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Becoming extraordinary

Good news! It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, what gifts and abilities you think you do or do not have or how much money you have in your purse or bank account. God made you, He loves you and has a radical plan for your life!

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament lately and have noticed that God takes special interest in ordinary people. People like Sarah, who was barren but gave birth to Isaac in her old age. Joseph was a regular teenager with jealous brothers who sold him into slavery. Moses was a normal Hebrew boy God used to deliver the people from the crushing hand of Pharaoh.

Joshua was an ordinary man with faith in God, so he led the people of God to defeat Jericho. Rahab was a common prostitute, yet she believed God and saved Joshua’s spies. There are many more examples throughout the Bible and God used them all.

And then there was David.

First Samuel 16:7 says, “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’”

Israel wanted a king and scripture tells us that God rejected Saul, who was the reigning King of Israel, for his disobedience. You see, Samuel had given him specific instructions from God that Saul failed to keep, and “because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as King” (1 Samuel 15:23).

So God sent Samuel to Jesse of Bethlehem to find the next king of Israel, and it’s a great story. Jesse brought each of his first seven sons before Samuel to see which son would be anointed. He started with the oldest son, who was tall and fair, and thought for sure Samuel would select him as king.

But Samuel was reminded: “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Jesse then paraded his next two sons in front of Samuel, but each time God said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.”

Jesse brought four more sons forward, but none of them were chosen either. There was one more son, but he was the youngest and of such little significance that Jesse had left him out in the field tending the sheep. Quite ordinary, you might say.

When David was summoned, the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.”

Can you believe it? Seven of Jesse’s sons had passed before Samuel and all were rejected. They were more than qualified—extraordinary young men if you will, but the Lord chose a shepherd to lead Israel. From then on, God was with David.

God often exalts those whom men despise and can accomplish extraordinary things through ordinary people. That makes me happy because I’m quite ordinary.

My wife, Julie, and I have two children. Our daughter is 14 and our son is 12. We were visiting some friends recently and all of our children were playing an outside game together when I overheard my son say, “Short guys win!”

You see, my son is the shortest kid in his class and sometimes people remind him of that so when he won the game, he wanted everyone to know that God can do extraordinary things with what someone else might consider ordinary.

Our sight often proves untrustworthy, so don’t look in the mirror and tell God what you are capable of. Instead, let God tell you what He wants to accomplish through you.

People look at the outward appearance, but good news: the Lord looks at the heart!




— by Jason Sharp

Sharp is station manager of 98.5 KTIS in the Twin Cities. Follow him on Twitter @jasonrsharp.