Everyone knows the heroic story of David defeating Goliath. It is a timeless victory often referred to in messages and books. There is something pretty inspiring about the courage of David to standup to an unstoppable giant. It makes us feel that we can conquer our own giants as well. Yet often times when we think of modern examples of some of our heroes, we struggle to envision ourselves achieving the same level of victory in our own lives. It seems that we are not as skilled, anointed, or able as they were to fulfill the calling upon their lives. I would propose to you that we sometimes fail to recognize that all our heroes also had a starting place—including David. You see, David received his prophetic word from Samuel and then went immediately back to shepherding. His training began in the fields, defending his flock. In 1 Samuel 17, David says, “Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (v.36-37, NIV). He did not necessarily recognize that he was being trained to lead and rule over Israel. He began with what he knew, and the Lord increased it from there.
I believe the Lord honors the beginning of our journey and it is so valuable for us to recognize the joy of our starting place. I think valuing our process is an expression of kingdom stewardship. We bring what we have to the Lord, and then He multiples it. It is not meant to be a pressure placed upon us, but a gift of walking out a process with the Lord. As I mentioned in my last post, transitions into our destiny do not often happen in one giant step. They have a starting place and grow into one big change.
As a pastor, I had the privilege of walking through the process with many different people. Throughout the years, I noticed that whoever stayed true to the process was successful. In my church, we had several people receive their calling from the Lord out of a power encounter. Because of my relationship with them, I was able to help them discern if they were stepping out in faith or foolishness. One area that people did not always recognize as a stumbling block was when they immediately wanted to be on the stage. I like to say they wanted to go ‘from the pew to the platform’. Sadly, several that received genuine strong callings from the Lord struggled greatly in walking it out when this was their motivation. We need to remember the timing of the Lord as He is the one that brings the touch and the promotion.
Some of you may have heard me talk about the journey with my spiritual kids, Mike and Deena Van’t Hul and their move to China. They had a radical encounter with the Lord and—in one night—went from being lukewarm Christians to radical lovers of Jesus. They had a passion for the lost, and to see people encounter the kingdom of God. They were (and still are) sold out. Yet I think it is safe to say that them moving to China was not originally on their radar or mine. In fact, I would say that if the Lord had spoken to them about staying planted in Englewood (Florida), they would have. They simply wanted to minister to people, and were happy to do it wherever the Lord led them.
Their journey to China was not an overnight process. They started where they were. They began to downsize with their cars, house, and other items. They ministered to the homeless on the streets bringing sandwiches. It was not until about 3 years after the original encounter that they confidently knew God was calling them to China. During those years, I was able to establish deeper relationship with them and send them out with my blessing. About fourteen years after their move, they now have a beautiful and powerful ministry in China called Loaves and Fishes ministering to the orphans and widows; and I could not be more proud of them…
I want to encourage you today that it is possible to see the destiny of God fulfilled in your life; in fact, God is joyfully preparing a way for you to do so. My hope in your reading of this post is that you recognize the gift of the journey. We all have starting places. I had no idea the Lord would give me the opportunity I have now to travel around the world and minister with Randy Clark through an amazing ministry like Global Awakening. I walked through the process, and the Lord has answered above and beyond my heart’s desires. He can and will do that for you as well.
“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19 NIV).
Lord, I pray for each person reading that they would experience your reassuring guidance today. I pray that they would not despise small beginnings, but see how you are leading and guiding them into things beyond their imagination. I bless the desires of their heart, and I pray that you would bless them as they begin where they are. Amen.