The story of King David has to be one of my favorite stories in the Bible. It is the story of how God sees the heart of an individual and promotes him in His timing to a place of prominence. It is the process that we see in the life of David that for me is so inspiring. God takes David, a simple shepherd boy and gives him a calling at a young age. He then gives David a test where He places his faith in God which launches him into a position of popularity. He is then given a desert experience where his character is tested but finally God accomplishes in David His purposes for David’s life.
Man Looks On The Outside, God Looks On The Inside.
We begin the story of David with the prophet Samuel hearing from God to anoint a new king for the nation of Israel. Samuel goes to Bethlehem and finds David’s father Jesse. Samuel looks at Jesse’s firstborn son and by outward appearances, He seems to be a good candidate to be king. However God says that he is not the one. Samuel proceeds down the line of all of David’s brothers and each one is not the one that is chosen by God. Finally Samuel asks Jesse if there are any more sons left. Jesse replies that only his youngest son is left and that he is out tending sheep. Samuel tells Jesse to bring David to him and David is the one that God picks. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)
What I find so inspiring about this part of the story of King David is that God looks on the heart rather than on outside looks or ability. To demonstrate this, God chose the son that was out doing the little things he was asked to do. While all of David’s brothers were around the house, David was out tending sheep.
We can learn a life lesson from this event. Instead of sitting around waiting for God to recognize us, we need to be out doing the little things that we are asked to do. No project or assignment is too small. Tending sheep was the dumb boring job. That is why the youngest son was out doing it. It was beneath his older brothers.
What are some of the things that you can do? What are the little things in life that you can be doing for the Lord that may not be glamorous or exciting but are important all the same?
In my own life, there have been many instances where I was asked to do the little things. I remember when I first started interning for ministry at my uncle’s church I learned a valuable lesson. I was all gung ho to start preaching and to get behind that pulpit. I asked my uncle, “When am I going to get to minister”. He handed me a mop and a toilet brush and simple said. “You are.”
Has God handed you a mop and a toilet brush?
The next highlight in the life of King David is his showdown with the giant Goliath. This Philistine giant had been terrorizing the army of King Saul. One day, Jesse tells David to go to the army camp and deliver some supplies to his brothers. David, once again, out of the spotlight, just goes and serves those in his family. When He get’s there he finds out that Goliath is taunting the soldiers of Saul and has caused them to all be afraid of him. David sees this challenge in a different light than everyone else. He sees it as a challenge of faith. In 1 Samuel 17:26 he asks “Who is this pagan Philistine that defies the army of the living God”? To Saul and his army, this was an obstacle, to David this was a challenge. The army looked at the situation as a problem, but David looked at it as an opportunity.
I also find it quite enlightening that David’s brothers got angry with David for being so bold. They accused him of wanting the glory of battle. Many times when we are confronted with a challenge, if we take it on and decide to believe God, those that are around us and closest to us can accuse us of wanting glory for ourselves.
When I started my first church, the pastor of a large church in the same community and part of my denomination that I was a part of at the time got really angry. Here we were in a city of 200,000 people and he was worried I was going to steal his sheep? He already had 10,000. How many more did he need? For me, it was my challenge of faith. God had called me to pastor, and thus I started the church from scratch with no help from another church. That risk of failure was my Goliath.
What has God called you to do? What is blocking your way in advancing in the destiny that God has called you to?
King David’s Test Of Character In The Wilderness
After David killed Goliath, King Saul asked David to stay with them in Jerusalem. Saul would ask David to do something and David would do it with stunning success. However, Saul was not pleased with this because David was getting more attention than Saul was. (1 Samuel 18:7) This eventually led Saul to kick David out of Jerusalem and put a bounty on his head.
David spent years in the wilderness running from King Saul and those that he sent after David. Time and time again Saul would try to kill David and David would refuse to fight and instead hid in the wilderness. This was David’s test of character. God was testing David to see if David would take his promotion into his own hands. David was even given the opportunity to kill Saul himself but David refused to touch God’s anointed king. (1 Samuel 24)
Before God brings to pass the fulfillment of His destiny for our lives, we are given a test of character. God seems to like to use wilderness experiences to test us. What type of person will we be when nobody is looking. When we have the opportunity to climb the corporate ladder by worldly means, will we take it or not? Will we allow God to promote us or will we take it into our own hands to make it happen.
When I was waiting for God to restore me to ministry, I went through that wilderness experience. Would I be faithful to raise my kids as a single dad? Would I walk with integrity with my employers? Would I serve Jesus when nobody was looking? It was an 8 year long wilderness experience. When God said it was time, the doors opened and I walked into my destiny. I am still walking into it. It is not finished. The rapid growth and popularity of this website and the ministry that happens because of it is just one aspect of seeing that destiny come to pass. God has given me a voice in Evangelical Christianity that nobody could have imagined. The guy who purposefully took churches that were not wanted by other pastors, started churches in communities that nobody even thought to plant a church, and who was willing to go where others wouldn’t, has been given a voice that not many have. It was His plan for my life.
Remember, not only David went through a wilderness experience but both Moses and Jesus went through it also. What is your wilderness experience? What is your test of character? Where are you being tried by fire? Understand that God is preparing you for what His plan is for you in the future. Just as King David, you have a destiny to touch the lives of people.