Expectant Prayers ®

Jennifer Jo Weiss

God Looks at the Heart

"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

The outward appearance can be deceiving when it comes to many things - especially people.  What's on the inside may not necessarily be what you see on the outside- or vice versa; for better or worse.  It takes discernment and staying connected to the vine (Jesus) in order to know who someone really is.   In this day of deception, we're going to have to be all the more wise when it comes to listening to, following after, and believing in those who claim we should walk with or follow them.

So how can you rightly discern when it comes to people?

- Consider what/who they are connected to - John 15:5 says, " I am the vine, ye are the branches"  What a person is rooted and growing in is what will influence their entire life.   What is the source they rely upon?  Are they connected to the one true God and to His unchanging Word?  What or who influences their lives, thoughts, and actions?

- Listen to what they say.  The Word says in Luke 6:45, "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh."     Ask yourself - does what they say line up with the Word of God (the whole word, not just parts)?   Does he/she speak life words, words what build up and not destroy?

 - Watch to see what they produce - The second part of John 15:5 says, "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

There will be fruit; good or bad.  James 3:11-13 asks us to consider, "Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom."

You will produce things in your life that are examples of your connection.  An apple tree bears apples, a fig tree bears figs... and nothing more.  This isn't to say that we don't falter once in awhile - sometimes the apples on our tree can be rotten.  But, through the power of God, He prunes and plucks those things from our lives that are not pleasing to Him.  If we are in Christ, there will be MUCH fruit; fruits of righteousness and godliness. A Christian should bear the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit consistently in their lives (love, joy, peace, patience/long suffering, kindness, goodness, and self control).  The Holy Spirit in our lives provides; guidance, wisdom, power and authority, correction, etc.    

- Listen to the Spirit of God - Above all we must be listening to what the Spirit of God is saying.  In the last days, many will come claiming they are the Christ (or even in Christ, calling themselves Christians, but in name only).  God sees and knows what we cannot see and will guide and direct us in all truth.

Consider this message today not only with individual people, but concerning the heart of all matters; the books that you read, news media you ingest, music you listen to, places you may go, business deals you might enter, etc.

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