Interpreting Your Tests
Perhaps David’s rejection became his open door to seeking God’s acceptance.
Key thought: A kingdom leader’s greatest battles prophesy his greatest destiny.
One thing is certain: the pathway of preparation for reset leaders is not peaceful, pretty, or panacea. Kingdom leaders face crucibles of intense personal pain, rejection, misunderstanding, abuse, solitude, and hopelessness.
Kingdom leaders learn to interpret their tests instead of cursing their tests, so the tests move them into maturity. Reset leaders often experience these tests uniquely as God teaches them proper responses to crises, responses that build character.
God positions Saul to contrast with David and reveal true kingdom leadership; what God saw in Saul was a heart short of passion for purpose. Israel demanded a king “like the other nations” when Israel had a purpose, so God gave them a king that answered to their perversion of purpose as a means of exposing that fatal flaw.
When the final harvest came for Saul’s reign, those seeds would be separated from planting for the next season. The people welcomed David’s new spirit of leadership. The days of Saul were forgotten.
What tests provided opportunities for you to develop character? I speak of the imperfect, brutal, abusive, terrorizing experiences through which God made a way for your development. Did you learn to curse the test or interpret the test?
David was not a coddled royal but a fledging reject sent to watch sheep to get him out from under foot. When Samuel shows up to anoint a king, David’s own daddy doesn’t even invite him to the dinner. David appears to have been a problem for the family, perhaps because he was illegitimate. At any rate, he spends a great deal of his time in solitude.
In all this, David develops excellent character by passing tests he interprets instead of repeating tests he curses. And, David turns to worship and prayer in these long hours of solitude. His passionate expressions of prophetic intercession mature his spirit, and he shares God’s heart for nations while sharing his earthly father’s heart for his sheep.
Risk Your Life for Someone Else’s Lamb
Key thought: Passion for principles and protocols shapes David’s heart so that he steps into a kingly anointing filled with spiritual understanding of kingdom.
David lives out the consequences of his values and beliefs. David responds to his challenges with the passion for Father’s principles.
When a lion comes into the valley, David could have said, “No one expects me to risk my life for a lamb.” David knows well that many ewes give birth to twins, that the loss of one lamb could easily be explained away, and that his father or anyone else would never know about the loss of one lamb. But David’s passion for principle says, “This my valley! No lion will conquer this kingdom!”
David responds to the roar of lion and bear with a sense of spiritual passion. When he later tells the story, he has the lingering sense of God’s enabling courage, strength, skill, and passion. He rises up as a shepherd the way a kingdom leader rises up for God’s dominion. He risks his life for someone else’s lamb.
Challenges to his assignment call up passion for principle: “I will do this because this is right.” David kills lions and bears on principle. He later responds to a giant with the same passion for principle!
Take care about jumping to the conclusion that David knew he was to be a king and acted out that anticipation. Nothing of that appears in the story. Because you know the rest of the story, you might say, “Well, David knew he would be rewarded, knew his destiny, so he responded to the lion and bear because of what he would gain someday.” Nope. David anticipating his kingship would more likely think: “I can’t risk my destiny as king of Israel over a few little lambs that no one will miss.”
David risks his life. Center on that thought. David takes that risk because of a principle for which he had passion. “No lion will take a lamb while I’m shepherd.” No reward seems forth coming from Jesse or his brothers. No shout sounds from heaven. David simply says, “Lions and bears will go to some other valley if they are hungry. They aren’t getting any lambs here.”
David quarantines the valley of sheep of lions and bears. Because he had passion for principle: “It just ain’t right that lions and bears eat my daddy’s lambs.”
The question, “From where does David’s heart come?” may be the wrong question. It doesn’t necessarily come from somewhere or someone in the sense that it is received or imparted. A heart like David’s is developed. It matures by the priorities it chooses, priorities that crowd out other considerations leaving room only for passion.