THE GRACE OF THE SECRET PLACE

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

God does his most significant works in the secret places hidden from human eyes and unspoiled by human effort. Don’t be discouraged if no one sees your work, sacrifice, or even your positive qualities, keep doing what’s right. He’s building something great within you. 

Birth Order

Some things are unpredictable, and others are very much so. Have you ever studied birth order? I pride myself on being unique and don’t like to think of myself as predictable, but the truths from the birth order principal are disconcertingly accurate. In ancient cultures, the hopes, expectations, blessings, and responsibilities were on the firstborn son. There are exceptions, but in modern times, parents lavish their firstborn with more attention (too much) than any of the consecutively born. Even today, the firstborn child in a dynasty still inherits the thrones and kingdoms. If you, like David, are the youngest son out of 8 sons, you are pretty much on your own.

If you haven’t studied it, The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman is a great read.

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.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Forgotten, Underrated, Unseen

People sometimes get in the habit of ignoring certain people in their lives. The family was in the habit of forgetting David. It was so bad that Jesse didn’t even think about bringing young David in front of the prophet who would anoint the next king. In the time when kings were great warriors, David didn’t seem to be a match. He was creative, caring, tenderhearted, played musical instruments, and wrote poetry. Not exactly the marks of a great warrior of the ancient world. After the drawn-out countdown and consideration of all seven sons, Samuel had to ask if there were any more sons specifically. Jesse was like, “Eh, well, there’s still the youngest, but he’s in the field, tending the sheep, he’s, you know… the youngest.” The family was so resistant to the possibility of David amounting to anything anointing-worthy, that Samuel had to make a small threat. The prophet made everyone stand there and stare at each other until someone brought David to him.

11 So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?” “There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.” Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”

1 Samuel 16:11

The Blessing of Secret Places

The prophet Samuel anointed David as the future King in front of the very ones who underrated him, but they had their minds made up about him. David wasn’t fast-tracked to kingship training by his family. It appears from the ridicule by his brothers during the Goliath story that they bullied and poked fun at him regularly. However, it was a blessing in disguise that God kept his future a secret ad one really believed he’d be King. Imagine if they thought he would, his brothers might have even pulled “Jealous brothers of Joseph move” and try to get rid of him. Maybe his dad would have pushed him into army training prematurely. He would’ve grown up on the military front, and if the secret slipped from a jealous brother or a braggy dad, King Saul would have had David’s head. God knows what he needs to do to protect his precious preparations from people. David needed that communion with God for all those years in the wilderness. He needed to rely on God’s wisdom for direction and protection. It’s in the secret time is where God crafts and form you in His will for your future purpose. Thank God it’s hidden from judgemental eyes, expectations, human plans, and the dangers of others prematurely knowing and trying to control your future.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

On The Job Training

David’s training was pure, unspoiled by human thought or effort. God didn’t want to replace King Saul with a Mini-Me Saul. In that wilderness, God ensured that men didn’t put their ideas of kingship on His chosen king. He wanted that tender heart after God with the courage to scrap it out and take care of business. David spent ten years in God’s individual on the job training program. The first lesson was a hard one; it was to place no value on what people think about him. He continued to tend sheep, spent time writing, singing and playing songs, and occasionally fighting with Saul’s army. In that wilderness, protecting and caring for his father’s sheep was his main focus. He learned to use that brain to help him creatively fight enemies that were too big and strong for him. These lessons would translate to shepherding God’s flock Israel as their king. When David was ready for kingship, he ran to fight Goliath. He didn’t run to Saul’s battle, but God’s, fighting the Philistine who dared defy and insult God’s army.

14 But now your kingdom shall not continue. The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince[a] over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”

1 Samuel 13:14

25 The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Proverbs 29:25

Just Maybe…

Maybe you feel left out and even unimportant, your tasks my feel mundane and insignificant. Maybe, just maybe, it’s a sign that you are actually in God’s personal on the job training program. The training with God may not look like your future, but it’s preparing you in ways that will secretly translate to your future calling. You can’t fully embrace your purpose if you place a higher value on man’s esteem over God’s. The lesson for that is painful. Don’t get discouraged because no one sees, or validates you look up and see that God sees you, loves you, and is giving you the grace of the secret place. Here you can make mistakes without the pressure of many eyes and tons of criticism. True leaders don’t rely on external validation. God looks at the heart, and your training is in skill but also the heart. If you don’t look like, feel like, act like the group of people you want to be a part of, maybe God’s training you for something different. Or he might be training you with the courage to be a different person within that group, to challenge their norms. We don’t know, but He does, and He keeps his precious people protected within the secret place.

Love and Blessings,

Sandy

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