Then God gives us His perspective: “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. 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 Sam. 16:7).

God doesn’t look at appearance or height but at the heart. Can you guess what that’s an allusion to? Saul stood head and shoulders above all Israel. The nation had already gone that route and been disappointed. God had let them have their kind of man, and that man wasn’t careful to do what God said. What we find impressive in a person doesn’t really impress God; and conversely, the things that cause us to disqualify someone in our own minds—“he doesn’t seem to have leadership potential”; “she’s not the sharpest tool in the box”; “he just doesn’t have the right people skills”; “she’s lacking the education and experience to succeed”—are the characteristics that don’t seem to hinder God. In fact, He delights in taking the lowly or unexpected vessels of this world and showing His glory through them. First Corinthians 1:26 tell us what kind of people God called in that community: “Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.” Some were wise, influential, and noble by human standards; He doesn’t discriminate against people with privileges. But those characteristics aren’t at the top of His list. He chooses the foolish things to shame the wise, the weak to shame the strong, and so on. All He needs is a willing and available heart—a heart that is zealous for Him.

I have just completed a series of lessons based on Phil Tuttle’s book, Crucible. They are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of my Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription service. For a medium-sized church, lesson subscriptions are only $10 per teacher per year. Lessons correspond with three of Lifeway’s outlines as well as the International Standard Series. In addition, you get access to lessons like Crucible.