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From Obscurity to Prominence

Kiera Cass wrote, "Cinderella never asked for a prince. She asked for a night off and a dress."

This quote emphasizes the simple desires and dreams that most of us have, despite our disadvantaged circumstances. It highlights the idea that even in the face of adversity, we all long for moments of joy and a sense of purpose.

“Then the course of his life changed.”

In the rolling hills of Bethlehem, there lived a young shepherd named David. Born into a family where he was the youngest and considered least significant. David spent his days tending to his father's sheep, often overlooked by his brothers, who were esteemed for their strength and stature.

Then the course of his life changed.

“David, I want you to go check on your brothers. Take them supplies and bring me a report of conditions on the front lines.”

His father’s words created a burst of enthusiasm. He had been stuck home tending sheep while his brothers were deployed to the front lines. He knew they considered him a loser. They’d barely acknowledged his previous supply runs. Still, he preferred being a footman over a shepherd.

Early the following day, he loaded a wagon with provisions his father had prepared and eagerly set out on the twenty-five-mile trek toward the Valley of Elah. Eight hours later, he arrived at the circle of the camp. The sound of the ram’s horns pierced the air. His arrival coincided with an evening march to the battle line—the ritual for the past 40 mornings and evenings.

The Philistine army had set up camp opposite Israel’s. The taunting curses of a Philistine’s echoed across the valley. Goliath, standing eight feet five inches tall, dressed from head to toe in armor made of bronze, viciously swinging a 12-foot-long spear.

Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us... I defy the ranks of Israel.” (1 Samuel 17:8b–10 NASB).

“ When we align with God’s plans, we should anticipate substantial push-back from our adversary—the Devil.”

David barely believed what he was observing. A feeling overwhelmed him—the same stirring he’d experienced a few weeks earlier as Samuel anointed him to be Israel’s future king (1 Samuel 16:13b). Instantly, he pivoted from an errand boy to a champion — his hour had arrived.

David said to the men who were standing by him... “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he has dared to defy the armies of the living God?” ... Now Eliab his oldest brother heard him when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger burned against David and he said... When the words that David spoke were heard, they informed Saul, and he sent for him. And David said to Saul..."Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God."... So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you.” (1 Samuel 17:26–37 NASB).

When we align with God’s plans, we should anticipate substantial push-back from our adversary — the Devil. Opposition will unexpectedly surface in various areas of our lives. Some resistance will spring from our insecurities, while other challenges will stem from the disorder in others. For David, this opposition notably showed up in his eldest brother.

Eliab heard him talking to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David. He said, “Why have you come down? With whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down just to see the battle.” David said, ‘What have I done now? It was only a question. Then he turned away from him to another (1 Samuel 17:28–30a NASB).

We expect to be cheered on by the elder brother and sister characters in our lives. But David discovered Eliab didn’t want to be upstaged by the family errand boy. A root of bitterness was in Eliab’s soul. He likely felt he should have been anointed to be Israel’s next King — not the runt in the family.

David wasn’t the first of God’s servants to face opposition. When the agenda of heaven comes to earth, Satan will be present. Observe David’s response to Eliab: “What have I done now?” Sadly, David wasn’t shocked by Eliab’s condescending reaction. He had been there before, but his brother’s immature attitude wouldn’t hold him back this time.

“He turned away from him towards another.” Like David, we must turn to those who will encourage us when faced with discouraging voices. Thank God the more significant number who sit in church pews, fill board rooms, and hold denominational leadership positions are encouragers and enablers.

By ignoring the intimidation, fleshly desires, and competing agendas set against him, David made room for the Kingdom of God to be manifested on earth. The Spirit in David recognized Eliab was reacting out of an immature nature.

A fearful mindset will cloud our understanding of God’s plan, His coming Kingdom, and His purpose for us. Paul challenges the Philippians to focus on what’s edifying.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me —practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8–9 ESV)

David was grounded. His focus, both internally and externally, was on more profound matters. Grounding is an act of faith. It requires an optimal level of trust in God’s character. In a stunning display of courage and skill, David hurled a single stone from his slingshot, striking Goliath square in the forehead and felling the mighty giant. The impossible had become possible, and David emerged victorious, a true underdog who had defied the odds and changed the course of history.

From that day forward, David's name would be etched in the annals of legend, a testament to the power of faith, courage, and the unwavering belief that even the lowliest shepherd boy could rise to become a mighty king.

Dare to trust God. Any day now your life course will change. Just keep pursuing God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

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