Qualification for Divine Approval
by Gbile Akanni
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”” (1Sa 16:7 NKJV)
Every time God is looking for a man to use, He does not jump on the first man He sees. He looks first, for something in the man He considers valuable.
It is clear from 1Samuel 13 that God was planning to replace Saul. Samuel had declared that God had found a man after His own heart. But it was not until chapter l6 that the man was identified and anointed.
In verses 5-9 of chapter l6 when all the elder sons of Jesse were being considered, they had to be taken through a crash program of sanctification in order for them to qualify to come to the sacrifice — “Sanctify yourselves, and come….” But that sanctification obviously did not satisfy God and consequently did not qualify them for the throne.
What God looks for in the man He uses is not a crisis holiness. What qualifies a man for divine approval is not something that can be quickly acquired or worked up on an emergency basis.
I know that for many people, if they are suddenly invited to go and preach somewhere, they would go through such a crash program. If there was an unresolved quarrel between them and somebody else that could become a problem, they would say “No, no! I have a message. I am on assignment.” They would quickly resolve it and be meticulously holy because of the preaching engagement ahead. God does not really look for men who work up their holiness because there is a work to be done. That is not what God looks for.
There is probably a place for crash programs, but it is not very important in God’s consideration of the man He wants to use. If you desire that God should use you, start living a correct life today.
The men God uses are those He can pick without prior notice and their lives will still be correct. Whereas the seven older sons of Jesse here had time to sanctify themselves; and wear a religious garb, David did not have such a time. He was in the field when the man of God came and as soon as he arrived at his father’s summons, he was anointed.
He was ‘anointable’ on arrival! God did not need to order a physical outward sanctification by saying . . . “go, wash him before you can anoint him” or “change his garment before he can come to the altar.” He was already sanctified inwardly, right in the heart. He was such a man that even in the bush, where nobody was (to supervise him), he was still living right.
David was not like several people today that are only serious because of a post they are clinging to in the church. If you remove them from that post they will immediately find a reason to backslide. Such a person may think quietly in his heart, “So why do I have to be serious again? What I was even doing for God, has been removed from me. Why do I have to be very prayerful?” He will no longer go for Bible study. As far as he is concerned, since he is no longer a Bible study leader, why should he be there?
Now that you seek to be used of God, has holiness become your lifestyle? Do you know that when God is considering a man for His use, He peeps into his family life? He would be asking, “What is his relationship with his wife?” When a man’s story is not straight, God will say, “No, we cannot use this man.”
You must have noted that though these sons of Jesse were prepared by that crash program of holiness, they still did not impress God. I have a prayer I pray for myself: it is to be a man that is always ready for God to call upon anytime and anywhere, for a divine assignment.
My primary assignment and first emphasis is just to be a Christian. Preaching, for me, is a secondary assignment. This may look a very trivial statement. And someone may say, ‘but we are all Christians.’ I know. But I want to always be a Christian.
I desire that when men see me, the first thing that should strike them about me should not be that I am a preacher but that I am a “Christ-like person.” I want to be in a place where, even though I am not known, not advertised, yet my life is so striking to men to the point that they can say, “Yes! This man has been with Jesus.” This is more important to God. It should be important to you too.
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