“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 Samuel 16:7b
The top ten deadliest diseases in the world all have one thing in common. Every one of them brings death from inside the body. Whether it is cancer, AIDS, Ebola, or Malaria, all kill from within. That is why when doctors want to examine the true health of someone they take blood, do X-rays, CAT Scans, MRIs, and other internal tests. In order to know if someone is healthy, doctors must look beyond outside appearances. They must examine what is on the inside. In other words, it is really what is inside of you that counts.
This is true not only physically but spiritually as well. It is true of both body and soul. This spiritual truth is illustrated in the life of King David of the Old Testament. Of all of his brothers, David was the least significant physically. His brothers were bigger, stronger, more successful, etc. From all appearances, the shepherd boy David was the least likely candidate to be Israel’s king.
And yet the LORD instructs Samuel – who was called by God to anoint the new King – to not consider outward appearances. Why? Because God doesn’t look at things the same way we do. People look at appearance, but God has x-ray vision. He is able to look beneath the surface to the heart of people. He is able to see not just what we look like, but who we are.
So what does it mean that God looks at the heart? The word, “heart,” in 1 Samuel 16:7 is the Hebrew word, lebab, and it means the innermost part of a person. The heart includes your mind, will, and understanding. It is the seat of your passions, thoughts, and emotions. Your heart is the very essence of who you are.
It is impossible to be spiritually healthy without a heart that is inhabited by the Holy Spirit. You can go to church every Sunday, read your Bible, tithe, and teach Sunday school. But if your heart has not been changed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in Christ, you are not a Christian. Moral behavior does not equal spiritual transformation. Just like the ten deadliest diseases in the world, sin kills from within.
Dear Lord, thank you for always paying more attention to what's on the inside instead of what's on the outside. I pray that you would work on me from the inside out, aligning my heart with yours. Help me to focus more on my intentions, my attitude, and my heart posture, and not as much on my outward appearance. Amen.
Topics: Christian Living