Take Up Your Cross

1 Samuel 16:7, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” This scripture is the response to dialogue that God is having with the Prophet Samuel. He’s talking to him because the people are requesting a king, and there’s this process going on that is very intense. Samuel is a little upset. He’s having to deal with this, because for so long the prophet was who the people heard from. They heard the prophet who heard from God. Now, there’s change in the air.

When God sent Samuel to anoint a new king and to replace Saul as the leader of Israel, he guided Samuel past all the older, stronger, more experienced sons of Jesse. They were young men, who by all appearances, seemed well suited to be the king. Get this picture… There’s this gathering, and it’s a very anointed moment. The old prophet comes in, and they were all a little bit on edge. Most people are not so comfortable around prophets. Prophets oftentimes see things that others don’t see. So, these boys are brought in, but one is missing. You know the story. He’s on the hillside tending the sheep, as he always would have been. Samuel was looking at each one of these boys. He went through their names, and what their names meant. God tells him not to look at the boys’ outward appearance or their physical strength. These were great specimens of young men, good looking and strong. Today, we live in a world where everything is based on what we’re seeing. And, we accept what we see. I talked to you recently about a sixth sense. Not five – sight, smell, etc. But, the sixth one is that ability to discern in the Holy Spirit. We need that, today, like no other time.

Samuel asked, “Don’t you have another son?” Jesse said, “We have one out tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse to get him. They bring David in and they pour the horn of oil on his head, and David is set in as the next king.

It wasn’t strength or stature that God was requiring. None of these other boys spent hours alone with God the way their little brother, David, did. None of them sang to God in the dark nights on the hillside, with no one there but the shepherd, himself, singing with the sheep. There he was, singing his songs and playing his harp, with no one listening, except Heaven. Samuel was instructed to call for this young boy, who had found something in the night season.

Now, shift it to your story. God is a God of the night season. God will come to you in the night season, where he will bypass you in the day.

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