In this EMPOWERED series, we primarily focus on the life of David as an example of a person seeking after God’s heart and the process of fulfilling destiny. David was anointed as king of Israel by a prophet years before he was appointed to the throne. Many other Biblical examples come to mind of people who also went through process before coming into their full calling.
First, let’s look at someone who did not go through a long process. Saul was anointed king by the prophet Samuel and within weeks was crowned. “Then [the prophet] Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him and said, “Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over his people Israel? And you shall reign over the people of the Lord and you will save them from the hand of their surrounding enemies” (I Samuel 10:1.) “And [the prophet] Samuel said to all the people, ‘Do you see him whom the Lord has chosen? There is none like him among all the people.’ And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!” (1 Samuel 10:24.) Saul was immediately thrown into the spotlight as king, however he sinned and lost his life and his lineage’s ability to rule the nation.
Being anointed isn’t the same as being appointed. Having a calling does not guarantee a position. David waited years and went through many trials and character growing experiences between the time of the prophet anointing him as king, and the people appointing him as king. “But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7.) David was a youth when he was anointed, and he was not appointed king for 13-17 years (II Samuel 5:4). The time between you knowing your destiny in God, and when you fulfill it maybe days, or may be decades. But either way, you can step toward your calling each and every day like David did.
We need to remember, we have a calling but so does everyone around us. We are calling this the EMPOWERED series because we know that it takes community in most cases for a person to come into their calling or God destiny. There is no rocket without a launchpad and no ship without a home port. How can one preach, if they aren’t sent by others. It takes peers to cheer you on and be on the same team, and it takes spiritual mentors (or fathers and mothers) to believe in you. So how do we as peers join with others in their calling and how do we as spiritual parents treat people that are in-between anointing and appointing?
An EMPOWERING community recognizes each path to maturity in Christ is unique and each calling or destiny is different. The community pours into each person and does not fix or use each other. Christ centered communities should help us become who God intended us to be and grow in healthy loving relationships. It surrounds us as we undertake our callings and appointments. Do you Belong to an Empowering community in Christ?
I personally have been going through the process towards a larger dream and calling God placed in my heart long ago. As a teenager, I rarely had dreams but the few I had were about leading people. Over the years, I have done many church ministries, primarily serving in the background as a small group leader and shepherd for over fifteen years. It was a type of leadership, but not quite what was in my heart. In 2014, I got a definite anointing of God on a missions trip, other people on the trip also affirmed this calling without even knowing me. So I came home and started taking the next steps of setting up a ministry, getting those around me who believed in the vision together and doing a lot of paperwork, too. Even at this point, it took several more years of prayer meetings and small group leading to see this vision begin to grow. In the process, I learned to love people more, I learned more about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and I have been in a serious process of learning to hear God for each and every step, even when the big picture destiny is fuzzy.
During our pursuit of God’s calling for our life, sometimes the only way to move forward in your calling is to move away from it, or apparently let it go for a time. David was assigned to be the harpist in the king’s palace shortly after being anointed. But after that he kept moving further and further away from the palace! Until he found himself hiding in caves and living in a community of outcasts (read 1 Samuel, chapter 16 to the end of the book). I am pretty sure David did not feel closer to the throne as he was hiding in caves and being hunted by King Saul.
The only way David could do this is because he was confident the Lord was ordering his steps.
You might say, ‘I am anointed but not appointed, what now?’ The first thing is to recognize you have a current assignment. It may not even feel like that current assignment is on the path to your destiny, but if the Lord is directing you, then by sight, or by faith, we know that the current assignment is leading you towards your destiny. Do you know your current assignment? Then in that assignment there will probably be some obstacles. Removing those obstacles is part of the process.
In future notes, we will be exploring the assignments and obstacles more closely.
Finally, you may not know if you are anointed for anything yet or if you will ever be appointed. During this period, it is good to come alongside someone who knows their calling. Also, surround yourself with a community of empowering people who are pursuing God. His revelation will come as you pursue Him, and walk with those who have already know their calling, and are working through their current assignments and obstacles.
Romans 11:29 reminds us, that “the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”, which is why we should desire to move forward towards all God has destined us for. Let’s move forward together, and become the anointed and appointed messengers of Christ’s Gospel, faithful to the callings God has given us.