God tells Samuel to anoint the next king of Israel. He sends him to Jesse's house in Bethlehem and promises to reveal His next leader. Samuel sees the oldest son of Jesse and immediately assumes that he will be God's choice. The Lord, however, had different plans and told Samuel to stop looking on the outward appearance and start looking at the heart. David, the youngest son, is finally found and anointed with oil as the next king. All of this is clearly God ordained, but it is also by God's hand that David ends up with Saul. God sends an "evil" spirit to vex the king, and David is hired to play the harp and help calm the king. God's plan for David was never really in doubt. He anointed him and then moved him into the ranks of the king to prepare him for the rigors ahead. Does God ever do that with us? Does He actually put us in places and around certain people that will lead to the next step in His plan? No doubt He will. When Jill and I first married, we both taught at a small, Christian school and also worked second jobs. Half way through the year, the school quit paying us a salary. One of my other jobs was a youth pastor position under the authority of the Senior Pastor. God put him in my life, and then he led me to my first pastorate in the church he formally served in. God prepared everything perfectly to the point that we did not miss a paycheck. Yes, He still works in that same manner today!

Help me, Lord, to stop judging a book by its cover and to start looking for a person's heart.. Help me to see those situations You put me in to lead me farther into Your will and help me to celebrate as Your plan unfolds.