I have always had dreams…big dreams. Dreams that do not seem to be practical. Maggie and I have been watching Zootopia lately and talking about how the bunny had big dreams. She went against the stereotypes and the advice of those who discouraged her in order to follow her dreams. Judy, the bunny, announced to her little community that she would grow-up to be a police officer. Her parents tried to talk some sense into her. “It’s okay to have dreams as long as you do not believe in them too much.” Her mom informed her that happiness came to her father and her when they settled. She, of course, did not listen to them until all the odds were stacked against her.
Yesterday at church I was reminded of David’s story. Samuel, the great prophet of the Lord, was instructed by God to show up at Jesse’s home in Bethlehem to anoint one of his son’s as the new king. Jesse prepares his first seven sons, according to custom and instructions, to be presented. He overlooked and therefore disregarded his eighth son. He left David in the field tending his sheep.
When we feel disregarded, we can be tempted to diminish our dreams.
God made it clear to Samuel that none of these seven sons were to be anointed. (Read the whole story in 1 Samuel 16.) So David was summoned. The passage does not say if he had time to clean-up and be ready for the presentation let alone the anointing, but we do know that Samuel did instruct everyone to stay standing until his arrival. I can image the seven brothers were quite uncomfortable and disappointed through the whole process.
God confirmed to Samuel that David was the intended one. Once anointed, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David. Can you image? In front of his brothers, in front of his father who had left him behind, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. He was to be king…the king of Israel. And then, he went back to his father’s sheep.
In the midst of being disregarded, David was anointed into a position that was not yet available for the taking, but it was promised. Isn’t that how most of our dreams happen? We are called but then we wait, we prepare for what we know will happen but we have no understanding how it will happen.
We read later about Saul’s, the current king of Israel, introduction to David.
1 Samuel 16:18 One of the servants answered, “I have seen the son of Jesse of Bethlehem who knows how to play the harp. He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the Lord is with him.”
He has God-given dreams and he is tending his father’s sheep. He was discredited by his own father as king potential, anointed and Spirit-given. The passage goes on to tell us that David began working for Saul and then would go back to tending his father’s sheep. (1 Samuel 17:15) He did not enter into “king training” and he was not treated like royalty, by anyone. Samuel anointed him and left. No instructions.
He was preparing for his rule by being with God, by protecting his father’s sheep and being faithful. He continued to be humble to his current position, 1 Samuel 17:17. When David showed up to Saul’s war with the Philistines and Goliath presented himself, David understood who God was. He understood God’s glory. He understood his role. It wasn’t to claim the kingship. It was to allow God to use him for His glory. (Thanks, Chad Bruegman, for the great message yesterday.)
When God calls us to big dreams, He first calls us to Himself for the display of His glory.
Being called does not mean that we claim those dreams immediately, but we learn, grow and move towards God and His character so we will be ready when the stage is set and we step into the role we have been preparing for.