God as a good plan for your life. He intends to you use you in important ways. Other people are going to benefit from what God does through you.
However, to get to this point of extreme usefulness, you have to be prepared. Whatever God will call you to one day, he is also preparing you for today. This doesn’t mean God won’t use us now too. God has a calling for us in every season of our lives. And yet, in most cases, there is a specific calling in the future that God usually calls a man to fulfill when the time is right.
By gleaning details from the life of David, we can see at least 4 ways God prepares a man for his calling.
1. God Fills Your Heart with His Spirit Before You Can Fulfill Your Calling
God had rejected Saul because Saul had rejected God. The Lord then told Samuel to go the house of Jesse and anoint one of his sons as the next king of Israel. As Jesse’s oldest son stood before him, Samuel said to himself, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him” (1 Samuel 16:6). However, the Lord responded:
Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
When David, Jesse’s youngest, stood before Samuel, the Lord told him to arise and anoint him. 1 Samuel 16:13 states, “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.”
We often think God anoints the brave, the special, the gifted; but notice David did nothing brave, special, or gifted until after he had been anointed. The anointing of God’s Spirit caused David to do the many amazing things he ended up doing.
Before God calls you, he fills you with his Spirit. Before anything else, seek to be filled with God’s Spirit.
2. God Trains You Through the Calling You Have Right Now
We tend to imagine what God will do through us one day. But to be used in an effective way by God in the future, you must be faithful in the calling he’s given you in the present.
Before David was ready to lead the people, God was teaching him through leading his father’s sheep in the fields (1 Samuel 16:11). Before God called David to kill Goliath, he trained David for battle by having him fight the lion and the bear (1 Samuel 17:36). Before God called David to be king over Israel, he trained David through calling him to be a leader in Saul’s army (1 Samuel 18:5).
Before you can lead, you have to learn how to follow. Before you can make decisions for others, you have to learn to follow the orders of others. Before you can do what god will call you to do, you have to be faithful in doing what God is calling you to do.
3. God Prepares You for His Future Calling By Allowing Enemies to Attack You
As the women of Israel sang their songs that praised David more than Saul, this triggered Saul deeper into his rebellion towards God:
And Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him. He said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed thousands, and what more can he have but the kingdom?’ And Saul eyed David from that day on.” (1 Samuel 18:8-9)
For many years after this moment, David had to constantly watch his back. Saul tried to kill him numerous times. David had to flee and even live among the Philistines. And yet, in God’s sovereignty, he actually used the hatred of Saul to bring about his purposes for David. As David was fleeing Saul, God used this time to bring the right men into David’s own army (1 Chronicles 12:22).
Through needing to run and survive, God was teaching him how to lead for the future battles he would be called to fight (Psalm 144:1).
4. God Prepares You for His Calling By Giving You Tasks Before the Title
In 1 Samuel 23:1-5, David rescued the city of Keilah from the Philistines. However, during this period of time, David was actually still on the run from Saul. As king of Israel, it was Saul’s job to fight the Philistines. And yet, David took on this task even though it was technically not his job yet.
When Saul died and Israel came to anoint David as king, they said to him, “In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel” (2 Samuel 5:2). When God calls a man to lead, that man will be fulfilling the tasks of that leadership position before he receives the official title.
Before a man becomes a pastor, he should already be shepherding people. Before a man become a husband, he should already be learning how to provide and protect. Before a man gets promoted at work, he will already be doing much of the job he will then be officially hired to do.
Don’t wait for the title to do what you feel called to do. Once you start doing the task, that is usually when you will be given the title.
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