Jul 8th, 2018
Hello and welcome to episode 81 of The Berean Manifesto, brought to you by The Ekklesian House. This is Pastor Bill and this is part one of a three part series entitled, “Killing Giants and Taking Names.” Over the next 10 minutes we’re going to take a look at part one in the series, “When Your Calling Is Just Words.”
In 1 Samuel 16 the Lord comes to Samuel and asks him why he hasn’t moved on and anointed the new King of Israel yet because God had rejected Saul as king. You see Saul had been given specific instructions concerning a battle and didn’t follow through with the instructions. This, however, wasn’t the issue; in 1 Samuel 15 the Lord tells Samuel that He regrets having made Saul King and Samuel goes to confront Saul. In verse 14 Samuel asks Saul, “What is this sound of sheep, goats, and cattle I hear?” Saul had been given instructions that all those things that belonged to the enemy should have been destroyed, and obviously Saul hadn’t done that. Remember though I said that his not following through wasn’t actually the issue, it was more a symptom of the issue. In verse 15 Saul responds, “The troops brought them from the Amalekites and spared the best sheep, goats, and cattle in order to offer a sacrifice to the Lord your God, but the rest we destroyed.” The evidence of Saul’s actual failure is right there in that one phrase, “the Lord your God.” Saul stepped into his calling, walked in his anointing, and at some point lost his focus.
This all leads to a new King of Israel needing to be anointed. The Lord tells Samuel that He is sending him to Jesse of Bethlehem because God has selected a king from among Jesse’s sons and Samuel is to anoint one of them as the new king. First, Samuel considers Jesse’s oldest, Eliab, and he is impressed by his appearance and stature, but the Lord rejects Eliab. Then Jesse’s next son, Abinidab, is presented and again it’s a no. Then the next son, Shammah, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next. All seven of these sons that Jesse had brought were rejected and the youngest, the eighth son was left in the field to tend to the sheep. They didn’t even bother to bring him to the event. Not only was he the youngest, but he had beautiful eyes and a healthy, handsome appearance. He didn’t look like a king. He didn’t look like what Samuel was looking for, he didn’t look like the next king of Israel for sure. Samuel, Jesse, and all of David’s brothers didn’t look at David and see a future king of Israel, but the calling of the Lord was upon him. It’s the same thing with you, those around you may not see the calling of the Lord on you, they may not believe that it’s even possible. But God, God doesn’t see what we see; He doesn’t consider the visible. The Lord sees the heart and equips the called. Samuel anoints David to be the next King and he is infilled with the Holy Spirit.
So they have this big coronation for David and he takes his place on the throne that day, right? Not even close. David goes back to the fields looking after his father’s sheep and life goes on as normal. The thing is though that whenever God gives you a calling, whenever He tips His hand and lets you in on the plan He opens doors to get you to your calling. Only it’s very rarely directly into your calling, but just next to it. It’s this place of discomfort and longing; a place of being powerless to effect change and unable to step into your calling. All you can really do is stand there and watch as others do the thing that is in your heart and either they are oblivious to what is in your heart, they don’t think your good enough, or they just don’t care. There are the rare occasions where the person doing what you’re called to do recognizes the calling in your heart, takes you under their wing, and mentors the younger; replicating themselves and multiplying that anointing, that mantle.
For those that aren’t put into the perfect position where they are recognized, mentored, and nurtured there is a reason why you’re there; a God designed purpose. In the case of David, the Holy Spirit had left Saul and he was tormented by an evil spirit sent by the Lord. One of Saul’s servants suggested that he should find someone to play the lyre for him to soothe his tormented soul. Saul gives the command and one of the servants tells Saul about David. David, the anointed King of Israel, is summoned from the fields to the palace. Surely it’s time for him to step into his calling to become king, right? Not exactly. Saul is so pleased with the effect that David’s presence has, that his music has that Saul makes David his armor-bearer. “Here man, hold my stuff. Watch my back, be close; but, you’ll never be king.” David then begins splitting his time; part-time serving the king in the palace powerless to effect change and unable to step into his calling and part-time taking care of his father’s sheep out in the fields.
I feel frustrated for David just reading through 1 Samuel 16; so close to the throne with zero recognition of his calling to be and anointing as king. While you’re walking through that yourself, called and waiting, anointed and powerless; it’s very frustrating. Like I said though, it has a purpose. Deuteronomy 8:2 says, “Remember that the Lord your God led you on the entire journey these forty years in the wilderness, so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.” God places you adjacent to your calling to humble you and test you to know what is in your heart. You probably heard that wrong and if you read it yourself you probably read it wrong too. What you missed in the subtlety of the English language is that the test isn’t for God to see what’s in your heart, He already sees that. The test is for you to know what is in your heart. It says, “so that He might humble you and test you to know what was in your heart.” Just like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, just like Noah with the Ark, just like Abraham with Isaac on Mount Moriah, just like Thomas behind closed doors, God presented them with tests so that they could know what was in their own hearts.
I’ve often heard abbreviated versions of a quote from Les Brown, the full version says, “The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Too often we, as humans, feel called, feel moved, feel motivated by a cause and either don’t take that first step because we know the affliction that’s to come. Or we take the first step, recognize the calling, the motivation, the moving of our heart and then that time of adjacency or waiting on the fulfillment sours our dedication and we give up.
I don’t care if you’re 11 yrs old or 99, if you’re still breathing and you feel called, feel motivated, feel moved, then you should answer the call, get motivated, and get moving. And when you feel the affliction of frustration from waiting, from being powerless, from being so close you could reach out and touch the throne, but you’re still light years away from actually having the crown; sit back and get comfortable. Don’t give up, don’t relent, use the time to discover what’s really in your heart.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”