“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””
1 Samuel 16:7
Alright, so here we are….only a few days away from starting a new year! It’s pretty wild to think about how fast time has went by this year. Looking back it feels like just yesterday we were starting 2019 but now we’re here, 2020 is just around the corner. Noticing how quickly the time has went by this year has really made me sit and take some inventory on this past year asking myself questions such as;
What did I do this year?
How did I spend my time? Did I waste a lot of time or use it wisely for God?
In what ways have I grown this past year? In what ways have I fallen short?
It’s crazy looking back over the year and seeing all that God has done, even in the moments I wasn’t paying attention at all and just living, it’s so cool to see that God was heavy at work! I highly recommend you take some time to evaluate yourself, this past year of your life, because by doing that it helps you to get a better picture on how you’ll handle the year ahead!
After looking over this past year and seeing some areas where I could definitely improve, I also noticed a lot of areas that I just let myself go, I stopped caring and paying attention to what really mattered because I became busy, or focused on worldly things that didn’t really mean much. After seeing this, I wanted to join with you on a journey this year to start this new year the right way. I’ve spent years and years making New Years resolutions only to find myself giving up not long after. It’s fun to make all these awesome goals like getting in shape, losing some weight, reading more books, or learning new skills, those are just a few among many but I want to start first here with you in the place that is the root and foundation to all that we do, to all we are, and to what God says is all that truly matters!
Instead of taking the usual route and thinking of this new year in a sense of how we can change our outward appearance like most do with working out more, getting in shape, eating healthier and losing weight. As fun and exciting as that stuff is to talk about I found myself asking the same question that I’m sure you’ve asked too.
Why can’t I follow through with any of these resolutions and goals I set every year? The question I’ve found from this passage in 1 Samuel is, are you thinking about outward, physical, or my own power to change things about myself and reach these goals? Or are you looking first at where God looks, where God says matters most? The heart?
After thinking through this, it’s been like a revelation to see that this is the heart of the problem I face with change or reaching goals to be better!!!
It all starts at the heart. As we could spend all day looking at the physical, or at what we need to do better to change, the truth is we’re looking at the wrong place! With our eyes we go off what we see, but what do you think will happen if we begin looking at our life and these challenges to be better through God’s eyes? What will change when we begin to see what God sees, the root of all we do and all that matters begins in the place we so often overlook, our hearts!
If God doesn’t look or care about the outward but only looks and cares about what’s on the inside shouldn’t we?!?! And I’m not saying that God doesn’t care if you let yourself go and stop taking care of your outward self, it’s actually the opposite. God wants you to be healthy and in shape individuals but at the end of the day all of that means nothing when it’s done with the wrong motives in our heart. So as we begin to make our New Years Resolutions, or make goals for us to reach this coming year, I challenge you to start in the place that God sees as most important! The place where all decisions are made and all change begins! Let’s do a heart test as we begin this year and make sure we enter into these new challenges and goals with our hearts in the right place, chasing after God in all we do. And making sure we have the right motives, attacking these things to give God the glory above all else!
‘Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.’
For change to occur, it must start inward, at the heart and then it will flow outward. If we start outward we will never reach the more God has in store for us.