God had chosen David to be king over Israel. This had been prophesied over him as a child in his father’s house. Yet once the Word of the Lord was spoken over David’s life and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, you would think he would be caught up in a whirlwind of exciting events as he was placed on the thrown. But that’s not how it happened, with God that’s pretty much never how it happens. David received this prophetic word of the Lord over his life, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and the anointing was poured out on him, then he was sent back out to tend his father’s sheep in the fields.
“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither…Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:11, 13
Nothing spectacular happened. No instant promotion, no glitz, no glam, just mocking brothers, a dusty field, and a bunch of needy sheep. You see, David had been promised but was not yet ready to be positioned. He had been anointed but had not yet had his faith in that anointing proven that he would rightly and confidently know how to use it. God had announced the show, but had only begun to set the stage for it.
David was humble and lowly among his people and even among his own house. It would take a miracle to make him King, and that is exactly how God does things. Before David could be King, God would have to do something very unexpected, something that only God could do that would put David’s name in the mouth of the people and prove God’s approval of him. This event would take great faith, as would the events that followed it, for once men see the favor of God on you, some will sing your praise, while others slander your name, and others still will seek to kill that which God has ordained.
This was going to take faith. So God did not send little David out to the palace where guards, grandeur, and great abundance reside. He sent him into a sheep fold where weakness, wounding, and wondering reside. In the palace men learned how to put on a pretty show, but in the pasture David learned what God wanted him to know. In the palace men learned how to be celebrities, a king after men’s own hearts, but in the pasture david learned how to be a Shepherd, a King after God’s own heart.
“And when God had removed Saul, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” – Acts 13:22
David learn how to lead the flock by walking where he expected them to walk. He learned how to mend up the broken, how to set at liberty those who had become bound up, how to defend the defenseless, and how to depend on the strength of the anointing to do it all, even in the face of impossible resistance.
Yes, God was going to do something that would put this humble unknown boy’s name in the mouths of all Israel. He was going to cause him to defeat a giant that no one else had the courage and faith to face. But first God had to build that faith into David’s spirit. This could not be done in the palace with all it’s protective walls, armed guards, disconnect from others, and ease of life. This had to be done in the pasture, this had to be rooted in love for the flock he had been given charge over.
David had invested all into this little flock in the wilderness. It was all he had, an impossible promise and a little flock of sheep. David loved his little flock, he had raised them up himself. Therefor when a lion arose to devour them, he (for loves sake) would not let them be destroyed. Little David put his own life on the line to fight for this little flock and the Lord made him victorious. Then came a bear, a stronger foe seeking to devour his little flock, yet David having his faith in God’s deliverance strengthened by his encounter with the lion, bravely stood his ground against the bear as well and was yet again victorious.
David knew that God had delivered him and his flock from these foes and had used his hand to do so. So when the day came that Goliath challenged Israel and mocked the power of her God, David knew that this foe would be no different. So much had God built little David’s faith in the pasture defeating lions and bears in the Name of his God, that while others were running from the fight in doubt, David was literally running to it in faith. In this did the people see the heart and power of a true King, chosen, trained, and anointed by God Himself, that all the glitz of the palace could not counterfeit.
God’s ways are not our ways, they are higher then our ways, but they are perfect in all of their ways. If God has truly called you to do great things for His Kingdom, then don’t be surprised if He puts you in a pasture instead of a palace. He has a plan. True Pastors are made in Pastures, not palaces. The lessons learned and the faith earned in the battles overcome in the pasture are the only thing that make a King worthy of the Name of our Lord God and Master. Man’s Kings are trained in palaces but God’s Kings are trained in pastures. So be encouraged. Love, learn, wait, anticipate, and believe. What the Lord has spoken, He will cause to be through the abundance of His impossibilities. In the meantime, grow in faith and grow in grace so that when the stage is all set, you will run into place.
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.” – 1 Samuel 17:34-37
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-48