are doing, and we believe they are Christians by their works, even though we know we are not saved by works. We forget to ask the most important question: “If you were to die, where would you spend eternity?”
Pray: Lord God, help me to obedient to what You have asked me to do. Help me to be the bold witness that You have called me to be. When it comes to asking others where they would spend eternity, give me the confidence that only comes from You. In Jesus’ name Amen.
First Baptist Broken Arrow