1 Sam 13:14
“But now your kingdom shall not endure. The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.”
What a tragic moment in the history of Israel! Though Saul continued to rule as King for many more years, at this moment, he lost the support of God and thereby His delegated authority. Without authority, there is no power to lead. These same leadership failings exhibited by Saul are evident in many of our leaders today. Yet, God “appointed” another man and through the prophet Samuel, listed one of His key qualifications for leadership – “…a man after His own heart…”.
We are experiencing a vacuum of effective, dynamic, innovative leadership in government and commerce in our day. Yet, this is one of the signs of these Last Days we live in. When you focus on this vacuum, it will sap your hope for the future. We are about to see a new generation of leaders come to the fore in the days ahead, and it is incumbent upon us to recognize them, as they are God’s gift to our generation. In order to recognize them, we must understand how God’s leadership process works, and the life of David is one of the many examples we have been given in Scripture.
It is clear in this verse that God has certain qualifications for men and women who will represent His interests to our generation as leaders. Samuel said in this text that God had searched for “…a man after His own heart”. He sought after a man like this to place His anointing and authority on and then He “…appointed him…”. It is important to recognize God’s protocol for leadership of this nature. God first evaluates character; second, He appoints; then third, He anoints.
David met God’s qualification because he was a seeker of God. He was a worshipper who would write songs of praise that later became the Psalms. He was not “bored” with the solitary nature of the shepherd’s occupation, but used this time to position himself for divine visitations. His relationship with the God of Israel produced a fearless character that enabled him to kill a lion and a bear as a teenager. Though David was viewed as insignificant, the least in his father Jessie’s house, he did not strive for attention and position. It is likely that when God delivered this chilling message to King Saul, David had no knowledge that he had been evaluated and appointed.
The implications for you and I as leaders are obvious. Private times of worship and praise, prayer and study are not optional. It was out of these intimate times of solitude and relative insignificance as the youngest that David began to develop the nature of a man of honor, courage and wisdom that would eventually make him the one of the greatest kings in history. We will gain God’s wisdom and insight to navigate the perilous days ahead as we spend time alone with Him. He will give you what is needed, not only for your family, but for those you lead.
David’s family did not consider him a young man with the nature of a king, or he would not have been overlooked when Samuel called for Jessie’s sons to meet with him in their house. Many times, those closest to you will not understand your calling, your destiny or God’s protocol for leadership development. When you are experiencing that protocol for development, it is important for you to realize that you do not have to prove anything, nor do you have to defend yourself to anyone. If God has given you an assignment, He has the responsibility to put you in a position to fulfill it, as long as you do your part. Like David, you do not have to convince anyone of the validity of your assignment. Put yourself in the position for God to use you, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem – serve God and give all you have to Him.
The appointment is often visible to others before it is to us; but the appointment comes after God’s evaluation process. Samuel said “…the Lord has appointed him as ruler…” David had to first go through the evaluation process to receive the appointment of God. David was first appointed in Heaven, before there was evidence on earth. He was appointed because he had first been evaluated to be “a man after God’s own heart.” This seems to be God’s protocol and it is important for us to understand this process.
When God appoints, He instructs others to validate His appointment. Samuel was instructed to go to Jessie’s house and God would show Samuel who He had appointed. Samuel did not know who this man was, because even Godly old Samuel was deceived by appearances of those sons who “looked” like a king. God reminded this man of God once again, that He promotes leaders based on their heart for Him and not appearance. With the appointment comes the authority to influence events and decisions on God’s behalf. When you exercise God given authority selfishly, or represent your own interests over God’s, you jeopardize your destiny.
Samuel anointed the new King of Israel in Jessie’s house at the direction of the Lord. This anointing is also an important element of Kingdom leadership. The anointing follows the appointment. The anointing is usually a public recognition of God’s prior approval and authority. You cannot reverse this protocol.
All over the world, I see this call to leadership in commerce and government. Do not be confused by what may appear to you as isolation, insignificance, and being overlooked. God’s protocol is always the same. David was evaluated, appointed, anointed; then he was misunderstood, falsely accused, hid in caves, and was the focus of a manhunt for 10 years, before he sat on the throne that was given to him in Jessie’s house, in front of Samuel years earlier.
You may be one who is experiencing this protocol. Depending on what stage you are in, the journey can either be full of disappointment, or exhilarating fulfillment. Tribulation or failure does not disqualify you from your destiny as long as you continue seeking God.
David did not have a great job resume when He was appointed. God evaluates resumes differently than we do. Make sure your resume is filled with worship, praise, prayer, faithfulness, and study, then your promotion will await you! God is searching for men and women in our day “… after His own heart.” Are you willing to pay the price to receive your crown?