What is Required
What is required to be a leader? Culturally we look at the physical nature of people. Maybe we research their accomplishments in life. Maybe we look at the family they come from. These attributes are not bad in and of themselves, but they are not necessarily the attributes that God uses.
David is anointed to be king in 1 Samuel 16. Samuel falls into the eye test trap. Samuel comes to Jessie’s house, David’s father, and offers sacrifice. Jessie and almost all his boys are present. Samuel sees the oldest brother Eliab. Culturally this son was the most prominent in the family so it only makes sense that he would be the one to be chosen as king, right? Wrong! Samuel was convinced and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him?” God’s response is important. “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him.” God turns the cultural norm upside down. If God is not looking at our appearance, our strength, or our resume then what in the world matters to Him?
First, God looks at our hearts. God wants someone with deep character and a deep desire to know and pursue Him. David fit the bill. On multiple occasions, David had the opportunity to kill King Saul and begin his reign but instead, David waited on God, saying it was not right for him to touch one of God’s anointed. Deep character is required when the temptations of leadership come. Trust me the temptations will come. One of the great temptations is to take God’s glory. We would never set out to do this but slowly over time, we begin to think that the ministry is where it is because of us. Please stop for a moment and realize that God was able to use a donkey to accomplish his purpose. We are not that important. Don’t get me wrong, God wants us there, but He can use anyone who has a heart for Him. We are also guilty of trying to help God out. We see how well that worked out for Abram, Sari, and Hagar. We just want to hurry the plan up. We say things like, ‘God must be doing’, then we make a mess of our situations.
Second, God uses people who are faithful where they are. David served as a shepherd. Little did he know that being a shepherd was the training ground for caring for and defending God’s people. David served in obscurity. His own father forgot to or neglect to call him into the fancy meal when Samuel showed up. It was only after the odd moment when Samuel asks if this was all his sons that Jessie calls for David. I know that serving when no one sees is hard, especially in an instant society but please know that God sees. God is watching and rejoicing over your faithfulness. You cannot wait until you have the position to be faithful. You cannot wait until you have the Sunday school class to teach to begin to study and be faithful to the church. You cannot wait until there is an appointment to sing to be faithful. Faithfulness comes before opportunities.
David is anointed King in 1 Samuel 16:12. Then there is a decade of training that God takes David through at the hand of Saul. This culminates in Saul trying to kill David. This is not the type of training that we think about. We want the latest bible study to be our training. These difficult situations help us to translate the Gospel of Jesus Christ into our everyday life. David willingly submitted himself to the process of God. God never sat David down and said here is the timeline or here is what I am doing. God calls, anoints him, and expects that he is going to faithfully follow Him until God has something else for him to do. Amazingly David did. David was by no means perfect, but he did have the heart to know God, to pursue God, and to worship God. David trusted God and His plan.
So here are some questions to wrestle with. No one knows your heart like you, are you living a life of honor? Is the character you possess causing you to live a life that honors God and others? Are you willing to wait on God? Are you willing to serve when and where no one else sees you? Are you being faithful just because you love God and want to be close to Him? Being a leader is a gift from God. It is not something you earn. That being said, if you are pursuing God and being faithful then that is a life that God can use.