"The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."|
- 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
I was recently reading about the early years of King David's life, when he was considered a very unlikely candidate to be used by God for His glory. The Bible records that when the Lord sent the prophet, Samuel, to anoint one of Jesse's sons to be the new king of Israel, no one even considered David. In fact, he was left out in the desert tending his father's sheep at the time. Being the youngest, he was often taunted by his older brothers, and ridiculed for his lowly position. But it was David whom God chose to anoint, to bless, and to exalt to a high position. One of the reasons for this was that while David was tending his father's sheep, he spent a lot of time alone with God--seeking Him, praising Him, and becoming intimately acquainted with Him and His ways. As a result, David found great favor in the Lord's sight, and Scripture records that God considered him, "a man after My own heart." (Acts 13:22)
As I pondered David's life, I thought about my own life, and how God chose an unlikely candidate like me to use for His glory. When I finally surrendered my life to the Lord, I was almost 40 years old. I had been a stay-at-home mom for almost 15 years, and I didn't feel as though I had much to offer anyone, let alone God. Every morning, before I woke my children up for school, I would spend time alone with the Lord, praying, studying His Word, and pouring my heart out to Him. I was hungry to know Him better, and I had an unquenchable thirst for His Word. I read it, studied it, memorized it, meditated on it, and did my best to apply it to my life. And the Lord began to reveal Himself to me. The closer I grew to God, the more I wanted others to know Him. I began earnestly praying that my husband, my children, and all of my loved ones would discover this knowable God. As I persevered in prayer and tried to set a Christlike example, my family began to demonstrate a desire to have a relationship with Him. My older son started a Bible club at his high school, which would touch the lives of hundreds over the next several years. I took my place as the "club mom," and I volunteered to drive home every child that needed a ride after the meetings. I studied for many hours each week to help my son put together Bible lessons that the Lord anointed him to teach in life-changing ways. I spent a lot of time alone with God during those years, and I begged Him to use me in greater ways for His glory.
After my children graduated from high school, and my involvement with the Bible club ended, I waited upon the Lord to give me a new assignment. That's when He led me to join the staff of a Christian web site that my younger son had created a couple of years earlier. We set up a prayer request section on the site, and I began spending many hours each week praying for people, encouraging them, and counseling them with the Word of God. Some months later, my son asked me to write some devotionals for his site. At first, I flatly refused, because I had never even considered such a thing. But then I sought the Lord with an open heart, and discovered that it was His will for me. I leaned on God heavily for the inspiration, the wisdom, and the skill to write the messages I felt He wanted me to share with others. My son asked me to send out weekly devotional newsletters, and the number of my subscribers grew daily. Several years later, a publisher took an interest in my writing, and the Lord blessed me with books that are enabling me to reach more people than ever before with the life-changing message of the Gospel.
The Bible says: "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV) David discovered the truth behind this promise from the Lord. I've discovered it, too, and so have countless other believers throughout the centuries. Those who earnestly seek the Lord WILL be rewarded. You may feel like a nobody now, but if you will commit yourself to loving God and getting to know Him intimately, He will favor you, honor you, and fill your life with purpose and meaning. Call upon Him in faith today, and ask Him to help you become all He created you to be, and to accomplish all He created you to do--in His name and for His glory!!
Prayer: Lord, today I surrender to You all that I am, and all that I have. Teach me how to seek You and serve You the way You desire and deserve. Thank You for transforming this "nobody" into "somebody" You can use for Your glory!
- J. M. Farro