Life is often defined in “critical moments.” Being prepared for those moments, I have found, is done in obscurity. Times of learning to discern God’s voice above all others.
When I turn to the book of 1 Samuel chapter 16, I find David as a young shepherd going about his daily life in obscurity. Tending the sheep, making his own personal music to God and living a life basically unknown to others. When God called Samuel to go and anoint the next king, as the story goes, David was the afterthought of his father. The least likely in his father’s mind to be the one.
After all the brothers had been brought one by one before Samuel, they sent for David. When David entered from the field, God spoke to Samuel making it clear that this was the ONE! If you read on in 1 Samuel chapter 24, you find that even though David had been anointed king, he was not crowned as king just yet.
In fact, at this point in his life, he was running from King Saul. Not once but twice Saul tried to impale David with a spear. Saul had 3,000 men in hot pursuit of David. David and his men hid in a cave. Saul entered the cave to relieve himself not knowing that the very one he was pursuing was in the cave.
All orchestrated by God.
Why? A test was planned for David…it was in the “moment before the moment!”
As I read this account I was thinking, “STAB him!” Wow! God was delivering David’s enemy right into his hands! His men certainly thought that as well. In 1 Samuel 24:4 they say, “‘The is the day the Lord spoke of when he said, ‘to you I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” David did creep up behind Saul and cut off a piece of his robe.
At that very minute, Scripture tells us, David was “conscience-stricken.” He says to his men, “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” (see I Samuel 24:5-6). There is so much for me/you/us to learn here. Let me just make a list:
1. We must distinguish the voice of the Lord above all people…even the ones closest to us! David had to go against his own men.
2. Just because it looks right doesn’t mean it is right. WE must have the green light from God…even if it seems circumstances/the stars are lining up. It looked like, from human understanding, God had delivered Saul into David’s hands…but HE HAD NOT. It was more of a test for David in patience, integrity, and obedience to follow God and not the voices of men nor circumstances.
3. Moments of testing by God can come in the “caves of our lives.” Yes! In the darkest moments of our lives are often the times when God is doing His best work…working on our character and testing it.
4. If we are anointed by God, His timing is perfect and we don’t have to announce it. God sees us just like He saw David in the field as a shepherd. Even if no one else sees, it doesn’t matter…God sees!
5. When you follow God, when you obey God and when you are seeking to please God, it is for sure you will be persecuted and it is in those moments of greatest persecution that God may test us and matures us to prepare us for our anointing.
I love God’s Word. It is rich in teaching us how to live, how to thrive and how to fulfill our created purpose. Don’t miss your anointing, especially if you are being persecuted. Get still. Learn to recognize the voice of God above all other voices. Even in great difficulties blessings can be found by those who follow God’s voice.