“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your minds from within.” Romans 12:2 Phillips Translation
I was in Belize sitting at a picnic table with six fifth grade boys. We had just done a drama of Samuel coming to Jesse’s house to anoint the next king. Jesse didn’t know which of his eight sons it would be but he had decided which son it wouldn’t be. David, his youngest, wasn’t even invited to the party because someone needed to stay with the sheep.
So the question I asked these fifth graders was: “Give a time when you felt left out, lonely, or rejected.”
The boys spent a lot of time looking at each other, but no one would answer me, so I finally called on the one next to me. His answer was “never.”
“Let me get this straight,” I asked. “You’ve never felt lonely, left out, or rejected, in your whole life?”
Nope; and the funny thing was, as I made each answer, it turned out that none of them had ever felt lonely, left out, or rejected – amazing.
Then we moved on to the part of the story where God tells 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.” (1Samuel 16:7)
“For instance,” I told them, “God knows that every one of you lied to me a few minutes ago. You might be able to fool me and each other, but God sees your heart, and you can’t fool him.”
These weren’t bad kids, they were just being squeezed by peer pressure to maintain a certain image so they didn’t want to be vulnerable in front of each other. When our time was ending I asked them to close their eyes and put their heads down.
“God saw David when man didn’t,” I told them. “He saw that David wanted to please Him so God chose him and poured out the Holy Spirit on him. If you want to please God and have God pour His Spirit on you, I want you to lift up your head and look me in the eyes.”
Do you know that every one of those six boys looked up without hesitation! They knew they had lied, but that’s not who they wanted to be. They wanted to please God and knew they needed the Holy Spirit to help them do that. What a privilege it was to pray over each of them.