A great biblical example of a leader for his generation is King David. Here we see a time in David’s leadership when he is established as a king but he goes to another level:
Then came all the tribes of Israel to David unto Hebron, and spake, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh. Also in time past, when Saul was king over us, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord said to thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be a captain over Israel. So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron; and king David made a league with them in Hebron before the Lord: and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David. And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house. So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was with him. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David an house. And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake. 2 SAMUEL 5:1-12 KJV
We need to remember that David was anointed by the prophet Samuel to be king many years before. Sometimes our destiny is given to us very clearly. In other words, we know the “end game” or teleios point of our calling and ministry.
David went through a lot of trials and hardships before he was crowned king. Also, his kingship was progressive in scale and scope. He was king of Judah for seven and a half years before he became king of all Israel. This is vital for us to understand. Sometimes in our own leadership role, God will give us a limited sphere before we enter into the fullness of our calling.
This can, of course, involve the process of promotion in an organisation. However, as in David’s case, it can mean that we experience an increasing sphere of authority within our destiny calling. David was called to be king and served Saul, the existing king. When David became king, he was king over some of the land, not all of it.
Note that the other tribes came to David. When you are divinely appointed to lead, you won’t have to make a case for your leadership role. People will seek you out to be their leader. These tribal leaders recognised and acknowledged two key aspects – one, that David was already acting as a leader under King Saul and heading up the military campaigns against Israel’s enemies and two, that it was widely known that David was destined to shepherd the Israel nation.
Let other leaders affirm your right to lead. More importantly, let God show these leaders that He has called you. That takes both trust and patience, two vital qualities of leadership. Asserting yourself and promoting yourself so others will recognise you and “platform” you is not the way. It is the Lord who does the promoting (see Psalm 75:6,7).
This is one of the toughest tests of leadership. Can you trust God to wait on Him to show others you are called and appointed to lead? Can you endure being looked over and passed over? Can you overcome the hostility and petty spite of leaders like Saul who are jealous of your gifting?
David was destined to be king and anointed to the office. But he had to go through years of opposition. You have to be able to live in the reality of your destiny in hiddenness until the manifestation comes. Once Samuel had anointed David to be king, he was as much king as he was when it was finally manifest.
Notice in this passage that there was an appointed place for David to rule from. That was the fortress city of Zion. Once David had conquered the Jebusites and captured Zion, he called it the City of David. As a leader, when you take a territory for God, you have the right to call it yours. When God gives you a territory, it is yours to take possession of and name. By calling Zion the City of David, David was saying two things. Firstly, the city belonged to him. This meant anybody who wanted the city would have to go through David. Also, those who lived in the city were under his protection. Secondly, the city had a new identity and a new beginning.
We see also that David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God Almighty was with him. When you are where God has called you to be, your power and influence grows. When you are in your designated sphere, you are fruitful.
The lesson here is that leadership is progressive. There are always “next levels” for us to go into. There is, of course, the stepping into your ultimate destiny which is always a goal to aim for. David was anointed to be king over all Israel but spent seven and a half years ruling over Judah. This was a “fulfilled but not yet” point. He was king but he wasn’t yet in his full destiny.
There are obstacles between you and your teleios destiny. Once you reach that destiny – your life calling – there will still be tests and challenges.
David’s leadership was a matter of divine destiny:
Long ago You spoke in a vision to Your godly one and said: “I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one chosen from the people.
I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him:
By whom My hand shall be established;
My arm also shall strengthen him.
The enemy shall not take tribute from him, nor the wicked humiliate him.
I will beat down his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.
My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, and in My name his horn shall be exalted.
I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
He shall cry unto Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation.’
Also I will make him my firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
In My mercy I will keep him forever, and My covenant shall stand firm with him.
His offspring also I will establish forever and his throne as the days of heaven. PSALM 89:19-29 MEV
It is vital to remember that you are always who God called you to be – even in the beginning stages and at any stage. David’s destiny was to be king over Israel. As you read Psalm 89 you will see that God always had David in mind; He chose him to be king.
Knowing who God has called you to be is vital to your leadership function. You cannot lead to your full effectiveness without this.