We could, perhaps, begin with David’s enemies – the human kind – by mentioning his father. When Samuel, the prophet, shows up to anoint a king among Jesse’s sons, David is conspicuously absent from the lineup. Now, this omission might be explained as simply as David’s location was too distant for a timely response to the urgency of the moment: Jesse didn’t want to make Samuel wait, so he neglected to mention David and proceeded with the lineup of sons without him. In any case, Jesse certainly didn’t see David as kingly material, didn’t have any thought that the anointing oil was going to be released on David’s head. Jesse’s measure of David was inadequate. He lacked a prophetic picture of his son’s destiny.
Unfortunately, few fathers would find this condition unusual because they do not assume that such a prophetic picture is available, or attempt to acquire such a prophetic picture. Most fathers miss the directives of the Proverb: “Train up a child in his way he should go.” They read that verse as “I will rear this son in the way I want him to go.” In doing so, they miss the deepest understanding that all children belong to God who entrusts them to parents; children do not belong to parents, society, government, or themselves. God who created them has a specific, strategic, eternal purpose for their lives. [David shares this understanding with us in Psalm 139.]
So the first big hurdle we must deal with, properly and honorably, is the limitation of earthly caregivers and leaders who have inadequate insight into our destiny. Yet, these “earthly fathers” serve to prepare us for that destiny because God designed the roles as parents or guardians: even inadequate parents provide a powerful foundation for personal leadership! Jesse’s vision was limited, blinded, and appears to be rather biased, yet David is prepared for destiny by submitting himself to his father, serving his father, and being responsible to his father.
In the same way that God doesn’t prepare us for giants by having us face giants, doesn’t prepare us to wield a sword by giving us a sword, God doesn’t prepare us for leadership by giving us perfect leaders.
Rebellion against the leaders properly assigned to your life will never prepare your for purpose no matter how inadequate you think they may be! If you are assigned the leader, God is using the leader to prepare you! He may be using the leader as much in spite of the leader as through the leader, but He is still using the leader to prepare and position you. Rebellion against the assigned leaders of your life, inadequate or limited honor, or “taking charge” of your own leadership strategy can be devastatingly destructive to your preparation for giants.
Examples of this principle are amazingly obvious in Scripture. Moses raised by Pharaoh, Joseph positioned and imprisoned by Potiphar, Samuel placed with Eli, etc. Terribly inadequate leaders can provide foundation for greatness simply because of the designed role they fulfill in our designed submission. The failure of leaders does not afford us the luxury of ignoring, destroying, or substituting for God’s designs in leadership! Undermining God’s designs for home, Ecclesia and kingdom, and culture never contributes to the foundations of those institutions, and always costs us more than the adjustments and reconfigurations buy us.
Your inadequacy isn’t the fault of your fathers or leaders no matter how bad or abusive they may have been.
The worst stories of inadequacy have produced extremes of success and failure: people given the best opportunities to succeed often turn out to be losers while people given the least opportunity to succeed often turn out to be winners. Fact. Function where you are! Submit completely to God’s design according to His guidelines. [His guidelines do not include signing up to be abused, of course, but the exceptions do not produce a new rule that “all leaders are unnecessary” or “I don’t have to answer to anyone but Jesus” either.]
Bottom line: you will absolutely, for certain, mark-it-down-and-take-it-to-the-bank, without fail need to submit to inadequate leadership during your preparation for giants!
Denial isn’t therapeutic or restorative. Time heals nothing. Forgiveness, repentance, restoration, and grace turn the worst into the best. So, stop living as a victim or survivor of your story of inadequate leadership. Start immediately to learn a level of trust that will allow you to obey and submit to leaders in your life. Seek out a way to be more accountable for your assignments, not less. And, release sincere honor toward the people God has placed in your assigned arena of function.