As I was driving down the road the other day, I observed wildflowers growing on the ditch bank of the road. I was thinking about how beautiful they were. Then I thought about how many only saw them as weeds, something to be pulled up and discarded. When I see wildflowers, I am in awe of their beauty growing in the middle of weeds that normally stunt the growth of other plants, but these beautiful plants thrive in a less than conventional place. Wildflowers in the right setting thrive, but in the wrong setting may cause harm such in a vegetable garden, taking away the much-needed nutrients that are needed to bring forth healthy vegetables. Sometimes we are not flourishing because we try to fit into a place that we were never meant to be, just like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. We are trying to be something or somebody God never intended for us to be at all. At other times someone may have intimidated us to fit into their ideas of who we should be. If we are not careful, we can get caught up in trying to please others so much that we lose who we are destined to be.
There is story in the Bible that gives us an example of how the enemy of our souls will attempt to stop what God has preordained for our lives. This story is found in 1 Samuel. God had chosen another person to become king over Israel because of Saul’s continued disobedience. God led Samuel the Prophet to the house of Jesse to anoint one of his sons to be king of Israel. Jesse called all but one of his sons to stand before Samuel. In 1 Samuel 16:6, 7, When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed is before him.” 7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” Samuel turned to Jesse asking him if there was another son that was not present. David’s father, Jesse did not value David enough to send for him initially when his brothers were gathered before Samuel. Jesse did not see what God saw in David. He was like a wildflower growing on the side of a ditch bank. When he was called to stand before Samuel, David was the one that God had chosen. His appearance was not one of a kingly appearance physically, but there was found in him the beginnings of a king that may not have been apparent for others to see in the natural. Samuel chose to look at David through the eyes of God and he saw a king.
Samuel anointed David to be the next king of Israel. Did David immediately usurp king Saul of his throne? No! He waited on God, and it would be years before he would actually become the king of Israel. He went right back to the sheep pasture, tending to his father, Jesse’s sheep. On the day that David was anointed, there began a change in the way he lived out his life. He was now walking in the anointing of the Lord. He was empowered with a mighty anointing. Others probably did not see what was happening in him, but David knew that God was with him. He was being taught by God Himself on the backside of the sheep pasture. He had become a mighty shepherd of the sheepfold destroying the predators that came to kill and destroy his flock.
As time goes on, Israel had an enemy that was defying and threating the children of God. Everybody was afraid of him. This enemy was Goliath the giant. Goliath was over 9 feet tall. Goliath had a bronze helmet on his head, wore a coat of armor that was thought to weigh around 100 pounds, he had shin protectors on his legs and bronze javelin hung between his shoulders. He had a spear like a weaver’s beam with a blade head weighing 12 pounds or more. A shield bearer walked in front of Goliath. They called Goliath a champion which means one that did not fight in the ranks with the ordinary soldier but would come out between the two camps to challenge the mightiest man of his enemies to come out to fight him alone. Goliath challenged Israel to send out their mightiest man to contest him in the fight. He told them if they won the Philistines would then be their servants. When King Saul and all Israel heard the words of Goliath, they were greatly afraid. No one thought they could go against Goliath and win the fight.
In the meantime, David was sent by his father Jesse to check on his three sons that had followed Saul into battle as well as to send them food. Jesse wanted David to bring back news concerning his sons and how the battle between the two nations was progressing. For forty days Goliath had taken his stand every morning and every evening challenging someone to fight him. As David came to the encampment, the army was going out in battle formation shouting the battle cry. Then the champion, Goliath came forth defying Israel, challenging them to send someone out to fight. When the men of Israel heard the challenge, they were frightened and fled. David had many questions concerning the current events. David’s questions were not without opposition, his elder brother, Eliab questioned David’s motive for wanting detailed information concerning the rewards that would be given to one that conquered their feared enemy.
As we go forth being who called us to be, walking out our destinies, there will always be those that we will say that we are not called to the assignment that we know without a doubt that God has called us to complete, and many will question our motives. We need to always lean into God and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, teach us, and comfort us during those times that it may feel like there is no one with us. God is always faithful, and He is always with us. Just yield to His Hand and allow Him to mold you and prepare you for the next season in your life. 1 Samuel 17:31-41,” 31 When the words that David spoke were heard, they repeated them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 And David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth.” 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” 38 Then Saul clothed David with his armor. He put a helmet of bronze on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail, 39 and David strapped his sword over his armor. And he tried in vain to go, for he had not tested them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” So David put them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand and chose five smooth stones from the brook and put them in his shepherd’s pouch. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. 41 And the Philistine moved forward and came near to David, with his shield-bearer in front of him.
Even though David was young he believed that God was with Israel and would defeat their enemy. He presented himself to Saul and offered to fight their enemy. You see, while he was on the backside of the sheep pasture God had been preparing him to be a champion. After he was anointed by the Prophet Samuel, a great anointing was placed on him. With this anointing he was given wisdom and strength to deal with all the issues that were presented to him. While on the backside of the pasture God was preparing him to be the king of Israel. There were times that lions came to do his sheep flock harm, he killed them. At other times bears came to do the same, but the bears did not know who they were dealing with, thus the bears were killed. These events were preparing David to be the keeper of the flock of Israel. Every event in your life is preparing you for the future and fulfilling your God given destiny.
Saul gives David his armor, but the armor did not fit, it was too big and cumbersome. He felt uncomfortable in this armor, he had not proved it or tested it out before, but he knew how to use a slingshot and a stone, a stone that was smooth and had been prepared for such a time as this. David chose 5 smooth stones and his sling shot to go into battle against Goliath, stones that lay in a stream wearing away all the rough edges, making them a weapon of exact precision so that they would hit the target and not miss. There are times we try to walk out God’s will for our lives following the dictates of man instead being led by the Holy Spirit. We need to always to be careful that what we are doing is not religious in nature. God sometimes using the unconventional to get His Word out. If you do not believe this, just take a look at the prophets of the Old Testament. Many times, God asked them do what was unconventional to get His point across to the nation of Israel. That said, whatever we do should always line up with what the Word of God presents.
So, when the enemy, Goliath showed his ugly head, he knew that God was with him and had prepared him for such a time. He took one of those smooth stones using his sling shot, slung the stone, and hit Goliath in his forehead where there was no armor. David killed Goliath with Goliath’s own sword. If David had gone out with Saul’s armor he would have failed and probably would have died, but he chose the way God had for him, that he had been prepared for on the back side of a sheep pasture. There are times that God allow abrasive people in our lives to remove the rough edges of our own personalities in order we may become just like those smooth stones that David pick up as a weapon against the enemy’s agenda, a weapon of precision and wisdom that will hit mark at just the right time.
The moral of the story is this. We need to quit walking in another person’s shoes. We need to quit trying to please others and, in the process, not fulfill the destiny that God has for us. Many of us are like the wildflowers that grow and flourish on the ditch bank, but we are trying to conform to the way of another garden where we keep being offended and plucked up. God has a purpose for the wildflower just like He has purpose for vegetable garden that was planted by man. Even in the midst of the weeds that seem to have no benefits, wildflowers flourish. Truth is many of the plants that we consider to be weeds are edible or have medicinal properties. In the right environment they flourish while in vegetable garden they are pulled up and discarded. David was like a wildflower on the ditch bank. His own father did not see his worth, but God saw worth and purpose and He sees worth and purpose in you too. Just like David, as you yield to the hand of Father God in your life He will prepare you to walk in all that he has prepared for you. Yield to His hand and allow Him to change you. As David walked out his life being an ordinary shepherd of the sheep, worshipping and listening to God, God was preparing him to be the shepherd Israel as their king. 2 Samuel 5:2 (the end of the verse) “And the LORD said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.
I conclude with this: it is time we quit trying to figure it out for ourselves. As we lean into God, allowing Him to lead and guide us, we will see a shift in our lives. Personally, I have spent way too many days of my own life trying to do things that I thought was best or at other times trying to do thing the ways I thought others would want me to do thus trying to please man instead pleasing God. I even went to nursing school in an attempt to fulfill the calling that God had placed on my life and ended up feeling miserable and unfulfilled. Now I have taken off the cloak of people pleasing and have begun to walk out the destiny that God has for my life. He has an awesome plan for your life, a plan for good and not evil, a plan for peace and joy! Jeremiah 29:11-13, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Verse 12 tells us that when we call on Him and pray, He will hear our prayers. When we seek Him out as our vital necessity, we will find Him. This cannot be done half-heartedly, but with all our hearts, totally surrendered to Him and His purpose for our lives. It is not too late to get back on track walking out your God given destiny!