When thinking about David in the Bible, most of us think of him as King David. Yet before he was known as king he was known as a man after God’s heart.Woods 4

It was his heart after God that caused him to be chosen to be anointed as king. This one thing set him apart from all his other brothers, he was a worshipper of God.

As most of you know, before David was king, Saul was king. Today, I want to talk to you about the differences between David and Saul.

When Saul was anointed as king, shortly after his anointing, he was crowned and began to function as king. Not so with David. Although David was anointed as the next king, he did not assume the throne until 10-13 years later.

What was the difference? The difference was that David went through years of his heart and character being tested before he would sit on his throne. This time of testing groomed him to handle the glory and responsibility that would be his. The tests that he endured are often the same tests we endure before walking in our destiny. Let’s look at some of that season of David’s life.

First of all, it looked like David had immediate success when he took down Goliath, he was moved to the palace and married the king’s daughter, things were looking like God had placed him in his destiny…but then Saul heard what others were saying about David. They sang ‘Saul has killed his thousands and David his ten thousands.’ That was all it took for Saul to turn against David, the very one who promoted him turned on him and began a hot pursuit to kill David.

After dodging Saul, David realized he would have to leave his land to survive, not realizing at the time that this man would chase him for over a decade. At this time David’s test was ‘did he have the ability to believe and walk in the word of God over his life when the circumstances seems to be the complete opposite of his destiny.’

David was rejected over and over by his people, yet he gained some followers along the way. These men were everyone in distress, everyone in debt and everyone who was discontented. In other words, the rejects of society at that time, were the only ones who would follow David.

Again, he portrayed the heart of a king by embracing those who society rejected and these men became known as ‘his mighty men.’ At least four of these men ended up killing giants just as David did.

Finally David settled in Ziklag, however, the battle wasn’t over. When it appeared things couldn’t get any worse, he and his men returned home to find that his city was burned, and the women and children were taken by his enemy. At this time, even his ‘mighty men’ were ready to stone him. What David did at this moment changed his life and he went from being tested to being crowned king…to his destiny. What did he do?

When it couldn’t get any worse, when even his own people rejected him, when he was greatly distressed, how did he respond? Did he run for his life? Did he cry out ‘God, why have you left me?’ No, the Bible says in 1 Samuel 30 that he strengthened himself in the Lord.

1 Samuel 30:6 says; ‘Now David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord.’

At the worst time of his life he turned to God and found the strength to be the man God had called him to be. He told his men ‘let’s go get our family and our stuff.’ They recovered all, just as God had said to David.

This breakthrough was definitely a breakthrough for him and his men but more than that it was a personal breaking through for David. He stood in faith instead of falling under the pressure. This final testing of his faith led him to victory and to the throne, his darkest moment, when handled correctly, became his greatest triumph and catapulted him into his destiny.

One king, Saul, quickly crowned but not tested…soon fell. Another king, anointed immediately but tested for years before he was crowned…cultivated the character and strength needed to REIGN as king. To this day, when we think of David, we think…King David…a man after God’s heart.

We can have a quick fix, but it will be like a shooting star, it will burn brightly for a few minutes and then crash to the earth. Or we can become like David, a man or woman after the heart of God, who willingly walks through times of testing and trial, whose faith is tested and found as gold, pure and without blemish. We can endure and strengthen ourselves in the Lord during the worst pressure or we can fall under the weight of it. This is the key to ultimate victory, when you feel it can get no worse, don’t quit, don’t get mad at God, do as David did and strengthen yourself in the Lord. Encourage yourself in the Lord, in that alone, you will taste victory.