Davey Blackburn came this past week at FCA to speak about the process involved with reaching our destination. He focused on David from the Old Testament to demonstrate the way in which there is process involved in reaching the destination of our calling.
To give some background on David, he was the son of Jesse. He was a shepherd who spent his days tending to flocks of sheep out in fields. He had some older brothers who were thought of more highly by their father. One day, Samuel (a prophet) cam to Jesse. God has asked Samuel to go and find the son of Jesse who would one day be king. Jesse presented his sons to Samuel, but none of them were the one God had chosen. Finally, Jesse brought David in from the sheep fields, and he was anointed with oil by Samuel. David knew from the time he was anointed that one day he was going to do great things and was chosen by God, but right after receiving this anointing, he goes right back out to the sheep fields. In fact, it took about 15 years from the original time of David’s anointing for him to finally reach his destination as king.
It is this fifteen years, these years of waiting, that Davey spoke on. There is a process involved in reaching your destination. Davey said “what happens in your process sets up how you step into your destination”. These metaphorical fifteen years can be broken into four separate “stages”, mirroring the different places David found himself between the time he was anointed to someday be king and the day his calling actualized and he was appointed king.
1.The Sheep Fields:
Right after David is anointed, he goes right back out to the sheep fields. A seeming demotion, it is here that he comes to know his Father intimately. The sheep fields are the place where nobody knows your name. Nobody knows your calling. As Davey said, it is here David learns “maturity in obscurity”. He learned here dependence on God. He learned to follow. It is here, in the sheep fields that we learns to find the space to listen. We learn our own weakness and God’s incredible strength. We learn about His kindness, His goodness, His smile. How this we steward this gift of the humble sheep fields sets up how we step into the next step.
2. The Battlefield
The next place David finds himself is in the battlefield. However, he isn’t sent there on a mission to be a warrior. He is still just a shepherd boy, but is sent to deliver some food to his brothers out fighting giants. It is in this that David learns that God’s elevation plan is not a plan of upward mobility, it’s a downward plan of laying one’s life down by way of service.
Through being faithful to the instruction to head towards the battlefield, David finds himself in the midst of the battle. He is able to use what he learned in the sheep fields to take down Goliath, not by way of sword like those tirelessly trying to take down the giant, but by using what he has been given and trained in (his slingshot). He claims the power of God Almighty and the giant falls. It is here that David learns how to be a warrior.
3. The Palace
Next, David goes into service under the current king, Saul. But rather than having a high up job, he plays the harp in the corner of Saul’s throne room, completely disregarded. He is put in the corner. And while it was not Saul’s purpose behind making David the harp player, it is here, in this lowly position, that David is able to listen to Saul’s conversations. It is here that he learns how to be a politician.
He also has the opportunity to kill Saul at several points during this time. He could choose to manipulate the process and head straight to the top out of his own gusto, but he chooses not to, trusting in the Lord’s sovereign plan.
4. The Cave
Finally, David finds himself hiding out in a cave with a group of really difficult to lead people. He learns again to rely on the strength of the Father in order to lead well.
Davey wrapped this all up beautifully. Without each of these stages, David would not have been the great king that he was. He learned how to be a shepherd, a warrior, a politician, and a leader. He showed this video from Karate Kid. It was 15 years between the anointing and appointing of David. Fifteen years. And in each he was learning more and more about the Father. And it’s not like David knew it would take that long. He didn’t know the purpose of each stage, he just knew that each did have a purpose. In the fields he knew it. In the battlefield and the palace and the cave.
This is for each of us. Every one of us as a son or daughter has a purpose and a destination. We each grow and learn and know the Father more as we walk towards that destination. I just want to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus as you walk. He is the ultimate destination.
Romans 8:11 MSG It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself?