David the King: “First Steps”
You’ve waited – it seems like forever – to get what was coming to you. You worked hard, fought hard, and finally got the position. Now what? How do you set patterns in your life that will bring fulfillment, honor God and help you to be everything you dreamed you could be? David’s example will help us nail down the first steps.
Benjamin Disraeli: The great secret of success in life is for a man to be ready when his opportunity comes.
Key Principle: Getting the job is one thing. Doing it well and attaining what God intends is another!
- Learn to wait and let others reward you with what God has promised, don’t take it by force or struggle (5:1a “all the tribes came”).
Thomas Kelly, “People nowadays take time far more seriously than eternity”
“Now notice that this waiting isn’t procrastination. We don’t get a picture here of someone who just can’t make the decision to go for it. In fact just the opposite. He’s quite decisive when it comes to the question of what to do with the earlier two assassins of Ish-Bosheth. Nor is he sitting around doing nothing. He continues to consolidate his position as king in Hebron to the point where the Philistines are so concerned about him becoming king over the whole country. But he is willing to wait for the people of the northern tribes to make up their mind. Eugene Petersen describes his waiting as poised submissiveness. It’s a not-doing that leaves adequate space and time for God to initiate actions through others.”
Ortberg’s book, “Not long after moving to Chicago, I called a wise friend to ask for some spiritual direction. I described the pace at which things tend to move in my current setting. I told him about the rhythms of our family life and about the present condition of my heart, as best I could discern it. What did I need to do, I asked him to be spiritually healthy? Long pause. ‘You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.’ He said at last, Another long pause. ‘Okay I have written that down,’ I told him, a little impatiently. ’That’s a good one. Now what else is there?’ I had many things to do, and this was a long distance conversation, so I was anxious to cram as many units of spiritual wisdom into the least amount of time possible. Another long pause. ’There is nothing else,’ he said’ (p. 81).
Sometimes people don’t wait on God. They want to marry someone and they think it’s obvious that this person is God’s will. Maybe they want to make a purchase or enter into a business agreement or make a major change and everything seems obvious to them. But, it may not look that way 6 months from now. We make mistakes when we rush into something without waiting on God first.
An old sailor got lost at sea, so his friends gave him a compass and urged him to use it. The next time he went out in his boat, he followed the advice and took the compass with him. But as usual he became hopelessly confused and was unable to find land. Finally he was rescued by his friends. Disgusted and impatient with him, they asked, “Why didn’t you use that compass we gave you? You could have saved us a lot of trouble!” The sailor responded, “I didn’t dare to! I wanted to go north, but as hard as I tried to make the needle aim in that direction, it just kept on pointing southeast.” That old sailor was so certain he knew which way was north that he stubbornly tried to force his own personal persuasion on reality – his compass. Unable to do so, he tossed it aside as worthless and failed to benefit from the guidance it offered.”
- Stand upon your reputation as “one of them” and remember that is how they came to believe you are the one they should choose for this task (5:1b “bone and flesh”).
- While you let them acknowledge your time of faithful service, remember that must continue to keep the trust you have earned (5:2a “you were the one who led Israel”).
While they were telling him what he haddone, it would be easy to think David got puffed up. Nothing is farther from the truth! Andrew Murray said, “We can never have more faith than we have humility.” He continues, “As long as we take glory from another, we do not seek and cannot receive the glory that comes from God.”
Murray states, “We need only think for a moment what faith is. Is not the confession of nothingness and helplessness, the surrender and the waiting to let God work? Is it not in itself the most humbling thing there can be-the acceptance of our place as dependents, who can claim or get or do nothing but what grace bestows? Humility is simply the disposition which prepares the soul for living on trust. And every, even the most secret, breathing of pride-in self seeking, self-will, self confidence, or self-exultation-is just the strengthening of that self which cannot enter the kingdom or possess the things of the kingdom, because it refuses to allow God to be what He is and must be-the all in all” (46).
Humility releases more of the Spirit of God because it gets the “self” out of the way..
Sittser notes, “If God is not in control, then we should abandon faith and find our own way through the hard times of life”(38).
- When others see that you have been marked by God to do this work, celebrate that and don’t deny it (5:2b “you will shepherd”).
- Be accountable before the Lord and people to live up to the task you are being given (5:3 “before the Lord”).
- Note the tangible blessing of God and celebrate it daily (5:4-5 “thirty-three years; 2 for every year of prep!).
- Take on the new assignment and its problems head on (5:6-7).
Vince Lombardi :”The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
- Reward those who work hard, just as God has rewarded you! (5:8; cp. 1 Chron. 11:6).
- Build up systems that will make the work successful (5:9 and 13).
Though it was smart to have some alliances, when they got to be too many, it would become a problem. Remember Deut 17:17: “[The king] must not acquire many wives for himself, or else his heart will turn away; also silver and gold he must not acquire in great quantity for himself.” But David ignored this instruction and the result was that he had many children – who later caused problems for him! But that’s for another day.
- Constantly keep in mind how you got where you are – GOD! (5:10 and 12).
It is NOT the man with a motive that wins, but the man with a purpose!
- Stay close to God and talk with Him often about how to do what He has given you to do (5:17-21).
Erwin W. Lutzer : Many who are climbing the ladder of success have their ladders leaning against the wrong walls.
- Timing is terribly important! (5:22-25). Do what you should do, when you should do it. Remember, Saul’s big downfall was to “jump the gun”. Laziness and impatience are BOTH from an untrusting heart that God will fulfill those who do what He says!
Getting the job is one thing. Doing it well and attaining what God intends is another!