One of the beautiful facts of life is that it does not consist of fifty years of shuffling in a holding room and one moment of glory, followed by thirty years of debriefing. As the audience at a horse race, all we see is the horses chomping at the bit—waiting for the moment when the gun goes off and the beautiful animals can run as they were meant to. But we are not tromping in stalls, waiting for the races to begin. We are in the races—we are running on the racetrack, galvanized by the explosion of the gun that went off the moment we became a follower of Christ.
How did David use his God-given time of preparation? As he courageously vanquished a giant, responsibly carried out his father’s wishes, sincerely penned the psalms of his heart, lovingly made friends and married, and faithfully honored his king and nemesis, he was growing in character and Godliness. His was a life full and rich; by running the race, he was both intentionally and unconsciously preparing for his role as king of
Make no mistake: preparation is not a code word for finagling. When given the opportunity to kill King Saul and secure his God-ordained place as king of
, David said, “'Do not destroy him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?’ David said furthermore, ‘As the Lord lives, the Lord shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish (I Samuel 26:9-10).” Israel
Abraham finagled when he fathered Ishmael with Hagar; he doubted God’s promise that he would have a son. He seemed to think it was his job to fulfill his calling to be the father of multitudes, and he forgot that God had it all under control (as He always does). Guilty of finagling, as I am? We are in good company, for not only did the father of
Israel fail in this area, but also Rebekah, the mother of (Jacob). Israel
God revealed the future of her sons, but once again in classic human form, Rebekah decided it was her job to make it happen. Rather than use that valuable time to train both of her sons in character, wisdom, and righteousness, she raised one son who married against his parents wishes, and another son who had no qualms in going along with her plan of deceit and treachery. How much time, energy, and resources are we expending upon making things happen in our own strength, whilst ignoring the beautiful time of preparation God has gifted to us?
Wait with Character
While “waiting,” David developed a widespread reputation for strong character.
“Then one of the servants answered and said, “Look, I have seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite, who is skillful in playing, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person; and the Lord is with him (I Samuel 16:18).”
Are you known as one who is skilled at her pursuits, who is strong and courageous, careful and wise in speech, beautiful, feminine, and indwelt by the Spirit of the Lord? “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him (I Samuel 18:14).” That list alone should keep us busy for quite a while.
Wait with Submission
David also served with distinct appreciation for and submission to his authorities. “ Therefore Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, ‘Send me your son David, who is with the sheep.’ And Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by his son David to Saul (I Samuel 16:19-20).” David honored the king who sought to kill him (I Samuel 24:8), mourned his death, and executed the one who had dared to kill the King of Israel (II Samuel 1:16).
Wait with Evangelism
In all he did, David proclaimed the name of God to those around him and sought the face of God before taking action. To Goliath he bravely declared,
“You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of
, whom you have defied (1 Samuel 17:45).” Israel
It’s easy to declare the name of God when giving testimony at church, but how about when someone uses His name in vain? Do we speak up against the enemies of God, or do we fall into a weak silence? If we are led by God in everything, there should be no doubt when the time comes to speak up: “So David inquired of the Lord, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?’ And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all (I Samuel 30:8).’”
Wait with Honor
There are so many other things David did right in his time of waiting to become king of
. Saul himself said in I Samuel 24:17, “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.” David surrounded himself with Godly, righteous men as friends and comrades; he was always busy about God’s business for him (whether babysitting sheep or toppling giants); he was a leader in his generation; and he never lost sight of the calling God had given him so long ago. Israel
There will always be times of waiting in everyone’s life, whether you are a three year-old dancing in anticipation of Christmas, a twenty-five-year-old searching for Prince Charming, or a ninety-six-year-old gasping for heaven. God holds each of us in the palm of His hand, bringing simultaneous times of waiting and fulfillment in different areas of our life. It is up to us to use every moment for His glory and purposes in His time. Choose to wait courageously, diligently, lovingly, adventureously, with character and godliness. Whatever it is you are waiting for, don’t wait passively: wait with God-ordained productivity.
The end result is worth every minute of waiting--and that's what we'll get to in the final part of this series. Look for it in the next couple of weeks!
Photo Credit: *raymond
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.