Pastures, Palaces, Preparation, and Power
“34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.” 1 Samuel 17:34-37
I know of King David as a man after God’s own heart. 1 Samuel 17:34-37 shoes me something VERY important from David’s life as a shepherd boy – There is always a pasture before there is a palace. Many of us want the palace where people will listen to our influence. You are never ready for the palace until God is done preparing you in the pasture.
Often when we find ourselves in a pasture, we tell God how much we hate it. God wants to say that if you cannot be faithful through what is now, I cannot give you what is next. If you cannot be faithful in the pasture, I cannot give you a position in the palace.
I am learning that God places me in the pasture to prepare me for the palace. The pasture is the place where I learn to be faithful in your devotions. The pasture is the place where I learn to be obedient to hearing His voice and following Him. David needed to learn to be a faithful shepherd of sheep, long before he could learn to be a strong the ruler of the nation.
We want the place of authority NOW, but we don’t want to submit to the authority before us now. I’ve heard someone once say this. “If you are too big for the small things, then you are too small for the big things.”
David’s life teaches that we need to learn to pay the price in the pasture and in order to get the payoff in the palace.
Power from God is always the result of preparation with God. I am learning these days to embrace the time of preparation because I never know where it is leading me. In the pasture, I’d guess that David spent a lot of time alone without the distractions of life to develop an intimate relationship with God.
While he was in the pasture, David learned to have one focus on his life. He would not allow the name of God to be defiled.
We think that we wake up one day and we pray and God gives power from on high. The power of God does not come in one day. Most times, the power of God comes day by day. The power of God does not come when we just show up and pray for power. The power of God shows up when we prepare by being faithful and all-in for Him.
I remember when I used to play Nintendo as a kid. There were always cheats that I’d look for. Super Mario Brothers had the secret Warp Zones. Contra had the “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start” in order to get 30 lives instead of 3! Maybe we have been trained that way or it could just be in our nature, but many times we want to try and cheat and skip levels in life. David reminds me that there are no warp zones, cheat codes, or shortcuts in God’s Kingdom.
Today’s passage reveals that that there will always be a pasture to be faithful in, before there is a palace to rule in.