God’s Leader Development Plan
David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.” But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” 1 Samuel 17:32-37 NIV
What had prepared David for his battle with Goliath? David’s reply was that he had spent a lot of time tending his father’s sheep! Not exactly a promising resume’ on the surface of things. But it wasn’t actual care of the sheep that prepared him for this epic fight; rather it was the experience David had gained in fighting off the wild animals that threatened to kill his flock that prepared him. He had learned to defeat both lions and bears during his shepherding and so, he reasoned that this Philistine would be no more difficult to defeat.
For David’s reliance was not upon his skill as a fighter. Rather, he trusted in the Lord to help him defeat this threat. For it was “the Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear” and this Philistine is no match for the living God!
God’s training and development of Kingdom leaders is not the world’s path, for God is developing a leader’s heart and trust in Him. David was selected to replace Saul as king because of his heart (see 1 Samuel 16:7). And now this heart-anchored trust in God would once again be demonstrated. Previously it was done in private. But now it will be put on display in front of the entire armies of Israel and the Philistines. Goliath was more than a match for David (Saul’s perspective), but he was no match for David’s God!
Your inner life – spirit and heart – will often be developed in private moments aside from the eyes of others. As you pass these private challenges, learning to trust in God’s empowerment and not your own strength, He will then bring you out onto a public ‘stage’ for all to see His might.
Don’t neglect the cultivation of your inner life – your heart and soul care, for these will often determine your service for the King!