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Seeds of the Kingdom

Impressive God

by Christel Baxter

22 November 2018

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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 16:7, NIV

The Lord reminded me recently of how easily we’re impressed by people. During a prayer time at church, He told me to be more impressed by HIM than by people. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with admiring someone because of something praiseworthy in their life or character, and we do need people in our lives who we can look up to as examples and mentors. The apostle Paul said to the church at Philippi, ‘Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do’. Paul was modelling His life after the example of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 11:1), so he felt confident that he was setting a good example for other to follow.

However, it seems to me that we’re so easily impressed by the achievements of people, or by the way they speak or carry themselves, that it may cause us to put them just a bit higher in our estimation than other people. We may measure people’s value according to our judgement of what they’re worth by simply looking at the ‘outward appearance’. For the most part, I don’t think we do it consciously, but I’ve felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit more often recently when I’ve found myself forming an opinion of someone based on what I see or experience in the natural.

In 1 Samuel 16, we read the account of David being anointed as king by the prophet Samuel, and how God chose David, a humble and insignificant shepherd boy by human standards, to be the next king over His people. Samuel must have had a particular set of standards in mind, possibly looking for someone similar in stature to Saul, who was a head taller than his peers, and possibly with some experience in warfare. But God made it clear that He was much more interested in the heart than in any outward features, because ‘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 16:7).

It isn’t difficult to be ‘impressed’ by God. One needs only to look at a breath-taking sunset, a beautiful rose, or a tiny, perfectly created baby, to realise that our God is the One who should capture our imagination and our adoration. He’s kind, full of goodness, constant and always faithful. He’s greater than anything our minds can conceive and there’s nothing too hard for Him or impossible for Him to do. He created everything, from a miniscule cell that’s completely invisible to the naked eye, to the galaxies in our universe that are yet to be discovered by man. Now that’s impressive!

‘When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them? … O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:3 & 9).

Prayer: Lord, You are indeed worthy of ALL my praise and adoration and wonder! Please forgive me for the times my eyes have been on people when You should have been my focus. Thank You that You see me as no one else does, and that You love and accept me as I am. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Christel Baxter joined the Associate prayer ministry team at Shere House, S.Africa in 2008 after attending the 20 day school. Besides serving together on the associate team at Shere House, Christel & her husband, Gary, pastor New Life Ministries, a congregation in Boksburg, Gauteng. Their children, Liezl and Wesley, are both married, and they adore their son-in-law and daughter-in-law and their little granddaughter, Hannah! Christel is passionate about seeing broken lives restored and especially loves ministering God`s love and healing to women of all ages.


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