Saturday, April 9, 2016

You gotta have heart.

For NFL fans, this time between the Combine and the Draft is a season of speculation. Who will be drafted first? Will my team draft great players who will make an immediate impact? 

The Combine in February is a big deal. All the coaches and scouts converge in Indianapolis to watch potential players run drills, interview and even go through testing. They scrutinize these guys over this weekend, leaving no stone unturned. After all they are spending millions of dollars on these guys. Yet no matter how confident you are in a player, it’s a risk. 

Teams have been burned before. A guy may have a monster combine. Just flat out kill the drills and interview well. He may have been a great college player. But after they have been drafted and go through training camp into the season, they may end up being a bust. They may not have the drive; may not put their whole heart into becoming the best player and teammate. They may not give it their all to win. They don’t apply themselves very well. And so eventually they may be cut, or traded to another team. 

It’s the heart of a person that makes all the difference whether in football or in our spiritual walk. Samuel the prophet was fooled by the outward appearance. 

God sent him to Jesse’s family to anoint the next king of Israel. He stood before seven of his sons, looked at Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me.”  He looks the part. Checks off all the boxes. Meets all the measurables. But God sees deeper than the physical appearance.

“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

David was the one God chose. He was a small shepherd boy. He didn’t really look the part. Yet he had a heart for God. He was passionate for God. “He was a man after God’s heart.” 1 Samuel 13:14

This is the guy when King Saul told him, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are a youth and he has been a man of war from his youth,” remarked back, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”

This is the kind of heart that David had. And it benefited him all his life. 

A NFL coach can’t measure a man’s heart. The coach might know all his physical measurables. He knows how fast he runs, how high he jumps, how he played in college. He even knows his family background. But he really has no clue until the player is out on the field as to how he plays. 

How about you? Do you meet all the measurables? Do you look the part? Do you check off all the relevant boxes? Do you meet the standard?

Don’t worry....I don’t either. 

Believe me, I’ve looked at myself; shortcomings, failings and wonder how I can make an impact. Can God do something great through me? Perhaps other people may look at me and think the same thing. Maybe I even believe it sometimes. 

But you know, this is a lie from the pit! The truth is that “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him.” 

God doesn’t have a clipboard with your measurables on it. He doesn’t look at you and check off the boxes. Okay, this girl has it! I can work with her! 

No, what matters is your heart. Do you rely on Him continually? Is He the strength of your heart? Do you love Him with a passion above all others? 

Did you answer yes? Well then girl, get back out there and do what He’s called you to do. Use those gifts He gave you. Don’t sideline yourself. His glory will be seen through your life. You will make a huge impact with those your life will touch. He’s just waiting for someone to stand up and believe it. 

I’m ending the blog with this lovely passage in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

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