Wednesday, March 31, 2010

2010 – Mar. 31 – Appearances Can Be Discerning

Study from God’s Word1st Samuel, Chapters 16 – 17 … Passage for Reflection: 1st Samuel 16: 7 … NIV 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

My Journal for Today: When people see you, what do they really see?

You’ve heard the saying, “Appearances can be deceiving;” haven’t you? Well, we know that is true; and unfortunately all too many of us fall into believing and perpetuating that adage because of the amount of time – and often money – that we invest trying to make ourselves look “beautiful” for others. How often do we stand in front of a mirror, fostering the desire to dress up our outer self so that others can see something in us that covers over who we really are?

Actually, as Dr. Smith, my devotional shepherd points out today, “Appearances can be discerning;” and that was revealed in the life of young David, whom God saw from the outset as a man after God’s heart. And even others were able to see that David was different. No, he would not have appeared to be a strong, kingly figure of a man; but when he stood forth against Goliath, no one could have denied, and everyone would have discerned, that David was set apart in a special way.

Isn’t it interesting that we devote so much of ourselves, trying to cover over what we can’t change – our true appearance – when it is the inward man [or woman], whom others cannot see, that we can change. And that is the part of our personhood that God desires to transform into His own image. And it is the portion of whom we are which we can, by choice and discipline, change to reflect the image of God Himself. All David did was surrender to God, the Change Agent, and David became the person God intended him to be. Saul even tried to make him over into something he wasn’t, offering him the king’s armor to fight Goliath. But David recognized that he just needed to be who God fashioned him to be; and God would do the rest to bring down the Philistine champion. And you know the rest of that story, captured in 1st Samuel 17.

I hope we see that God is looking for us to just become the man or woman of heart HE has designed for us to be. And when we try to make ourselves over into a worldly image of “beautiful,” we will fail to become that person God wants to use to shine His light into the world. Smith’s question today hits at me powerfully, as he states, ”What surprising beauty might I see in others if I look beyond the visible and search for their inner souls?” And I might also ask of myself, ”What God-struck light might I shine into the world if I just let His light shine through the person He has cast for me to be?” Or I might also ask, Is my appearance in this world deceiving or discerning so as to glorify my God?

Answering these questions will help shape the time and effort I spend trying to become the person God is shaping me to become; and I pray that for you, my readers here, as well.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, help me to be the me You created me to be and to shine the light of Your image into the world. Amen

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