GodSees When we focus on our shortcomings and limitations, it doesn’t leave us with much of a reason to believe in ourselves. Under personal, honest scrutiny, we don’t look like winners. But God sees you differently than you see yourself. While we tend to focus on outward evidence, God focuses on the heart. We analyze the past and present, but God looks toward the future. As we make a list of our mistakes and failures, He identifies crevices where potential exists.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

When God looks at us, He doesn’t see lost opportunity. He doesn’t see failure. God looks at us through eyes of love. When someone loves you and you yield to that love, you feel comfortable in their presence. Your confidence mounts. You know you’re accepted. And where room for improvement exists, someone who loves us will encourage us to step out with boldness and make progress. If we feel unworthy or unqualified, if fear tries to cripple us, we can choose to move forward in spite of it.

Unqualified Champions: Consider these individuals from the Bible. Each person was aware of a personal shortcoming which should have rendered him disqualified for service. God, however, saw champion potential.

Moses  struggled with a speech impediment: “Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10). Yet God served as Moses’ source of strength. God used him to deliver the Israelites from bondage.

Jeremiah   considered himself too young to deliver a prophetic message to an adult population: “Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth” (Jeremiah 1:6) . God’s reply: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” (Jeremiah 1:8).

Isaiah   , whose encouragement I quoted earlier, had reservations of his own. Perhaps his vocabulary reflected my own—especially my vocabulary as a teenager: “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5) . Despite Isaiah’s flaws, God saw him as a man; He could use to provide guidance to the nation of Judah.

Paul the Apostle   had, in his past, persecuted the very people to whom God would send him later. To most of us, Paul’s track record would disqualify him for use. But God brought change to Paul’s heart and redemption to his fervency.

Samson   squandered his potential through poor life choices. But God had placed a call on his life. Though Samson sank to life’s darkest depths—captors blinded him and placed him in slavery—at the end of his life, he turned his heart toward God and asked to be used for God’s purposes. God used Samson to bring deliverance to the Israelites.

Do you feel like the least qualified the least important, and the least regarded? Perhaps your reward is yet to come.

God has high regard for those who are the least. Jesus said, “For the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48) and “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first” (Matthew 19:30) .

If heaven includes strategic positioning among God’s people, which I believe it will, that positioning will be ego-free and based on a humble heart. Those of high position in God’s eyes don’t focus on position. They focus on hearts: their own hearts before God, and the hearts of others loved by God. When we get to heaven, I believe many people’s positions of responsibility will surprise us.

What if, in heaven, the some of today’s most accomplished individuals end up reporting to someone who cried herself to sleep at night—yet kept her heart pure before God?

According to Jesus in Matthew 6:5 , some rewards are given in full before we reach heaven. When He spoke those words, He referred to hypocritical religious leaders as an example.

Could we be in for a heavenly surprise?
I believe many who are last today—the ultimate servants—will be first in heaven.
God sees things differently than we do.
God looks at you differently than you look at yourself.

(Article taken from the book of Herrick, John: “8 Reasons Your Life Matters”)


Pastor Mark

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