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.”
I’ve been talking with the Lord about some mean things I have seen on church billboards and websites regarding the outward appearance of people. It breaks my heart because that is not the heart of the Father.
A church billboard stated that ‘All are welcome in heaven, unless you have tattoos, then you’re going to hell’. The above picture is Aaron D. Davis. He is a preacher, and he’s tattooed. Aaron is a wonderful God man. He loves the Lord completely. He loves his family and he loves people and desires for them to walk in the fullness of who God made them to be. He loves teaching the love of the Father and he lives it. He’s also an author and I highly recommend his books: Quantum Christianity and Limitless.
I am well aware of what it says in Leviticus 19:28 about tattoos, but what about all of the preceding laws? Have you ever judged anyone unfairly? Have you slandered your neighbor or called anyone an idiot? Do you round your hair when you cut it or trim your beard wrong?
I want to share a story about a sweet young man. His name is Brian “Head” Welch. He was in the band Korn and almost killed himself on drugs, but he was a single dad and wanted to be there for his daughter. One night, he went to a church high on meth. He saw people raising their hands and thought they were weird. He thought, ‘Are they stupid or do they got (sic) something I need?’ He went home and said, “Jesus, if You’re real make me not want to do drugs any more. Help me to be a good father for my daughter.” He was delivered from drugs and stayed home to raise his daughter! God is so good. Brian is covered in tattoos and was actually getting a tattoo and sharing his testimony with the tattoo artist when I heard this. (L.A. Ink, Season 3, Episode 9)
Jesus has never said to me, “Well, that tattoo on your shoulder. You know…”
The Lord called David, a shepherd boy, to be king and to defeat Goliath. (1 Samuel 16:11-13) Gideon was beating out wheat in a wine press when the angel of the Lord came and called him a valiant warrior. (Judges 6:11-16)
1 Kings 8:39 then hear Thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart Thou knows, for Thou alone dost know the hearts of all the sons of men,
King David had a heart after the Father and told his son, Solomon to know his God and serve Him with all his heart and with a willing mind; for the LORD searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. (1 Chronicles 28:9)
The Lord certainly knows the hearts of all. Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and they were scoffing Him.
Luke 16:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.”
Jesus chose a woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), a demon possessed man (Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39), the woman at the well (John 4:26), a Christian hunter (Acts 8:1-3), a thief on a cross next to Him (Luke 23:39-43), you, me, the woman with twenty face piercings, the young man with the saggy pants, etc. Jesus says:
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”
All means all.
A few years ago, I took Miss Zora, then 90 years old, to the Tag Agency to renew her license. The seats were full so we stood to the side. A young African-American man wearing saggy pants stepped up to me and offered his seat for Miss Zora. He was so sweet and had the kindest eyes. Another time, I went into a friend’s store and there were a couple of gang bangers in there. I knew they were in a gang because of certain tattoos. One of them wouldn’t even look at me, but the other one did and I saw in his eyes that he was in a place he didn’t want to be so I loved on him and was kind to him. Jesus loves them and He wants to love them through us. The Lord knows each of our purpose and each person’s perfect expression of Him. Ask Him to show you the hearts of those you encounter. Look past the exterior.
I absolutely love the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. Sarai got tired of waiting for the Lord’s promised child and told her husband Abram to sleep with her maid, Hagar. He did and she got pregnant so Sarai treated her harshly. Hagar went out into the wilderness and stopped by a spring of water. The angel of the Lord gave her encouragement:
Genesis 16:11b Because the LORD has given heed to your affliction.
Genesis 16:13-14 Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “Thou art a God who sees”; for she said, “Have I even remained alive here after seeing Him?” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.
Beer-lahai-roi means “the well of Him that liveth and seeth me” or “the well of the vision of life”! I love that! God is so good.
Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, “Thou, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two Thou hast chosen.”
Abba, help us to see the hearts of those You bring into our paths. You know all hearts Abba. Give us a word for each person, Lord, and touch their heart as only You can. Thank You for looking beyond our exterior and beyond our blunders, and seeing our hearts. You are so good Abba and we love You and praise You forever more. Amen and so be it.