I watched a sermon by Sarah Jakes last night and she talked about navigating in other people’s Kingdoms as God uses you to expand His. It was certainly a timely message for me as I step into a larger role of serving at my local church. In just a few short weeks I will be leading a couple hundred women in a weekly Bible study.
When you step into new territory it is tempting to look around and see how others are doing it. When you are staring at yourself in the mirror looking for what God obviously sees in you but can’t find, it’s easy to fall back on the old instead of usher in the new. But don’t.
When I am unsure the first thing I do is dive into my Bible. Full disclosure…sometimes the first thing I do is call some trusted friends freak out, let them calm me down, and then dive into my Bible. No matter how I start, the answers are always in the Book. As I step into this new role and am looking for answers, God has pointed me to young David for inspiration and to his experiences for wisdom.
Young David was ready to go. He was ready to take on a giant. But Saul replied, “You can’t go fight this Philistine. You’re just a youth, and he’s been a warrior since he was young.” 1 Samuel 17:33 CSB
Have you ever been ready to step into your calling but then Satan sends people to tell you that you aren’t ready? It’s just like the enemy to cast a dark shadow on a joyous moment through people that should have your back. If only we could be like David when this happens.
Let me paraphrase 1 Samuel 17:32-39:
David: Dude, I got this giant. I can take him down. What are you afraid of? I’m not.
Saul: Umm, did you realize you are young and inexperienced and that guy has been doing this forever?
David: What you don’t know about me is that I have been fighting battles all my life. You just weren’t there to see it. And I have been victorious, so I am not afraid of experience and age. I know God has my back.
Saul: Go for it then, dog, (eye roll) but at least take my advice and do it like I would.
David: I’ve listened to how you would do it but this just doesn’t feel right. I’m used to doing it the God way. I’ll stick to that.
Ok that was a super loose translation but I wanted to break it down so you understand what is happening here. God had already prepared David. He knew he was ready, but the authority over him did not. David had to fight for his opportunity to show everyone that God would lead him to victory.
People couldn’t see it. They only saw the young man of small stature in front of them. God had been pouring into David. God saw a young man of character that He could work though.
Saul was persistent. He was going to allow David to give this thing a try but he wanted David to do it his way. Have you ever been called by God but then told you couldn’t go where He was calling you by the person in charge? It can be frustrating, right? Well, David wasn’t having it.
David knew God so intimately that he knew to respectfully push back. First, he tried it Saul’s way. He put on the armor that Saul would have used. Funny that Saul didn’t put it on himself and go fight the giant but rather put it on David. He wanted David to do the work he was called to do and he wanted David to do it his way.
But David was bold. He knew how he had been victorious over trials in the past and it wasn’t by walking in other people’s shoes. It was by walking in step with his God. So, he took off the armor, handed it back to Saul and essentially said, “With all due respect, I’m doing it God’s way.”
If you are following Jesus and seeking God’s will for your life…I mean seriously seeking, not just quick morning prayers each day but actually walking daily with eyes wide open for signs and diving into his word every time you have a question or trial and looking at every challenge as a way to become more like Christ. Then eventually God is going to use you in a big way.
When He uses you, it will not feel comfortable. You will not feel prepared. You will look around at all the people that seem to be better equipped than you and question yourself. People will look at you sideways and say things under their breath. Some will even tell you to your face that you are not ready. In these moments, you need to call to mind all the battles you have won with God by your side. You will need to speak aloud as you recount the times he has led you to victory and then you need to find the boldness of David. You need to follow God down an unpaved path and trust Him with your life as He uses you to expand His Kingdom.
And then you need to call me for a cup of coffee so we can chat and giggle about all He has done in our lives.
I'm just a girl, standing before my God, knowing that He loves me and wanting others to know that love too.