A lady answered the knock on her door to find a man with a sad expression. “I’m sorry to disturb you,” he said, “but I’m collecting money for an unfortunate family in the neighborhood. The husband is out of work, the kids are hungry, the utilities will soon be cut off, and worse, they’re going to be kicked out of their apartment if they don’t pay the rent by this afternoon.” I’ll be happy to help,” said the woman with great concern. “But who are you?” “I’m the landlord,” he replied.
Wow, what a big hearted guy!! God has a lot to say about how big our hearts are. In fact the Bible says that the condition of your heart will determine just how good your life is going to be.
Proverbs 4:23 (KJV)
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Issues here really means the “borders” of your life. Just how far your life will go depends on your heart. How good your relationships will be depends on your heart. How good of an influence will you have with your children? Again, that depends on your heart.
The New Testament says it like this.
3 John 1:2 (NASB77)
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
Your life is going to be about as good as your soul (your mind, will, and emotions) is. No better.
Have you ever met someone who is bitter all the time? You go visit them and find that the bitterness has spread throughout their home. Others have it-family members with a sarcastic, bitter, ungrateful attitude. Your heart’s condition affects everything.
King David was called to be the king of Israel when his predecessor King Saul had been disposed by God. God told the prophet Samuel to go to a man’s house and have all his sons come out and He would choose one to be the next king. When the oldest son, Eliab, was presented, the prophet thought, “This is the guy!” He must have had all the right things; first born with natural leadership abilities, big and strong, a powerful man. “Yeah, this must be the guy,” Samuel thought. But God made a profound statement about the future king and also about the heart of man.
1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
When David, the runt of the family who was not even invited to this event, is finally brought before Samuel, God chooses him as the next king.
God looks at the heart. What did God see in David’s heart? What did He see in Eliab’s heart? That is answered in the famous story of David’s fight with Goliath.
The young man David is sent to bring food to his older brothers who were supposed to be fighting the Philistine army. No fight was going on for fear of Goliath, the nine foot giant, who was daily standing before the Israelite army mocking God and Israel. David’s brothers, along with the rest of the army, just stand and stare. But when David shows up, we see by his words what God saw in his heart. David loves the honor of God.
1 Samuel 17:26 (NASB77)
Then David spoke to the men who were standing by him, saying, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?”
David is interested in God’s honor… He wants to know why this scumbag is allowed to talk about His God and God’s people that way. Why? He loves God and wants to honor Him. The love for God and honoring Him is in David’s heart. God had seen it.
What was in Eliab’s heart?
1 Samuel 17:28 (NASB)
Now Eliab, his oldest brother, heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said, “Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your insolence and the wickedness of your heart; for you have come down in order to see the battle.”
Eliab does not care about God. What is in his heart? Envy, jealousy, offended pride. God saw that too. It is interesting that the Bible says God “rejected” Eliab, but David’s other brothers God “did not choose.” The heart of Eliab, filled with bitterness and self-centeredness, determined the borders of his life. Like people mad when someone else gets the raise or the promotion, someone else got honored and not them-that envious heart condition is shutting down the blessing of God for their lives. It’s not worth it!
Instead, choose to honor God. Spend your effort making Him look good. He will step over everyone else to get to you and lift you up.
2 Chron. 16:9 (NASB)
“For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.”
Guard your heart!