Yesterday, we had a look at the obedience of Paul, and how he had received a revelation from God, and went to Jerusalem to preach the gospel he had preached to the Gentiles.
And today, I want us to take a look at verse 6 of Galatians chapter 2. It says: "As for those who seemed to be important - whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance - those men added nothing to my message."
It seems that around where Paul was, there were leaders of very high reputation, and no doubt very influential men. However, it seems clear from the passage and from this verse in particular that Paul was not impressed or intimidated. Regardless of the position they held and the influence they had, Paul was only interested in one thing... preaching the true gospel to all people! Paul knew too well that it mattered not what the external appearance was. It didn't matter what clothes they wore, what position they held, how much worldly authority they had, how much political influence they had... it was all worthless! God wasn't, and still isn't interested in the external... he wants to know how we are internally!
When I was reading this passage, it reminded me of that well known verse in 1 Samuel 16:7. We know the passage. Samuel goes to the house of Jesse to anoint the son that the Lord had chosen to be the next king of Israel. All the sons lined up in order of height/strength/ability. And that can often be the thing that influences us! It almost did Samuel. In 1 Samuel 16:6, when Samuel saw Jesse's first son Eliab, the oldest, biggest, strongest, no doubt most impressive, Samuel took one look at him and said, "Surely the Lord's anointed stands here before the Lord." And then comes the truth: God doesn't look at the external, but the internal!Sometimes we can be quite good at altering the external to show that everything seems to be going great... but how is the internal doing? How is the heart condition? It's that which separates us, and puts us in a place for God to use!