33 Saul replied, "You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth." 1 Samuel 17:33
I don't ever want to look down on someone for their youth.
12Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12
Because of this I spend my life investing in those who are MUCH younger than me, reminding them that they are a "container for the Almighty God" and He has incredible plans for them.
I am just an ordinary individual empowered by God to do His work and since God did this in me, he can do it in anybody, no matter your age. I am also a "glass half full" person, so I tend to see the good in most people and situations, so I take risk. I say that to preface what I feel that God wanted to show me this morning.
34 But David said to Saul, "Your servant has been keeping his father's sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 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. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine."
1 Samuel 17:34-37
Goliath was calling for a private battle, mano-a-mano. When it came to private battles David had been there, done that, "got the T-shirt". I realized I've sent a lot of people "into battle" who weren't prepared, who had no experience. I did it thinking "God is a Big God", He'll see you through, but I forgot to realize that we all must do our part. Look back at Paul's words to young Timothy;
"…but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity."
I've looked at this verse to mean I shouldn't look down, but what Paul is saying if you want others not to look down on you, if you want a chance to lead, then you have to do your part. Leadership is stewardship and it starts with leading yourself first. Be an example. As a leader you cannot take someone where you haven't been.
That should drive all of us to pursue
new situations, to learn from them. To view our struggles, our "private battles", as a chance to persevere, to be battle tested.
Don't run from them, but stay in it to find the lesson that God wants to teach you.
Today is preparation for your next.
I was reminded that anyone who seeks to lead God's people in any way must have an authentic personal history with God.
To continue to lead, we must be an example in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
"Go, and the LORD be with you."