When God evaluates your life, what’s He looking for? Is He impressed with how clever you are? Is it your charming personality that catches His attention? Is it your looks – that great physique of yours and your hair? Is it the numbers on your bank account that gets God all excited, your job title or the neighborhood you live in? In 1 Samuel 16:6-7, we get a clue what God’s looking for when He evaluates our lives. God sent Samuel the prophet to Bethlehem to anoint a new king for Israel and he went to the house of a man named Jesse, where God told him to go. When Samuel got to Jesse’s house, seven of Jesse’s sons were there and each of them seemed to be the kind of person who would make a good king but each time Samuel was ready to anoint one of them, God said, “No”. Specifically, God said, “Look not on his countenance, nor at his height, because I have refused him. The Lord seeth not as man seeth. Man looketh at the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” When we think about each other, we use the same kinds of standards that Samuel was using at first. For many of us, we go by the outward appearance rather than what’s happening in the person’s heart. We evaluate other Christians by the look of their faces, literally. If a person in church seem to be happy or pleasant most of the time, we figure he or she must be a good Christian. Especially if he or she has an outgoing personality and makes good eye contact when talking to you.
On the other hand, it’s easy to condemn the timid person who’s socially awkward. Particularly if they don’t make friends easily, seldom smile or don’t make good eye contact, we something must be wrong with them. Guess what? Samuel made the same mistake and God had to tell him that it isn’t a person’s social skills that measures his or her walk with God. Sometimes, we might think that a person who sings beautifully and enjoys worshipping God loudly is definitely a spiritual dynamo, and, that the person who speaks well, dresses well and drives a nice car has the obvious marks of the blessing of God in his or her life. While all of these things are blessings from God, they aren’t indications of the person’s walk with God. What’s God looking for then? How does He measure a Christian? First, by the fruit of the Spirit being present in a person’s life. Galatians 5:22, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance…” These are things that God’s looking for in your life and these things can’t be faked. These changes take place in the inner man when the Holy Spirit is in control of your life. These same things are talked about in Colossians 3:12-17. It talks about being merciful, kind, humble, meek and patient. Believing the best about people and being a person who readily forgives. Verse 15-16, having the peace of God ruling in your heart and letting the Word of God dwell in you richly in all wisdom.
Then, He talks about your involvement with the rest of the Believers. See, when you have the Holy Spirit leading you and guiding you, you’ll find yourself drawn to other Believers and you’ll want to be with them to learn and share what Jesus is doing in your life. Galatians 6:1-2 talks about it in terms of helping the weaker brother and sister and it says the spiritual person will help the weaker one by gentle correction and bringing restoration and that we bear each other’s burdens. Now, we don’t have to carry ALL of their burdens because they can cast their burdens on Jesus and have their burdens shared by other members of the Body of Christ. It just happens as you let the Holy Spirit of God fill you more and more. The work of God on the inside leads to works of God on the outside. God’s principle is first on the inside and then on the outside, or, as Jesus put it, when the inside of the cup is clean, what comes out will also be clean. Matthew 23:26. There are specific results of having the Holy Spirit truly operating in your life and as we looked in Colossians, it includes teaching each other, challenging each other to serve Jesus more faithfully, singing together and doing all that we do in the name of Jesus. Colossians 3:16-17. What the Holy Spirit wants to do is transform you, even though it might seem easier for you to conform. It’s easy when you only see other Believers once or twice a week to put on your Christian face, gestures, mannerisms and phrases and it might fool the other church people, but it won’t fool anyone who has any real discernment and it won’t fool those who know how you really are on days besides Sunday and it definitely won’t fool God.
He has a name for people who do that, they’re called HYPOCRITES. God’s calling us to be filled with Him from the inside and to have Jesus big on the inside of you to fill you with His joy, wisdom, power and faith. God wants you to be strong, stand tall and stand against the wiles of the devil and know who you really belong to and who really cares about you. Don’t worry that people might not hold you in as high as regard as you’d like them to. You want to be concerned with pleasing God and having Him smile upon you and making certain that your heart is a fit place for the Holy Spirit to dwell. When you’ve taken care of the matter of your heart, God will make sure that the outside is taken care of. That’s what happened her in 1 Samuel. After passing through all of the seven sons of Jesse, Samuel asked Jesse if he had anymore boys and all that was left was little David who was out watching the sheep. They hadn’t even considered David, he just didn’t seem like king material, but, when he was brought into the house, the Lord said, “Arise, anoint him, this is the one.” It wasn’t what David was on the outside, it was what he was on the inside and in his heart. That’s the way it is for you too. God’s looking at your heart as a place to dwell while man looketh at the outward appearance, God looks at a persons heart.
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