The world loves beauty. In fact, Math has managed to get beauty down to a science, by coming up with the Golden Ratio. With this value, anything can be made aesthetically beautiful, as long as it fits the proportions established by this formula. In life, many other things follow some kind of perfect formula as well, don’t they? Whether it be how a person looks or how someone is valued, the world has its measure of what they think the desired ideal of perfection is. And when this ideal is imposed on us, it can get rather uncomfortable.

Down through time, notable pastors and leaders have been looked upon with much disdain when they exhibit the trappings of worldly pleasures. People bemoan the fact that these personalities have got multi-billion dollar back accounts, or that they have their own swimming pools in their back yards, or that they have their own private jets. And this displeasure is not confined to Christian pastors and leaders. Leaders from other religions have also been accused of misappropriation when members see that they have spent significant amounts of their giving on procuring carved statues to adorn their worship halls, instead of giving to the poor and sick. And I guess, when you consider the vast numbers of needy in the world, we can understand why such unhappiness arises whenever we see excesses indulged in such a fashion.

But today, the focus is not on how we judge others, but how we judge ourselves. What yardstick do we use to measure our worth? How do we value our achievements and the lives that we lead? How do we value the blessings that we have been given?

Beloved, we are often our own worst critics bar none, except maybe our in-laws. We are hard on ourselves perhaps because we expect more from ourselves. We expect more from ourselves perhaps because we either know that we are capable of more, or we are jealous of the success that others have had, and we crave that same success for ourselves. But beloved, have you ever wondered just how God judges you? Have you ever wondered what is God’s yardstick for perfection?

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:7

Our Father told Samuel this in relation to the anointing of David. Saul, then king of Israel, had angered God and it was time for another king to be anointed. So our Father told Samuel to go to Bethlehem and He will show Samuel just who was to be anointed.

Now, the first thing to note about how our Father works is that He gives us information in an amount and at a pace that we can process. In the case of Samuel, He could have just told Him to go to Bethlehem, find this man called Jesse, tell him to bring his youngest son and anoint him as king. And when the elders of the town ask him, just cook up some excuse and say that he was there to conduct a sacrifice. But if our Father had done that to you, I am sure that somewhere midway through His instructions, you would have stopped Him saying, ‘Whoa, go where? Do what?’

True? So our Father knows our capacity, and in this case, He clearly knew that the old man Samuel’s capacity was rather limited with age, so His instructions came slow, but clear.

The next thing to note about how our Father works is that His instructions don’t always lead us away from danger. Samuel said,

“And Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.”” 1 Samuel 16:2

Logical concern, wasn’t it? Saul was still in office. In fact, this was about the time when Saul started to lose His mind and lose His cool. So much so that even his servants realized this and suggested this to Him.

“And Saul’s servants said to him, “Surely, a distressing spirit from God is troubling you. Let our master now command your servants, who are before you, to seek out a man who is a skillful player on the harp. And it shall be that he will play it with his hand when the distressing spirit from God is upon you, and you shall be well.”” 1 Samuel 16:15-16

So can you imagine how Saul will react if he found out that the prophet of The Lord was going about looking for the next king to anoint? Yet,

“But the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.”” 1 Samuel 16:2-3

Our Father provided the excuse and the assurance that for everything else that happens, He will show Samuel what to do.

So beloved, if you have heard our Father’s leading recently, and He seems to be leading you into dangerous territory, and you don’t have the full picture, relax. In the same way that He has provided the excuse for you to cross stage one, He will show you exactly what you are to do when you reach stage two and beyond.

But here is the crux. Sometimes, as we are going along our merry way, we start to judge the situation. We start to impose our own values on what is ideal and what is right and we start to think that what we think is right is exactly what God thinks is right, just like Samuel did.

“So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him!”” 1 Samuel 16:6

Samuel thought that Eliab was the one. In fact, He made this mistake several more times.

“So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen these.”” 1 Samuel 16:8-10

Not much of a talent scout, was he? And that is because Samuel judged with his eyes. But our Father judges the heart.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” 1 Samuel 16:7

Indeed, the author of Proverbs recorded it best.

“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2

Our Father is not interested in how you look on the outside. Our Father is not interested in your physical stature or your appearance. For was He not the one who gave Samson his strength and Sarah her beauty, so that even when she was advanced in years, Abimelech took Sarah for himself? So if and when our Father wants you to possess a stunning appearance and unparalleled physical stature, He is more than able and willing to bless you with them.

Our Father is also not interested in how successful you are or how many Gulf Stream G650 private jets you have. For He Himself said,

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

But what our Father looks at is the heart. So where is your heart, beloved? Is it with Him? Where is your heart right now? Is it wondering just why it is that our Father has not filled it with His joy till it is overflowing? Or is your heart much like David’s, out in the field, trusting every moment to our Father, knowing full well that He will take care of all things when they come? Just like he said to Saul before facing Goliath,

“But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”” 1 Samuel 17:34-37

Wherever your heart is, as long as it is near our Father, that is what our Father values, for faith is really all that our Father desires from us. Remember what Jesus said?

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

Beloved, if you are looking at your situation now and are thinking that God has led you into a pit, well, you probably are right. But that does not mean that God has left you. And if you are looking at your situation now and are thinking that you are undesirable whichever way you turn, that is definitely not how God sees you. For if you have allowed yourself to be led by Him, then whatever situation you think He has gotten you into, He will surely lead you out. For it has been said,

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 3:16

If you look back on your life, when the lions and bears came, did our Father not give you the courage and means to go out there, catch them by the beard and slay them? So why are you cowering fearfully in the face of your Goliath, just like David’s other brothers were? Sure they were of greater physical stature, but in their hearts had not faith. Our Father saw that and that was why they were not chosen. But the fact that our Father has called you to Himself, that shows that our Father has seen your heart and knows that it is for Him. He values you more than those of greater physical stature or appearance. Isn’t His opinion of you more valuable than even your own?

Beloved, sure, your situation may look bleak; sure, your challenges may seem insurmountable; sure, your Goliath may seem large. But our Father has anointed you to His work,

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

So just like David went off and killed Goliath right after He was anointed by Samuel, so too will you go off and kill your Goliath because you have already been anointed.

Beloved, our Father knows your heart. He knows that you are with Him. He knows that you are His. Don’t judge with your eyes, for He has already judged your heart and you have been found worthy. Let Him guide you so that you may walk in the good works that He has prepared for you and let Him show you just how valued you are to Him.

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