What Do You See?
There was that day when Samuel learned a lesson so many of us never learn. The prophet had been sent by God to the house of Jesse to anoint the new king who was to replace Saul. When Samuel looked at the sons of Jesse, he immediately decided that the new king would be Eliab, the firstborn son, but he was so wrong. One by one, each of the sons came before Samuel and each was rejected. Why? God told Samuel, “Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). The heart that God sees is the inward soul of a person. The body is simply the house of clay where that soul resides for a few years.
Jesus Saw Souls
When God became flesh, He did not look at the outward appearance of men. He saw their souls! He chose twelve of the most unlikely individuals to be those who would continue the work He began. He chose ignorant and unlearned fisherman (Acts 4:13); He chose a despised tax collector; He chose a Zealot, the “terrorists” of the first century. Why? Because our Lord looks at the heart.
Paul Saw Souls
On the day of Paul’s salvation, he could have so easily learned the lesson about how readily godly men fail to see the heart and look at the outward appearance. God’s message to Ananias was clearly understandable, but this disciple was so hesitant to go. Why? Because he only saw Paul as an enemy of God, but God looked at the same man’s soul and saw him as the great apostle.
Look at the rest of Paul’s life. Though opposed and often beaten, he continued to enter the synagogues for occasionally there were a few who might become believers. He never stopped “touching the hot stove” of the synagogues for he saw souls in them.
When he was brought before Felix, Festus and Agrippa, he saw the souls of these ungodly, immoral rulers. This is why he openly taught them about Christ. He saw them not as an enemy, those who would not obey the Lord. He saw their souls!
Who Do You See?
God help us to learn this lesson so many righteous men have struggled to learn. God has not spoken to us directly as He did to Ananias, but He has directly spoken to us with the great commission. He first gave it to the apostles, and they have by their works given this same commission to us—go preach the gospel to every creature. Opportunities abound for us to teach are all around us.
God help us all to look and see the souls of others!