One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
- Psalm 27:4
Is God alone enough for us? Is serving God only worth it to us if that service includes platforms and influence?
In my generation especially, there seems to be a rising struggle and desire among us to be the “youngest to do such-and-such for God” or the “fastest to accomplish this or that.” Should we have lofty goals and great expectations because we serve a great God? Absolutely! But with these goals come the pitfalls of pride (wanting to be recognized for our love and devotion to God) and the temptation for self-promoted ministries instead of God initiated and God sustained growth.
The Lord has had to work much of this attitude out of my life over the past year. I wanted people to look at me and think, “Wow! Look how much he is doing for God and how mature he is at such a young age! Look at how much he loves God!” This was more a subliminal wish than something I would have said outright, but this underlying desire was tempting me to think of ways to grow my platform and grow my sphere of influence through my own means.
I wanted to find ways to have my blog posts seen by more people and for my name to become more prominent. As I was considering the ways I could accomplish this, the Lord confronted me with the question, “If I were to call you to never speak in front of people, for people to never know your name, for you to serve in the shadows for the rest of your life, but you received deeper relationship with Me out of the exchange… would you do it?”
A year ago I probably would have said yes to that question, but I most likely would not have meant it. In all honesty, 2015 was without a doubt the most challenging year I have ever had. The tests and trials I’ve faced over the last year-and-a-half have refined and burned away competing affections. I’m not there fully, but I am fighting to come to a place where I can say, “God I want more of you at any cost,” and be willing to lay aside whatever it takes to have more of Him.
I long to be a man of whom God says, “He is a man after my own heart.” There are many reasons why David was given that title (which I talked about in my last blog post), and I really think it can be summed up in the fact that David was content with God alone. Nothing more. Nothing less.
When Samuel came to anoint the new king of Israel from among David’s brothers, David wasn’t even invited to the meeting. He was out in the fields watching sheep, probably worshipping with his harp and writing songs to the Lord in the meantime. Without a doubt David knew that the most famous prophet in all of Israel, Samuel, was coming to his house. He most likely had a good idea of what Samuel’s purpose in coming was as well, but David wasn’t trying to find his way into the meeting or trying to show Samuel how great of a worshipper he was or show Samuel what great king material he was made of. He was out in the field performing the assignment he’d been given—shepherding—and he was content with this job because the one thing he desired in life was to know and serve God.
David was not seeking a title. He did no self-promotion. Even after the Lord told Samuel that David was the king He had chosen, David still did not take the throne until decades after. He was anointed and called to greatness as a teenager, but did not see the fulfillment of this until his thirties. And even in the years between his anointing and his enthronement, he still did not seek to take the throne. He had multiple opportunities to kill King Saul and he was even encouraged to do so. No one would have blamed him for doing it, he had a righteous right to the throne, but David refused to do anything outside of God’s timing.
The scary truth is that if we are not content with God alone and without a title, a day will come when we will be content with our title and without God. Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” David was an extraordinary shepherd and he performed this assignment with all his might because that is what God had given him to do at that time in his life. He was content with that assignment because knowing God was all that mattered. Before we ask God for more, we should ask ourselves how we’re managing what we’ve already been given. The people God will trust with extraordinary things are the ones who have the done “ordinary” things in an extraordinary way.
Instead of dreaming about speaking in front of thousands of people, I have started preparing for my mentoring meetings with younger guys with the same passion and intentionality that I would put into speaking to large crowds. I’m doing what I’ve been given to do with all my might.
I think that is the key… doing what’s been given to you. Whatever we go and try to obtain by ourselves (whether that be a platform or influence) we will have to sustain by ourselves. God will give us everything we are ready for. So if we don’t have it yet, we’re most likely not ready for it.
The funny thing about this story is that Samuel already thought he knew who God had chosen when he saw Eliab, David’s older brother, but God redirected Samuel to find David. So if God can bring David out of the sheepfolds, get him to a meeting he was not even invited to, and redirect Samuel to anoint him as king, God can find you wherever you are and get you to your destiny.
David wasn’t chasing his destiny, he was chasing God. And in his pursuit of God he fulfilled his destiny. Does this mean we shouldn’t fight for the destiny we were created for? No. But we should not seek to make our destiny and purpose come to fruition in our own timing and strength. If we try to get to our destiny, we will always chase it. But if we let God bring us to our destiny and bring our destiny to us, we’ll never miss it.
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