Do you have God's Attention?
by naomi Cassata 10/02/2009 / Christian Apologetics
When God chooses someone to represent Him, it is not based on their looks, their eloquent speech, their possessions, their influence or their talents. All these things sound wonderful to have, but they are not requirements for God to use them. It is easy to yield to someone who looks attractive and speaks persuasively. This is known as someone who has "charm." It is a very attractive personality trait to have. King David's son Absalom has this quality and he used it to his advantage. The people of Israel fell under his sway and rebelled against David because of it.
When Samuel went to anoint the son of Jesse, as God instructed him to do, even he fell under the deception of choosing based on the outside appearance. As the sons of Jesse walked by Samuel, he thought, surely this one is to be anointed, as each walked by. But we read that God rejected them all. Instead God chose the most unlikely of all Jesse's son, the youngest. In fact, Jesse didn't even have this son show up for the feast; instead he was out tending to the sheep. Finally, when David came before Samuel, God spoke, this is my chosen. You see, it had nothing to do with David's gifting, appearance, stature, speech or any kind of influence. He caught God's attention based on one thing. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
We have all heard the phrase David was a man after God's own heart. But do you know what that means? Many think it just means David loved God or he fought against the Lord's enemies valiantly. This is not the true meaning. Throughout the Bible we can read about people whose heart was after God. We know this due to the lives they lived. They would rather live a life that was pleasing to God. This does not mean they were perfect people, but when confronted with their sin, rather than justify it, they repented.
When you have a heart after God, it shows through how you speak, what you allow to enter your ears and what you look upon. You see, someone who doesn't have a heart after God will be careful how they behave depending who they are in front of. If someone who is a leader like a pastor or teacher is nearby, they will be careful how they act. But as soon as they are out of their presence, their true nature shines through. They gossip, cuss and talk badly about others. They perk their ears up when they hear a bit of juicy gossip about another or a dirty joke that is funny. They are wide eyed when it comes to seeing sin on the t.v, movies or real life. And when they do witness these things, it does not grieve their heart. Rather it feeds what is already there.
We read in 1 Samuel 16:15 He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil. This was a description of someone whose heart was after God.
A person's heart who is after God will obey His word above all others. His heart will be steadfast on honoring God seeing others treated justly no matter their race, status or position in life. They rejoice over righteousness and shun immorality.
Have you ever wondered why God rejected Saul as king when he sinned against Him by offering the sacrifice rather than waiting for the appropriate time? And yet, David had an innocent man killed and committed adultery with this man's wife and yet, God did not remove him from being king? (Although David did later pay a high price for his sin, which resulted in his infant son dying as well as his eldest son being killed). After each was confronted for their sin, they both acknowledged their sin. What David did was deserving of death, but God took David's sin away and allowed him to live. The reason God did not reject David afterwards, as he did Saul, was because he committed a personal sin. Saul, on the other hand had direct instructions from the Lord, yet still did not obey them. He misrepresented God to the people and yielded to man rather than honoring God's word. If this was not enough, he then attempted to justify his sin. God was not pleased and regretted placing Saul over his people. The roll of the king was to govern the people under the Lord's leadership. To represent God to the people and guide them to living justly. When the king failed to connect and obey God, they were rejected. To misrepresent God to others is a grave sin.
Even today, God is looking for men and women who are connected to Him. Those that have a heart to obey His word completely and represent Him faithfully to others. When God finds a person who is devoted to Him, that person, like David, will grab God's attention. He then will place that person in a strategic place for their generation because He knows that they will honor Him above all else.