If you have not done so before, please review the Background on the Program
As you start to review this episode, please know that YOU matter. Regardless of what you are struggling with, regardless of the depths of your sorrows and regardless of how lonely you feel, the Good News is that YOU matter. I hope the message below nourishes you in the most meaningful way to comfort you and strengthen you to keep climbing into the ring to face your battles.
Episode #1: Matters of the Heart
Today’s episode starts with a song from the Rolling Stones, You Can’t Always Get What You Want.
Please spend a few minutes listening to any version you can find on the internet.
I hope you enjoyed that song. It is hard to believe the Rolling Stones have been able to play music and tour for over 60 years. They have touched generations with their music.
The song You Can’t Always Get What You Want touches on the real struggle we all deal with and that is the challenge of what we really need versus what we really want. Many times, needs and wants can be very different and become a source of discontent in our lives. If we dig a little deeper into our wants, we will find that most of the time those wants are driven by expectations that we may place on ourselves based on what we think those around us think we should do or have and what “society” thinks we should do or have. If we let those around us drive our expectations for ourselves, we often times feel inadequate to meet these expectations and worst of all, we end up missing the true direction of our life. This can lead us into a dark valley if we are not careful.
When we look into the ancient scriptures, we find some helpful guidance to deal with this challenge on expectations in 1 Samuel Chapter 16 versus 1-13 (please find a version of this scripture on the internet).
The backdrop of this story is that Samuel, who was a prophet and judge for Israel, was in search of the next King of Israel. Saul, the current King of Israel, had lost his way and God was directing Samuel to find the next King. God sent Samuel to the house of Jesse in Bethlehem.
When Samuel arrived to meet Jesse, they began a somewhat formal interview session with Jesse’s sons about who was worthy to be the next King of Israel. As typical in today’s world, when Jesse brought forward each of his sons to meet with Samuel, he cited what he thought were the strong characteristics of each of his sons that would deem them worthy to be the next King.
Jesse paraded seven of his sons in front of Samuel. One who was the strongest and best warrior, one who was the smartest and ran the family business, one who was the most compliant in adhering to the family’s rules, etc. When Samuel met with each one of these seven sons of Jesse, all of whom had these great skills and experiences, God whispered in Samuel’s ear that these were not going to be the next King.
In verse 7 of Chapter 16, we find God’s direction to Samuel. “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.”
Samuel then asked Jesse if he has anymore sons to meet. Jesse acknowledged that he had one more son, but expressed some doubt about him as he was the smallest and not the smartest of his kids and he kept him in the fields tending sheep because he thought that was all he was capable of doing.
As the story unfolds, Samuel asks Jesse to bring forward his last son, the one whom the family’s expectations were very low. As David, Jesse’s youngest son walks into the room, God whispered into Samuel’s ear and said, “Rise and anoint him as he will be the next King of Israel.” (this is also the same David, who not long after Samuel’s visit, as a young boy had the courage to kill the giant Goliath…that will be for another episode)
This story is a strong reinforcement that we can be redeemed not based on how great our life’s resume is, or how big our bank account is, or what neighborhood we live in, or how wonderful our family is, or how great a business success we may have, or anything else that the world may deem as important. We can be redeemed by what is in our own heart.
This message can give hope to those of us who are struggling with living up to the expectations of others or who may have been conditioned to think that how the world views success is what I need to strive for, and we can instead find peace in searching our heart and being who we are truly meant to be. God accepts us based on who we are, not based on what the world would think we should be.
Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:
- How have I let the world’s expectations or the expectations of others cause me to set priorities in my life that don’t feel true to me?
- How have those misaligned expectations been the cause of frustration and lack of joy in my life?
As you continue along in your journey, please remember that God looks at our heart to remind us that we matter, we belong, and we have been chosen. While we may be struggling with the expectations of those around us who may only look at the outward appearance of our lives, we can find peace knowing that God values our heart more than our accomplishments.
As you continue to reflect on the message, please take a moment to search the internet to find and listen to Lauren Daigle singing, How Can It Be.
How can I help you today? My mobile is 269-370-9275 and my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Please download some FREE resources at www.harvesttimepartners.com I hope you will find them helpful in your journey.