Between Anointment and Appointment – Part 2

JUMPING BACK IN

Last week on Salt & Grace {click here to read Part 1} we started to explore the time in David’s life between his anointment as king by the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 16) and his appointment as king (2 Samuel 2).

Why?

Because these chapters are brimming with wonder-filled truths of the nature of God and the purpose He has in those seasons of your life when you’re moving towards a dream, goal, plan or heart’s desire, but aren’t quite there yet.

I believe we can find ourselves in these ‘middle’ seasons time and time again throughout life as we continue to dream bigger, contribute more and pioneer further.

If you’re like me and have this great big dream, deep down in your heart, keep on reading to see what else we can learn from David’s time between anointment and appointment.

My prayer is that through these words, God will encourage your heart and remind you of the purpose, promise and potential that lies in your here and now.

4. THE FIELD PREPARES US

We know from the early chapters of David’s story that he was a shepherd in his father’s field. History tells us that this position in society was one of the lowest and least regarded.

Sound familiar? Have you ever found yourself in one of those ‘intern’ positions where your to-list is a reminder that you are sitting on the lowest rung of the organisational chart?

I sure have! I can relate to David’s lowly shepherd position when I think way back to my first hospitality job in high school, and in my early career where I was handed the tasks no one wanted in my workplace.

Dare I say that your behind-the-scenes role in your local church may even feel like this sometimes? Putting out the seats before the service, cleaning the bathrooms, preparing and tidying up the kids’ room; it may seem small and unnoticed. But I encourage you not to begrudge these tasks, but rather consider the purpose that lies in them. Look at the purpose of David’s time in the field…

We can see in 1 Samuel 17, in the famous story of David and Goliath, that David’s time as a shepherd, caring for and protecting his father’s flock, actually prepared him to defeat Goliath.

See what David said to Saul as he prepared to go out and face Goliath: “Your servant was a shepherd for my father’s flock, and the lion came and the bear, and took a lamb out of the flock. And I went out after him, and struck him, and delivered it out of his mouth. And when he arose against me, I took hold of his beard, struck him, and killed him. Your servant slew both the lion and the bear. And this uncircumcised Philistine will be as one of them…” (1 Samuel 17:34-36).

Think about the study you’re doing, the job you have or that volunteer role, and consider this: God is using that field to prepare you for something greater!

That role that you have, that seems small or inconsequential in light of your big dream, could be the very thing that God is using to equip you for what He has in store.

So, don’t disregard the season and field you’re in right now. Treat it with care and do the work diligently; there is great purpose in it!

 5. WE CAN HAVE SUCCESS IN THE MIDDLE SEASON

Just because your dream or calling still sits in your future, don’t for a minute think that this season you’re in right now is not important, and that you can’t have promotion, advancement or success!

Look at what David achieved, with God, in between his anointment and appointment.

He defeated the giant, Goliath, with a sling and with a stone (1 Samuel 17:50).

He went out in battle and was always successful – “David went out wherever Saul sent him, and was successful” (1 Samuel 18:5).

David had so much success in battles that the Israelites would sing in the streets, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

1 Samuel 18:14 says again, “David was successful in all his ways and the Lord was with him.”

David’s story reminds us that even in that middle season, we can serve a great kingdom purpose and have great success, because God is with us!

Success, advancement, promotion, fulfillment and purpose is not restricted to when we achieve our goal or see our dream become reality; rather it is available to you right here, right now; because God is with you!

6. THE MIDDLE SEASON DEVELOPS THE SERVANT-LEADER HEART WITHIN US

One of the things I love most about David’s story from 1 Samuel 16 to 1 Samuel 19 is the duality of his roles.

One minute he is out slaying giants and fighting battles for Saul, having great success that was recognised and celebrated by the people; and the next minute he’s back in Saul’s bedroom, unseen by people, playing the lyre to put the troubled king to sleep.

David moved between success and humble stations frequently and we can see the by-product of this: God used it to develop a servant-leader’s heart within David.

In order to be a good leader, we need to be able to humbly serve people.

Jesus teaches us this truth in Matthew 23:11-12, “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant. For he who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Among all the success that the Lord brought David between his anointment and appointment; God also established in David a humble, servant heart, which is one of the characteristics that made him a great and loved leader of the people.

This reminds me of how important it is to embrace the serving roles that present themselves in your middle seasons. Roles like doing the dishes at home, volunteering behind the scenes in a church, running the “rookie” errands in your workplace, or giving friends lifts to school and university.

These are the tasks and roles that develop a genuine, humble servant heart in us. And this heart posture is one that will serve you well as you step into the largeness of your heart’s dream.

7. GOD GIVES US PEOPLE FOR THE JOURNEY

In the midst of all this great personal growth, development and preparation that God works in us in these seasons, He also surrounds us with people to champion us on the journey.

One the most poignant examples of friendship in the bible is that of David and Jonathan. I believe that this divine friendship is a demonstration of the quality of relationships God has in mind for His children.

It says in 1 Samuel 18:1 that, “The soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, so that Jonathan loved him as his own soul.”

Imagine friendship with a connection that runs soul-deep!

The relationship between David and Jonathan is made even more incredible by this fact: David was anointed for the same thing that Jonathan was set to inherit by birth! And yet they loved each other and were friends and brothers rather than enemies.

God has friends like this in store for you!

Recognise the friends in your life that are there by divine orchestration, to champion you, encourage you, and guide you on the journey. It is important to discern who these people are because God has strategically positioned them to serve a beautiful purpose in your life.

We see this in 1 Samuel 19:1-3 where Jonathan warns David of Saul’s plot to kill him. David could have ignored Jonathan’s warnings, but instead he trusted the words of his dear friend, and it saved his life.

Listen to the people that God has strategically placed in your life. They are there for a reason – to affirm God’s Word and plan for your life!

8. GOD ALWAYS PROTECTS US

We see God’s protection at work in David’s life over and over again.

We see Saul attempt to kill David multiple times. We see David fight in countless battles and survive. We see David hunted and chased down like a dog.

And yet, every single time, God protected David.

In Isaiah 54:17 it says that “No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper…”

We see this truth repeated in David’s story time and time again. And guess what: the same is true for you too!

Take heart that God is ALWAYS your refuge and protector, irrespective of where you are on the journey!

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this: “God, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!” That’s right – he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards. His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm” (Psalm 91:1-3 MSG).

LET GOD DO HIS WORK IN YOU IN THIS SEASON

I hope you are encouraged by these insights from David’s time between anointment and appointment; and can see the grand plan and mighty purpose in your middle seasons.

I often say to my friends that there is a very good reason that God doesn’t give us the entire blueprint of our lives, because we probably wouldn’t believe that we’ll go where God wants to take us. We would think it too big; too unrealistic; not achievable.

That is why He builds in to our lives in-between seasons; stages of life that are seemingly mundane or unimportant. But what we learn from David is that God has purpose in every season. In these seasons God is doing an important work in your heart, strategically preparing you for what is to come next!

Trust God to author and orchestrate your life, to perfectly outwork His purpose and plan. Trust Him and be encouraged by what we see in David’s time between anointment and appointment: God knows what He is doing!

Let me leave you with this scripture to ponder…

“Let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and your hearts give up.”

(Hebrews 12:2-3)

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