This past Friday, I closed out my latest installment of the “Faith and Patience” series. It was Volume 4. This new series will flow in the same vein. I will call it “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” In this series, we will study the life one of my favorite characters in scripture, David. For this series’s purposes, the story of David begins with his selection by the prophet of God. This happens in 1 Samuel chapter 16. To provide you some context, we will pick up the story in chapter 15.
In 1 Samuel 15, the Lord, through the prophet Samuel, told king Saul to attack and utterly destroy Amalek for attacking Israel when they came out of Egypt. Saul was to kill everyone and destroy all possessions, to include all animals. Saul, however, chose to spare Agag, the Amalekite king. He also spared the best of the animals. Saul decided that he wanted to make a sacrifice to the Lord with these animals. God sent Samuel to Saul again. But this time it was not with simple instructions. It was with a word of correction. The Lord told Saul that he no longer favor in His sight. The prophet told the king that it was because he was no longer “little in his own eyes,” and he had somehow arrived at the point where he thought he could disobey or flat-out dismiss God’s commands. Samuel said, “Obedience is better than Sacrifice.” When Samuel left the king, he never went back to see him until his death. This truly grieved the prophet because he truly loved Saul.
In the next chapter, the Lord told the prophet, Samuel, to visit Jesse’s house because He had selected one of Jesse’s boys to be Saul’s replacement, the next king of Israel. Jesse hailed from the tribe of Judah, he was a great-grandson of Boaz and Ruth, and he lived in Bethlehem.
Samuel knew that if Saul found out he was going to Bethlehem to anoint his replacement, the king would have him killed. So Samuel took an animal for sacrifice, to make his trip look like a routine act of worship. When the prophet arrived in Bethlehem, he told the town elders that he was there for a sacrifice. Samuel then proceeded to Jesse’s house, and he asked Jesse to join in, with his sons, in the purification ritual that was typically performed before a proper sacrifice. The Bible says that “Jesse and his sons joined in the purification ritual.” I highlight this because I will bring it back up later.
Once everyone was ceremonially clean, Samuel was ready to make his selection. However, before he left for his trip, the Lord clearly said to him, “You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” You would think that a prophet would not need to be reminded of this, but there was a reason the Lord said it.
As Samuel stood there, looking at Jesse and his boys, Samuel could not help but be impressed with Jesse’s eldest son, Eliab. Samuel thought to himself, “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord.” Samuel was impressed with how good Eliab looked, but the Lord said, “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.” After the Lord made it clear to Samuel that Eliab was not His choice, Jesse went on to the next son, Abinadab, and then the next, and so on. After going through all seven sons standing before him and not hearing God’s approval for any of them, Samuel was confused. He asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” Jesse had to admit that he had another son, the youngest, David, but he was out tending sheep. Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
We will stop here for today.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. Obedience and humility are key to walking in God’s best.
a) God gives commands, not suggestions. When the Lord gives you clear instructions, don’t come up with something you think is a better idea.
b) Don’t come up with your own idea, especially when you know it is contrary to what God told you to do. If you choose to disobey God and do what you want, then you will have to deal with the consequences. If what you are doing is God’s will, then it will be God’s bill. But if you are doing is YOUR OWN will, then it will also be YOUR OWN bill, and you will have to try to make it work by human effort and your own power. Take it from me, obeying God is much better.
c) Humility is critical to walking with God. You must remain “little in your own eyes.” When King Saul disobeyed God, the prophet told him that he would have never done it when he was “little in his own eyes.” Always remain humble before God.
d) Pride will lead you to disobey God and to exalt self over submitting to God’s instruction. Don’t be self-centered. If you put self-interest and self-promotion over God’s instructions, you won’t like the results.
e) The quickest way UP in God is keeping yourself DOWN, in humility. And the fastest way DOWN in God is raising yourself UP in pride.
f) If you remain humble, God will EXALT YOU! (1 Peter 5:6). But if you exalt yourself, God will HUMBLE YOU! I have experienced both. Take it from me, allowing God to promote you is much better!
2. What God has for you is for you!
a) No one can take THE BLESSING God has with YOUR NAME ON IT!
b) David’s father did not even think enough about him to have him in the lineup when it was time to bless one of his sons. Not one of his brothers spoke up either. But it did not matter! What God has for you is for you! God won’t give your blessing to anyone else.
c) Even when people don’t think enough about you to even put your name in the running, God has a way of picking you anyway. And when God does it, you will wind up getting promoted right in front of them! This is what happened for David.
d) God has plans for you that you know nothing about. David was minding his own business, out tending his father’s sheep, doing what he always did, when the Lord told the prophet to go to Bethlehem to anoint David as the next king of Israel. We serve a God who reveals His purpose in increments. While God’s plan for our life is fixed, we live out His plan in times and seasons, levels, and stages. For us to make the most of every time/season, level/stage, God reveals His purpose to use for the season we are in. He will not tell us everything up front, because if God told us everything we would not require faith. What God does is reveal his plans and purposes in increments. His incremental vision provides enough divine LIGHT for us to make the most of the season we are in. Once we maximize the current season, God will give us LIGHT for the next, and so on. This process will be repeated until we die.
e) While it is true that God gives us incremental revelation, please don’t undervalue what God reveals. ONE WORD from God can change your life forever. Once the prophet anointed David, his life was never the same again. He began an amazing journey down the path to his destiny. We will study that journey. We will see that David required faith and patience. Like David, we too will become the men/women God has called us to be. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen because what God has for us is for us!
f) When you least expect it, the Lord can give you a PROMISE that will propel you into your destiny! And when your time comes no one can stop you!
*** Your time will come! Greater is coming for you!
Father, I know Greater is Coming for me! Like David, You have destined me for Your purpose. I am not a mistake. I am here for a reason. I was born with a specific assignment. While I am waiting on You to reveal Yourself, I will be faithful over what You have revealed thus far. I will do what I am expected to do, in excellence, every day, even when it seems like no one is watching. Because I know You are watching and I know You will open the door of favor in Your timing. What You have for me, is for me! My blessing has MY NAME ON IT! It will not be given to anyone else. So I will wait patiently, expectantly, and faithfully. When I least expect it, my breakthrough will come and my life will be changed forever. Understanding this I can work, and whistle while I work! Because when my time comes, NO ONE CAN STOP ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!