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.’ 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
In the first post on leadership we looked at some of the things the world uses to choose people for leadership positions. This left no room for God in the selection process. Today we are going to look at two people mentioned in the Old Testament that God chose to lead his people. They are Moses and Gideon.
The stories of Moses and Gideon are of individuals who were reluctant to accept God’s call, primarily because they saw themselves as unimportant and unlikely to be able to achieve what God intended to do through them.
Moses had all the right connections. He was a Hebrew, yet had been brought up in Pharaoh’s palace as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. Despite this, Moses saw himself as insignificant and ill-equipped for the task. God’s interaction with Moses is recorded in Exodus 3:10-12:
So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’ And God said, ‘I will be with you.
Gideon, another reluctant leader, was threshing corn when God revealed himself to him and chose him to lead the people. This is recorded in Judges 6:14-16 (NIV) as follows:
The LORD turned to him and said, ‘Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’ ‘Pardon me, my lord,’ Gideon replied, ‘but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’ The LORD answered, ‘I will be with you …’
Remember that up to this point Gideon had not done any fighting, yet in verse 13 God greets him as ‘… mighty warrior …’. Surely God was mistaken? The key to this is that God did not choose Gideon based upon what he had done, but on what he would become.
When God looks at you he doesn’t see your heritage and lineage, at least not in a worldly sense. He also doesn’t see your inate strength. What he does see is the potential there is inside you to be the person he wants you to be and the ability he can develop in you to undertake the task he sets before you.
What makes the difference is that God says ‘I will be with you’. So if you feel God has been calling you to a leadership role, don’t think it is because of your family connections, or your qualifications. It is because he sees beyond the physical into the heart and knows what is in your heart.