1 Samuel 16:1-11(KJV)
16 And the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.
2 And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he will kill me. And the Lord said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the Lord.
3 And call Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will shew thee what thou shalt do: and thou shalt anoint unto me him whom I name unto thee.
4 And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, Comest thou peaceably?
5 And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the Lord: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.
6 And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him.
7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this.
10 Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.
11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.
God knew David had the quality of integrity. Today, we live in a world that says, in many ways, “If you make a good impression, that’s really all that matters.” But you will never be a man or woman of God if that’s your philosophy. Never. You cannot fake it with the Almighty. He is not impressed with externals. He always focuses on the inward qualities, those things that take time and discipline to cultivate. God trained David for a leadership role with four disciplines.
First, God trained David in solitude. He needed to learn life’s major lessons all alone before he could be trusted with responsibilities and rewards before the public. Solitude has nurturing qualities all its own. Anyone who must have superficial sounds to survive lacks depth. If you can’t stand to be alone with yourself, you have deep, unresolved issues in your inner life. Solitude has a way of bringing those issues to the surface.
Second, David grew up in obscurity. That’s another way God trains His best personnel—in obscurity. Men and women of God, servant-leaders in the making, are first unknown, unseen, unappreciated, and unapplauded. In the quiet context of obscurity, character is built. Strange as it may seem, those who first accept the silence of obscurity are best qualified to handle the applause of popularity.
Which leads us to the third training ground, monotony. That’s being faithful in the menial, insignificant, routine, unexciting, uneventful, daily tasks of life. Life without a break . . . without the wine and roses. Just dull, plain L-I-F-E. Just constant, unchanging, endless hours of tired monotony as you learn to be a man or woman of God . . . with nobody else around, when nobody else notices, when nobody else even cares. That’s how we learn to “king it.”
That brings us to the fourth discipline: reality. Up until now you might have the feeling that despite the solitude, obscurity, and monotony, David was just sitting out on some hilltop in a mystic haze, composing a great piece of music, or relaxing in the pastures of Judea and having a great time training those sheep to sit on their hind legs. That’s not true.
God focuses on our inner qualities that take time to cultivate. Let’s do too.
— Charles R. Swindoll