Are you on hold? Do you feel like you've been called, gifted, or maybe even "anointed" to do something something but the pieces just haven't fallen into place for that to happen? Maybe you're working for a company and are more qualified for a position that someone else is doing. Maybe you're gifted in worship leading, but the opportunities to grow your ministry haven't opened up.
Whatever your situation, I would like to discuss with you some observations from the life of King David in the Bible. He was a young boy when he was anointed as king of Israel. Israel's King Saul had turned his back on God, so God removed the kingdom from his lineage and established it with Jesse's family line. Although David had been anointed as king, he did not assume the crown for several years.
In a previous post, we looked at how God refined Joseph's character and how you should hone your craft and character in obscurity before setting out in public service. In this post, we have some clear examples of what not to do in the time "between called and crowned."
- Don't assume your calling is because of you. Two examples to support this are (a) Samuel assumed that the anointing would go to one of Jesse's older sons. They were bigger, stronger, better-looking, and more accomplished. David was the youngest and had assumed the role of shepherd. In one of the most quoted verses of the Scriptures, the LORD tells the priest, "The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” We know from other passages of scripture that David was a "man after God's own heart." Don't assume your calling has to do with how good you are or how good you look. God calls those He calls because of things that man cannot see. The LORD looks at the heart.
(b) David did not slay Goliath until after he was anointed. When I read of David's anointing, I flipped back in my Bible thinking I had missed the story of how David killed Goliath in the famous, albeit short-lived battle. In my humanity, I assumed that David's anointing was due to him proving himself before the Lord. Looking back at my previous point, it is obvious that God was not concerned with David's list of accomplishments. In fact, the scripture says that the Spirit of God descended on David upon his anointing. God equipped David with the strength he needed to kill Goliath.
Be humble. It's not about you.
- Don't dishonor those in authority. The Bible says that King Saul became plagued with a tormenting spirit and was extremely jealous of David. In fact Saul tried to kill David on numerous occasions. David had been serving in the King's court as a musician, but after the attempts on his life, he fled from Saul and hid from him. On two separate occasions, David had the opportunity to kill Saul and ascend the throne, but he refrained. On one specific occasion, while David was hiding in a cave, Saul came in to relieve himself. David crept up on him and cut of a corner of his robe. He was convicted in his heart and spared the king's life. His men did not understand this, but he told them, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD."
By honoring the king and not killing him when he had the chance, the LORD honored him at the proper time. If you're living between called and crowned, don't sully your character by dishonoring someone in the position you want, or those in authority over you. At the proper time, you will be honored if you show honor.
- Don't quit your day job. Backtracking a bit in David's story to the time when he was anointed as king, we see that after he was anointed, he went back to work. This must have been extremely difficult. Jon Acuff, the author of Quitter (Hardcover | Kindle Ed.) calls this the "reverse Superman". David went from what had to have been a euphoric high of having the priest of the LORD pour oil on his head and declaring him the next King of Israel, to the dysphoric low of having to go back to the pasture to tend the smelly sheep. Back he went, though, and not only that. He became excellent as a shepherd. The scripture says that when a lion or bear tried to carry off one of his father's sheep, David chased the animal down and struck it and rescued the sheep. [Strong reference to Christ here...]
Those aren't the actions of someone who is just "phoning in" their day job or biding their time until their time comes. David was excellent at his day job when he was between called and crowned. You be excellent, too.
If you're stuck in a job you don't like and things don't seem to be changing, I hope you'll take a few lessons from our brother, David.
Be humble. Don't assume your calling is about you.
Be honorable. Don't dishonor authority or someone with the position you want.
Be excellent. Don't quit your day job.
What about you? Are you in-between called and crowned? How is this resonating with you today? I'd love to hear from you.