Are you looking for potential leaders to invest in their lives? In your search, don’t look at the appearance, look at the heart. Or can you remember the number of times that you had judged someone from the outward appearance and on having a closer relationship with them, you discovered that they were everything but what you initially had in mind?
I’m sure you’ve been there. So was the prophet Samuel.
The first king of Israel had failed, and God needed a new king. Samuel was to go and anoint one of Jesse’s sons as king. He got there and almost made a mistake. He saw Eliab and some other Jesse’s sons looking handsome, and he was about to anoint one of them when God said in no unclear terms:
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but The LORD looks at the heart.””(1 Samuel 16:7, NLT)
Let’s remember that King Saul was of a good appearance and height and perhaps Samuel thought the next king would be someone close to that description too. Just as it was then and now it is, it doesn’t always work that way. A man who outwardly looks good and okay but has a proud and unteachable spirit might not find himself being useful in God’s hands.
Skillful people who have lots of experiences and all that but are unbroken, unteachable, and proud when given kingdom assignments might end up creating more collateral damage!
So, if you have people around you but they are not looking like people that can be believed in; they don’t have much experience but they have a heart for Jesus, they are passionate and diligent, watch out for them. They are the ones that God chooses, calls and anoints for kingdom work.
In the Philippines is an Unreached Tribe called the Manobo. Population is about 800,000 people. There are about eighteen sub tribes among the Manobo with different dialects. They are majorly animists with some tribes having as low as 4% of the population being Christians.
Some of the Missionaries on our team are from this tribe. There was a particular one out of them who was freshly out of the YWAM PH Impact Discipleship Training School and City Impact Intensive. He wasn’t the one that one would think of to lead a movement.
He was in his early twenties, had no prior leadership experience, but he had the heart to see changes take place. He was someone who wouldn’t hide his faults but would acknowledge them and seek help. He was always trying to be better. I’m sure the Lord highlighted him because of his hunger for God and the teachable spirit he exemplified.
Though he didn’t have much experience, he co-led (the other leader was a young man who had only given his life to Christ about a year ago) a team of about one hundred and fifty missionaries (internationals) to one of our outreaches, and they were incredibly successful. In their first run with the campaign (this first quarter in 2019), 14,000 people heard the gospel and about 7,000 people gave their lives to Christ. Their missions report further says that about 5,300 people joined the Youths With A Mission Discipleship Programme (that is about 75% follow up!) and about 2,600 Bibles and 3,600 meals were given out.
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Mat 5:5-6, NIV)
There was this other person from the same tribe who lost his father when he was only twelve years old. His father was actually murdered by someone in their community, and at that young age, he had to take up the responsibility of helping the family. In spite of the financial challenges, he grew in his hunger for Jesus and had a passion for reaching his unreached tribe and other unreached tribes for Jesus.
Just like the tribesman mentioned earlier, he also had no previous leadership experience on the field, but he was humble and teachable. He has a passion for seeing lost souls saved and especially in his community. He now takes teams from the Philippines to Unreached Nations to share the gospel to one of the largest unengaged unreached people groups in the world.
The last time he went to one of them (it’s the 11th dangerous country for Christians to go to), in about two weeks, he and the team were able to preach the Gospel to over two thousand people with about eleven hundred of them deciding to follow Jesus.
He continues to lead, presently staffs on our YWAM PH Base, and he is getting more training in missionary work and especially in taking the gospel to areas where Christians are being persecuted.
While in the jungle, he was someone who had always had the dream of meeting a white man and touching him. He has not only been able to do that, he now leads foreigners to the mission field and even to unreached nations of the world! I believe that this is a huge breakthrough, not only for him and his community but also for the kingdom of God.
Though these guys grew up with so much ‘disadvantages’; living in the jungle with virtually no exposures and little or no social infrastructure, their humility, teachability, and love for Jesus made them stand out.
Don’t judge people by their appearance only. If the Lord is placing it in your heart to mentor some people, you don’t have the most skillful people around you. You might not see anyone that looks like it from the outside but look out for teachability, hunger, passion, and diligence and when you find these traits, you can stop the search. Pour yourself into those people. Dedicate a lot of time into bringing them up. Mentor them and watch them become trees that will bring forth several fruits.
Now, good heights and appearances, eloquence and previous experiences do not disqualify one from being used by God. They are simply insufficient as yardsticks to be used to evaluate vessels fit for the Master’s use.
And only if you’ll be deeply spiritually perceptive, you’ll discover that some hearts of gold are enclosed in wooden containers.