Once upon a time in a land far, far away, lived a man who had been given a great dream. He wasn’t particularly special in any way that seemed to matter. In fact, he was the youngest of his family and frequently overlooked when important matters arose.
But God saw him and delighted in him.
As is usual with God, He didn’t ask this young man what he wanted to do with his life. Instead, God looked at him and offered him the impossible.
What would you do if this was you?
A Surprise Appearance
Oh, for the ability to see beyond the obvious. ~Charles Swindoll, David: A Man of Passion and Destiny
I worked hard to mask the identity of the man above, but he was real. He lived on this earth many years ago and is famous among even those who rarely pick up a Bible. David, as in David and Goliath, David and his mighty men, King David of Jerusalem.
Clothed in obscurity, David watched his father’s sheep. One day, the Lord sent His prophet Samuel to Bethlehem to anoint a new king over Israel, but he didn’t tell anyone this at first. Instead, he surprised the town leaders with his mysterious arrival.
The elders of the city came to meet him trembling and said, “Do you come peaceably?” And he said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Consecrate yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 1 Samuel 16:4-5
Jesse parades his sons, one after another, past Samuel, but the Lord whispers to Samuel that the right man is not yet present.
“Are all your sons here?” Samuel asks Jesse.
“There remains yet the youngest,” came Jesse’s response. “But behold, he is keeping the sheep.”
And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and get him, for we will not sit down till he comes here.”
A Strange Offering of the Impossible
At this point, the Bible is frustratingly quiet for me. First Samuel simply records, “Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward” (verse 13).
The historian Josephus writes, “Samuel the aged whispered in his ear the meaning of the symbol, ‘You will be the next king.'”
Did David understand the significance of what Samuel had just done? What about his father and brothers? Did life change at all for this family who suddenly became royal?
It doesn’t seem like it. In the very next verses when wise men recommend David come play the lyre to soothe King Saul’s soul, they call him out of the same place Samual did: the sheep field.
Yet, Satan and his minions apparently caught hold the magnitude of it. For David’s life was about to become far more complicated, complete with at least three obstacles designed to push him off the course God laid before him.
3 Dreaded Diseases that Kill a Great Dream
Diseases may sound a bit dramatic, but let’s not allow the enemy to minimize the impact he tries to have on our lives. The life of David highlights at least three deadly problems that lie in wait for those who pursue the heavenly dreams given to each of us by God: Dissuasion, discouragement, and distraction.
1. Saul tried to kill David (1 Samuel 19).
Think that wasn’t the enemy at work, trying to dissuade David from proceeding on his current course toward the throne? I’ve felt the sting of dissuasion in various stages of my life:
- In my professional life, when people would tell me that authors don’t make a lot of money and I needed to be able to support myself.
- In my ministry life, when people would ask why military families couldn’t help other military families — did civilians need to get involved?
- In my parenting, when my husband and I stood against what was common for what we believe is a better way.
2. Jonathan didn’t want to believe David (1 Samuel 20).
Now, to be fair, Jonathan was in a tough spot, stuck between his father and his friend. But still, do you really think that the enemy wasn’t trying to plant seeds of discouragement in David? Perhaps you too have felt the poke of discouragement:
- When you tried to speak up but were misunderstood or ignored.
- When you weren’t sure how to proceed or what the next step involved.
- When a friend accused you of an offense without knowing the full story.
3. Nabal, foolish though he was, didn’t care about David (1 Samuel 25).
Do you really think the enemy didn’t have anything to do with this blatant attempt to distract David? Wise Abigail prevented David from participating in Nabal’s foolishness, but in this moment of insult, David forgot who he was. Maybe you too get lost in distractions like I have:
- When the bills pile high.
- When an irritating person goads you until you respond negatively.
- When the difficulty ahead causes you to hesitate.
David strengthened himself in the Lord his God. 1 Samuel 30:6
Between Samuel’s anointing and David’s ascension to the throne, David spent years running from Saul, learning hard lessons on the battlefield. He didn’t do everything perfectly, but he knew where his strength originated from.
Whatever dream God’s placed in your heart and whatever battle you face today, whether the enemy is throwing dissuasion, discouragement, or distraction in your path, remember David.
Seek the Lord. Gain the strength to take the next step toward the fulfillment of your great dream.
In Crossing Values, Amber Griffin has learned that people aren’t trustworthy. Until she finds a family that contradicts everything she knows. Can she fight discouragement and let them stand with her to face one of the biggest disappointments of her life?
For years, Amber traipsed around the Northwest avoiding the skeletons in her closet. Job-hopping every few weeks, she refused to let anyone get close to her. As winter plants itself firmly across the Rockies, she decides to take a chance on a job at a logging company with a family different from any she’s ever known before.
Watching the family interact creates more questions than answers for Amber. Feeling like she’s entered the happily-ever-after written at the end of fairytales, she watches for cracks in the façade. Surely as the days pass, the play-acting will cease and the real family will emerge. Or could she be wrong? Could they be genuine? Could this family hold the key to what she’s seeking?