Learning from Shepherding

But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, 35 I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. 36 Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” ESV 1 Samuel 17:34-36

My job is requiring me to learn new skills and transition into new areas in which I’m not fully comfortable. I prefer to remain a control freak who micro-manages everything. 🙂 Needless to say, that makes me a great small-church pastor. However, Jesus didn’t call us to stay in control of everything, He called us to make disciples which by definition calls me to learn new leadership techniques as I look to equip and release others into ministry. How do I make this transition?

As I meditated on this, I realized David’s life gives some great work advice. He used the lessons he learned as a humble shepherd to guide his leadership as God called him to be king over the nation of Israel. When a lion attacked his sheep, David grabbed it by the beard and struck him and killed him. Little did he know that he would one day lift Goliath’s head up by his beard. David served as a faithful shepherd, but he didn’t remain there. God had other plans and developed David for leadership during his shepherding years.

What is the state of your career? What lessons has God been teaching you that He may be calling you to apply in larger or more meaningful ways? Transition and change challenge us. Sometimes we shrink back from the call. However, be encouraged that God has great plans for all of us. He will take the lessons he taught us in our simpler jobs to equip us to do greater things for him in the future. Look for God to expand your calling in powerful ways as He draws on the lessons He previously taught you. Don’t settle to remain a shepherd your entire life. It may be easy, and you may have mastered it, but God is calling you to more. Embrace it!

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