You may feel pretty ordinary… even a bit like a “factory reject” … OK, how about someone who is showing the results of “wear and tear.” You’ve never been thought of as the “super star” or scintillating, stunning or smart, or… Everyone else was picked first, and you came last (or pretty close to last)!
Good News! My experience over the years (and I have a few under my belt) is that many times, in God’s economy at least, the brightest and the best – the promising and the promoted – are not the ones who succeed and sustain success. It’s the plodders, the patient, the persistent and God’s purpose driven people who succeed!
That’s who God chooses – that who He uses! How does the Bible put it… “Many who are first will be last, and the last first!” (Matthew 19:30; Mark 10:31) Or how about this one… “For consider your calling; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God!” (1 Corinthians 1:26–29 ESV)
In my Bible reading this morning I read the case study on God’s choosing – God choice for leadership and success! It’s the story of David, the shepherd boy, that God chose to be king!
Saul, son of Kish, had everything going for him… He was “a handsome young man. There was not a man among the people of Israel more handsome than he. From his shoulder upward he was taller than any of the people.” (1 Samuel 9:2) He had been anointed king… but he had a problem – He would get ahead of God, act presumptuously, take things in his own hands, and be disobedient to the Lord. God rejected him and Samuel told him, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king! … The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this day and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you! (1 Samuel 15:23-28)
So God sent Samuel to anoint another person king… God said, “Fill your horn with oil and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Jesse paraded each of his sons past Samuel… seven of them! Samuel thought as each came before him, the first to the last, “’Surely the Lord’s anointed is before me!’ But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart!”
All had passed by, and Samuel said, ‘Are all your sons here?’ And Jesse said, ‘There remains yet the youngest, but he is out keeping the sheep.’ And Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send and get him!’” And when he passed by, the Lord said to Samuel, “Arise, anoint him for he is the one!” (From 1 Samuel 16:1-13)
So don’t be discouraged if you were not identified “as the most likely to succeed” in your high school yearbook – or you were not identified as the brightest and the best, or you weren’t the one who was chosen first as the promising person who got promoted… Remember, “The Lord sees not as man sees! Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart!”