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 people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
If you grew up in the church or have been around church-people long enough you’ve probably heard the phrase (or something similar) to look at things through God’s eyes. Maybe you’re fighting with someone and a friend tells you to look at them through God’s eyes. Marriage counselors tell you to look at your spouse through God’s eyes. Preachers tell us to look at our trials through God’s eyes. To be honest, I can’t find any Scriptures to back that up. If you do, dear reader, please post it in the comments below because I would love to see it! I think when people tell us to look through God’s eyes it’s because we’re supposed to look at things through a spiritual lens rather than a fleshly one. And that does make sense and that is in the Bible. The New Testament is filled with admonitions that we need to live by the Spirit and not the flesh.
But I don’t believe we can look through God’s eyes. How can we? He is an immortal, all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing being who lives outside of time and can see the beginning and the end of everything. Yes, if we’re born-again we have His Spirit in us, but we’re still limited by our own humanity. I know Jesus saw through God’s eyes but He was also God in the flesh and we’re not. So, I think we should change our phrasing. Instead of telling people to “see through God’s eyes” maybe it would be better, and more biblically accurate, to tell them to “look through spiritual eyes” because to me that makes more sense.
However, that isn’t the point of the Scripture that I chose for today’s blog post. In that verse, Samuel is looking to anoint the next king of Israel because Saul has turned away from God. Samuel is looking at all of Jesse’s sons and he sees that they look like kings and he thinks that should make them kings. But God reminds him that God doesn’t see things the way we do. He doesn’t care what we look like on the outside, He cares about our motives and the deepest parts of our hearts.
That’s why it’s important to constantly check our motives. Why are we asking God for certain things?
- If you’re asking for healing, are you just going to receive that healing and live your life as you would before, or are you going to receive that healing, tell others about it to build up their faith, and determine to do greater things in your life because God has given you a second chance?
- If you’re asking for a financial miracle, is it just so you can get out of debt and maybe go on a spending spree, or is it because you want to be a greater blessing to others? Are you going to buy a sports car you don’t need with that money or are you going to invest it wisely, give to ministries, charities, and non-profits however God leads you?
- If you’re asking for a child is it just so you can have a baby and think that will satisfy you, or is it so you can raise that child in the Lord, teaching him/her God’s ways, and allowing that child to become all that God created him/her to be?
- If you’re asking for a spouse is it because you think that spouse will complete you and satisfy your every need or is it so you can partner together to serve the Lord and be a part of something far greater than yourselves?
Whatever we’re asking for, God knows our motives so it’s important that we figure it out as well. God won’t answer our prayers if our motives are wrong. James tell us that in James 4:3
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
So, let’s keep in mind that God looks at things, people, and situations differently than we do. We can’t see through God’s eyes but we can learn to look at things spiritually, with the help of the Holy Spirit, rather than with our flesh. I pray that I learn how to do that and that you will too!
I pray you guys have an awesome weekend! Let me know what you think about this Scripture in the comments below!