(Read 1 Samuel 16:1-13)
Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” In yesterday’s message, we saw how God told the prophet, Samuel, to go to Bethlehem, to Jesse’s house, and to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be the next king of Israel.
You know the story by now. David’s father and his brothers went through the cleansing ceremony without him. The prophet went through the entire lineup of sons without David present, and God rejected every one of them from the blessing. What God had for David was for David, and His blessing would not be given to anyone else. David was then called out of the field, where he was dutifully taking care of his father’s sheep. David came home without an inkling of what was going on and he was anointed by God to be the next King of Israel. This happened right in front of his father and brothers, the same people who left him out of the lineup.
Today I want to pause for a moment to consider what happened to David. We will learn later that David spent a great deal of time with his father’s sheep. The lessons he learned as a young shepherd boy were lessons that he would later apply as King. Those days alone with God and his father’s sheep were days that formed David into the leader God wanted him to be. As a young man David did not know it, but God was preparing him for his destiny while he was doing the seemingly mundane.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. God IS now and HAS always been at work in your life.
a) God is always at work in your life. As a matter of fact, God WAS always at work in your life, even before you acknowledged who He is. God made plans for you before you were born and He has actively participated in your life every step of the way, even before you accepted Him as Lord.
b) God made plans for you before the world began and sent you into the world at just the right time. God then works in your life, behind the scenes, working through people and situations, to help propel you into your destiny. He does this by grace. It has nothing to do with our performance. It has everything to do with God’s love and His dedication to the plans He made for us before we were even born.
c) God was working WITH and ON David while he was out in the fields, tending to his father’s sheep. David had no idea, but God was preparing him for his destiny. What was true for David is true for you. God has been preparing you all your life. God is preparing you for what He prepared FOR you before the world began. The life of faith, then, is one of discovery. Faith is not about pursuing whatever you decide and then asking God to bless it. Faith is about discovering what God decided before you were born and submitting to those plans. At that point, you don’t have to ask God to bless the plans. Because if He came up with the plans, they are ALREADY blessed!
d) God has been working with you all your life to get you to the point where you are today, and He will never give up on you. You have ignored Him, rejected Him, and placed your plans above His, but God is tirelessly dedicated to helping you become the man/woman He birthed you to be. This, my friends, is GRACE!
2. God protected you for your divine assignment by His amazing GRACE!
a) One of the greatest moments I experienced in my early walk with God was a day the Holy Spirit took me back (in my mind, as if it were a movie) over all the times He shielded and protected me for my purpose. I accepted Jesus as Lord at 23, but I would have never made it to the age of 23 if the Lord was not actively protecting me for my purpose. The Holy Spirit reminded me of scene after scene, both in Brooklyn and in the Dominican Republic, where He was at work to protect me from harm, to keep my alive for my divine assignment.
b) While David was just a young boy, out protecting his father’s sheep, he had a life-and-death encounter with a lion and another with a bear. In both cases the Lord protected David and helped him kill both animals with his bare hands. Had the Lord not been with David during those encounters (and I am sure there were many others), like me, David would not have been alive to receive and fulfill his purpose. What the Lord did for me and what He did for David was completely unmerited. As a young man I did not acknowledge God and we don’t have any indication that David was exceptionally righteous as a young man either. My point is that in the case of David, in my life, and I am sure yours as well, the Lord helped us before we acknowledged Him and He shielded/protected us for our purpose even before we called upon Him as Lord. That is a picture of God’s grace. The grace of God is entirely unmerited, undeserved, unexpected, and borderline unbelievable. Grace is amazing! Thank God for His grace!
3. God calls you by GRACE into your destiny!
a) David did not earn or necessarily deserve the call of God on his life. God called Him because of His goodness, not David’s. David was minding his own business, doing what he always did, when a stranger appeared in his home, equipped with oil that was symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and anointed him to be the next king of Israel. Like David, you are called for a specific purpose. And like David, God’s anointing is ON YOU to do what He called you to do!
b) You can’t find any evidence in scripture to support an argument that David earned this call. From what we know from scripture, David had no idea and even no desire to be King. That was the last thing on his mind. But God revealed it to him, anointed him for it, and kept him through all the challenges he was going to have to face between the promise and the performance. David was 17 when Samuel anointed him. We will learn that he would not become King of Israel until about 20 years later. So David needed faith and patience (what we are learning in this series). In the end, David became the man God called him to become. The idea was not David’s idea. It was birthed in God’s heart before the world began. The same can be said Abraham, who was minding his own business when God called him. Or Gideon, who was a scared farmer and God called him to be a mighty warrior. Or Peter, who was a fisherman, and God called him to establish the church. Or Paul, who was fighting against Christianity, and God called him to lead the movement. Or me, who was attempting to figure out what to do with my life when God called me to preach the Gospel. Growing up in Brooklyn, as a young Dominican Catholic, there is no way (in a 1,000 years) that I would have ever imagined becoming a preacher, but it was God’s plan. In the end, if we are willing to follow the Holy Spirit, God’s plans and purposes prevail (Prov 19:21). God does not call us because we earned it. God calls us because He planned to do it before we were born.
c) One aspect of God’s grace is the fact that it is unmerited. I believe you get that point by now. Another aspect of God’s grace is the supernatural empowerment you are endued with when you embrace what you are called to do. Samuel anointed David to be King. From that moment on David was graced to be the King of Israel. The grace of God was on him to do what he was called to do. If you keep reading the text you see that the spirit of the Lord departed from Saul and the anointing to be King was now on David. Why is that important? It is important because you must understand that you are here for a reason and you must settle in your heart the fact that you have divine grace for your divine assignment. The Father will never expect you to do something He has not equipped you for. I am sure David did not fully understand the enormity of the assignment, nor the enormity of the grace of his life to fulfill it, but both the assignment and the grace were his. Guess what? The same is true for you! You have both a God-given assignment and the God-given grace to fulfill it. No matter how big your assignment seems and how unqualified you may feel, you must settle in your heart that you have been called and equipped by God’s amazing grace. Where God leads, He feeds. Where He guides, He provides. Whatever He tells you to do, He graces you to do. So enter this day with your confidence rooted and grounded in God, not you. If your confidence is in YOU, it will fluctuate. But if your confidence is in God, it will never waiver, because God is unmovable! This is how you operate in faith and patience, and this is how you WILL become the man/woman God called you to be! You will do it because God’s grace is on you to do it!
Father, You made plans for me before the foundations of the world, and You protected me for my divine purpose, even before I ever acknowledged Your existence. You were there for me before I ever called You Lord. When I think about Your love and grace toward me, I am overwhelmed. There is no way I could deserve it, and for that I will never cease to give You praise. I enter this day knowing I have the grace to do what You called me to do. I pursue my purpose with bulldog tenacity, operating in faith and patience, relying on You every step of the way! Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!