February 17, 2011

Getting It Right

1 Samuel 16:1-13

“People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7


When David was anointed king, it seemed like Israel would finally be heading in the right direction. Israel’s first king, Saul, had been a disaster. But David was different! Everyone in Israel soon heard how David killed the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17), and before long he had many other victories (see 1 Samuel 18:5-7).

But David wasn’t an obvious first choice for leadership. When God prompted the prophet Samuel to anoint the next king, no one even considered young David.

But there was something about David that few others recognized: he saw things from God’s perspective. And God used ordinary experiences in David’s life to mold him into the kind of king God wanted.

Gazing at the night sky, David saw his Creator’s finger at work. When his flocks were attacked by a lion or a bear, he knew it was God’s strength that helped him to fight them off. And when a giant Philistine warrior mocked the God of Israel, David knew he had to fight for God’s honor.

There was something naïve and unbridled in David’s heart, something that led him to plunge ahead after God, no matter what the consequences. He saw life through God’s eyes.

That’s the perspective we need! Often what we really want isn’t what we really need. We need most to be people after God’s own heart.

God, you love us so much! Mold us to become people after your own heart. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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