Often our time of preparation seems to be a depressing place, a place of loneliness

1 Samuel 16:11-13

Then Samuel asked, “Are these all the sons you have?”

“There is still the youngest,” Jesse replied. “But he’s out in the fields watching the sheep and goats.”

“Send for him at once,” Samuel said. “We will not sit down to eat until he arrives.”

12 So Jesse sent for him. He was dark and handsome, with beautiful eyes.

And the LORD said, “This is the one; anoint him.”

13 So as David stood there among his brothers, Samuel took the flask of olive oil he had brought and anointed David with the oil. And the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David from that day on.

David’s preparation first

  • Was not afraid – he was in the wilderness by himself guarding sheep from all kinds of wild animals and problems
  • He found in his wilderness experience time and place to learn to worship the Lord
  • All in all, he was comfortable where the Lord had led him even though it was an uncomfortable place

Why did God choose him to be King over all the others

  • He was humble
  • He trusted God regardless of the circumstances
  • He found a place to always have a heart of praise

Can we look at what it means to be “biblically” humble

Numbers 12:3 

“Now Moses was very humble—more humble than any other person on earth.”

The man who destroyed the first set of tablets, was disobedient to striking the rock rather than speaking to it…was more humble than any other person on earth?

“Biblical humility means believing what God says about you over anyone else’s opinion, including your own. It requires embracing who you are in Christ over who you are in the flesh. To be biblically humble is to be so free of concern for your own ego that you unreservedly elevate those around you.”

It didn’t matter to David that others looked at him with disdain. It didn’t matter to David that he had no real awareness of what it meant to be King. It didn’t matter that he was the youngest and just a shepherd boy. What mattered to David is what God said..

How are you in your wilderness experiences? We all walk through them. We all have seasons of feeling as if we are in a wilderness, wondering has God placed us on the shelf, have we done something wrong, have others wrongfully advanced…wildernesses can be places of refreshing and if we allow them, can be places of growth and blessing

Think about past wilderness experiences or if you are in one now? 

God wants us to remember he is always with us and for us. Even our wilderness experiences are a place where the Lord is…specifically

The Holy Spirit lead both Elijah and Jesus into the wilderness.

We need to begin to believe that wherever we are, the Lord is there. One of our greatest difficulties is believing the Lord is right there with us. We need to learn to practice his presence.

How do we do that? One core way is to live in a place of worship.

Several years ago, I taught on worship – worship is mindfulness of the Lord, maintaining an attitude of remembering Him in all things

We do it through singing, dancing, clapping your hands, shouting, giving, you do it through being mindful of the Lord in your work, caring for your children. Paul tells the Philippians this..

Philippians 2:17

But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy. 18 Yes, you should rejoice, and I will share your joy.

The phrase “service to God” is an act of sacrifice, and act of worship….what you do when you are mindful that you are doing it to the Lord is like an offering being poured out for God…it is an act of worship

When in his wilderness experience David chose to worship and he did it with singing, many of the Psalms are his, and in his singing, 

-he praises the Lord,

-questions the Lord, 

-complains to the Lord, 

-celebrates the Lord 

but all in all…in his wilderness as he worshiped he grew in knowledge, understanding, heart and mind of the Lord!

Try it next time…choose to believe the Lord is with you, even in your wilderness and perhaps he has called you into the wilderness to get to know him better and learn of his love for you more.

David second preparation

Goliath had been taunting the armies of Israel every day for 40 days challenging them to send a champion to fight him. Even Saul who is head and shoulders taller than everyone else in the Lord’s army is afraid….this shepherd boy comes to Saul…1 Samuel 17: 32 – 37

“Don’t worry about this Philistine,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight him!”

33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth.”

34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep and goats,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The LORD who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine!”

In David’s wilderness he learned to see the enemy’s attacks through God’s eyes….

David knew God would give him strength to do what he was called to do….even though young and inexperienced, he knew what his job was…he was to guard the sheep and God would be with him to do that….can you imagine being in such close contact with a mountain lion or bear that you would club it to death….you would feel and smell its breath, seeing the claws and teeth up close and personal.

In your wilderness, in your season of preparation remember your call! Allow the Lord to give you all you need to defeat the enemy because after all it is only preparing you for all God has planned….when someone or something defies who God is, God will often use people to defend his people.

David is quick to say the Lord delivered the lion and bear into his hands and will do the same with Goliath. 

Before he put this Psalm to paper, he still knew this truth

Psalm 18:2

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

Even though David was in the wilderness, in his time of preparation, He knew the Lord was with him, guiding protecting even leading him into danger not so that he would get hurt but that he would get to know that he could trust the Lord. 

Being an on-fire, living, Christian is not for wimps, we are called to trust him and to learn to win battles, to fight the enemy facing him head on with confidence knowing God is on our side and he is the deliver…but we must know this world is severely broken and needs men and women of God to “protect the sheep” to know every Christian is called to intercession, to know the Word as Jesus did, to discern and see spiritually and to fight on our knees with the Word, prayer and by faith.

You may not think God would allow an enemy into your life if you are living a godly and upright life but God often allows the enemy in so you can see who you are, God know who you are but often times we do not unless we confront the enemy head on

The last lesson I want to bring up about David is 1 Samuel 26: 7-11

So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.

8 “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!”

9 “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the LORD’s anointed one? 10 Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. 11 The LORD forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!”

I know we could talk about never attacking the Lord’s anointed even though Saul was wrong David would not attack the anointed of God but I want you to get what I consider a deeper point about our time of preparation…”remain innocent”

It is very easy to become jaded, prejudicial, angry, vengeful, and so many other things when we are in our season of preparation. In that season all hell is breaking loose, the world is upside down, people are being hurt, wounded, rejected it is hard to remain innocent.

God will defend us as we read in Psalm 18 earlier…..David had run into a similar situation that taught him to trust the Lord…earlier and ungrateful shepherd, Nabal, who because of David’s kindness in protecting his workers and his sheep, should have been grateful and shared some of his harvest with David but did not….David was going to kill him for the insult but Abigail, Nabal’s wife intervened and the Lord took vengeance on Nabal.

When it comes to people who offend us or come out against us if we can be at peace with God having our backs, being our defense, allowing him to pour out justice if people will not repent.

We must remain innocent or as Jesus said, innocent and wise when dealing with the humans who cause themselves to become our enemies. 

Matthew 10:18 

Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (ESV)

We are not to ever seek out our own vengeance against people…we are to be wise and innocent…..allow the fruit of the Spirit to always be evident in our lives….trust the Lord is with us and for us

Allow the strength of complete trust in the Lord to cause you to hold back from your own sense of justice and allow the Lord to give out his justice. It is his desire to bring a person to repentance and that would mean even making it right with you.

I have seen the Lord do this in my life so many times….if I allow God to do the work, I don’t have to fret, worry or get “blood on my hands” so to speak. God always handles it for me in a way that redeems the person who harmed me…now it can take days, weeks, months or even years depending on how stubborn the person is but in the mean time I am not allowing bitterness in my life, I learn to walk in the freedom of forgiveness, and I place even those who wold be my enemies into the hands of the Lord….for me there is freedom.

Ladies and gentlemen today 

  • some of you are in your wilderness and you have been fighting in and the Lord is saying to you…stop fighting this is a place of growing and learning
  • Some are in a season where you are facing a very real giant and the Lord wants you to stop being afraid but he will show you how to engage in battle with your enemy showing you, you can win
  • Some of you have lost your innocence but the Lord wants you to regain it. To learn how to trust the Lord for your very human enemies and watch Him defend you but you must place them into the Lord’s hands and you remain innocent while the Lord meets out justice so your human enemies can be redeemed