Don’t Give Up Just Yet
10 Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, “The Lord has not chosen these.” 11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”12 So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.”13 So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.
(1 Samuel 16:10-13)
I heard a good sermon the other day on the radio where the Pastor had said “you may be anointed but you haven’t been appointed”. I’ve heard similar sermons like this one in the past regarding not being discouraged about not working in your calling yet and it caused me to think about it on my drive home.
When we look at different biblical men and women, we find many who may have been anointed but just not appointed until years later due to preparation and training. Although David was anointed to be king in his teens, he wasn’t appointed king until the age of 30. At the time of David’s anointing, he was caring for his father’s sheep and protecting them from predators. He had fought lions and bears, taking the sheep right out of their mouths. During those years before he was appointed king, he underwent many difficult trials and problems. He went from being loved by King Saul because of his bravery to being hated by Saul due to David’s popularity. Saul felt threatened by David and afraid of him and became jealous of him to the point he sought to kill David. David had no intentions of becoming disloyal to Saul and would have done anything for him but Saul allowed his emotions to rule and soon began seeing unclearly through those emotions. So Saul set out to kill David, who had to run and ended up hiding out in a cave. So here we have David falsely accused, chased, slandered and running for his life. After all of this, when David had the chance to kill Saul in the cave, he didn’t because he honored Saul’s authority as the one chosen by God to rule the people and though God was displeased with Saul, David respected Saul’s authority. How difficult that must have been for David, who had every reason to kill Saul to stop him from stalking and chasing him, to stand back and allow God to deal with Saul. We see in Romans 12:19 it states:
“Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Though David was in an unfair situation and needing justice to be done, he chose to respect Saul’s authority as his king and obey God’s commands. He chose not to take justice into his own hands and allow the Lord to deal with Saul. In Acts 13:22, we see why God loved David so:
“I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do”
No matter what the situation was, David was willing to do what God wanted him to do. This doesn’t mean David didn’t commit sin because we know he did, but it means that if God gave David an order, David didn’t question it, he just did it. David also praised God through the good times and the bad, even when he was depressed and fearful. When situations became difficult, David could have just said “forget it, I’m tired of having people treat me badly and trying to do right only to have more trouble come my way”, but he didn’t. He would quickly turn to God and pray to Him and praise Him, waiting for God to come to his rescue. God always came through for him. Because of David’s loyalty to God in both the good times and the bad, God exalted David over his enemies. But David would not have learned everything he had learned and wouldn’t have been appointed to king if he had cut short the process by becoming frustrated and walking away. If he had quit too soon, he would have never saw what was on the other side of his process…victory!
Joseph was just seventeen when he received two dreams of greatness showing his brothers he would reign over them. His brothers were already jealous of him due to their father, Jacob, loving him more than them. After hearing Joseph’s dreams, the brothers plotted to kill Joseph but instead sold him into slavery first to traders and then he was sold to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. Though in slavery, God blessed Joseph in everything he did and Potiphar’s house was blessed. Because Potiphar could see the Lord was with Joseph, he made him in charge of the affairs of his home. But Joseph had to contend with Potiphar’s wife who tempted Joseph daily to sleep with her. Joseph refused her advances until one day when trying to tempt him she grabbed his garment as Joseph fled from her. She falsely accused him of attacking her and Joseph was sent to jail. God had mercy on Joseph and gave him favor in the eyes of the Jailer who then put Joseph in charge of the prisoners because he trusted Joseph. Joseph was obedient to the Lord and followed His commands even while in prison which means he acted with integrity even though falsely accused. Because of Joseph’s love for the Lord and His obedience, God protected and provided for Joseph. After Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream with the help of the Lord, and informed Pharaoh of what he needed to do in the coming famine, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be in charge over the land of Egypt and the people survived the famine. From there, God restored Joseph’s relationship with his brothers and reconnected him with his father. What if Joseph had become discouraged while a slave or in jail and decided not to trust the Lord any longer and give in to his emotions? After all Joseph had been through, he could have gotten discouraged and fed up and simply quit doing right. Instead, he held fast to God and honored Him by being obedient to His commands and continued patiently working. If Joseph had quit the process early or rebelled against it, he never would have seen the other side of the process…victory!
It would be very easy for us to throw in the towel and become fed up when we continue doing right yet everyone around us is doing wrong but succeeding in life. It would be very easy to become discouraged and upset when we are diligently working hard but we see other people doing half the work yet advancing forward. Yet when we resolve to continue doing the right thing regardless to what we are seeing or what other people are doing or saying, God will honor this and reward us for it.
We must not become discouraged or concerned when we aren’t advancing as quickly as we feel we should be it in the work of the Lord or in our healing process. We must not get tired of waiting for “our time” to come. We must not grow weary with the problems and trials that come our way because all of it is in preparation for what He wants us to do. With every problem and trial we must ask God what we need to learn out of it and how to proceed through it. We must seek to pass each test that comes along and if we fail one, we take note of what we should have done and wait for the next one to come. God’s timing and our timing are two different things. Preparation and training is key to doing a job effectively and healing permanently.
Don’t be discouraged if you seem to be hitting roadblocks in your walk. Don’t worry if you aren’t advancing as quickly as others in your healing or whatever you are doing for the Lord. Stay on course, keep moving forward and do according to Colossians 3:23:
“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…“
Your time has not come yet, but it will. To run a race and win, we must have endurance. Do you have the endurance to run longer to the next finish line? Do you have the patience to continue training until God opens the doors for you? Remember, patience is a fruit of the Spirit, which may be one of the areas God is trying to grow you in. So whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and your work will pay off.