Humility + Helping Haters = Promotion

What do you do when you find yourself in a situation doing right and being hated for it?That's the question I have found myself asking lately, including today, so when it came time for my devotions, I thought about who in the Bible I could glean from that answers this question. The Holy Spirit brought me to David and Saul; 1 Samuel 16 and 18.

1. Have you ever considered that God is arranging your promotion without you even knowing it? (Backdoor Arrangements)

Sometimes, we find ourselves grindin, trying to make it to the next step on the ladder of success, and we get discouraged that we aren't seeing the progress we'd like. We see others, maybe with less talent and/or ability, progressing, and we can't figure out why we aren't. Have you ever stopped to realize that God knows what He's doing? He doesn't need a 12 step sequence to success to promote and/or bless you.

While David was minding his business tending to sheep, fighting off lions and bears, he was gaining experiences that he would need on his path to being king. Simulataneously, King Saul, who held the position that David would later take over, was making negligent mistakes that caused God to reject him as king over the people. While David was being a plain ol' shepherd boy, God was firing Saul to make way for David.

Sometimes we can be so consumed with asking, "God, when is it my turn?"  that we forget that God sees us where we are in our current state. You may not see how God's making a way, but you have to trust that God is in control. Do your part and watch how God clears a path to elevate you to where He wants you to be. Just understand that, for now, your current place is necessary before your promotion.

2. What if your promotion is contingent on how you're acting in your current situation? Can you truly say that you're deserving of God's anointing based on how you're doing with what He's already given you? (Unaware Anointing)

Verse 1 of 1 Samuel 16 begins with God telling Samuel that he's already replaced Saul and found a new king. JUST LIKE THAT! Do you truly understand that God can change situations and make ways out of no-ways with such an immediacy? You gotta stop crying because you think whatever you're longing for won't come. God can give you everything you're asking for in a split second, but it's all about your attitude while you wait. You want to know why David was "unaware" of his anointing? Because he wasn't waiting on a title for him to do right. Check your contentment. David was content in honoring the Lord where he was. God chose him to be king, but David didn't even know it. There's no mention of David saying, "OK God, I want to be king. Can you hurry up? I already have plans for what I'm going to do." Yet that's what so many of us do as we wait for God to bless us with "next level promises." You know, Saul was impatient when it came to hearing from God, and look what happened? He missed out on the promise on his life. Could it be that God has anointed you for an elevated position in life already, but He's waiting to see how you're going to act right now while you don't have the promotion, in order to see how He's going to move? Will you be Saul or David? 

3. How faithful are you with what God has already given you? What are people saying about you right now? Are you showing God that you're truly worthy of next-level blessings? (Resilient Routines)

Since Saul chose not to follow God's commandments, God removed his covering from Saul (Be careful of ignoring what God's telling you... or be prepared to struggle). Saul's disregard for God caused him to be tormented by an evil spirit and he didn't know what to do. The people around him suggested having a skillful musician play the harp to soothe him. Who did they call? David. One of Saul's servants remembered that they had seen him play and that his life reflected someone who lived for God. Imagine that. The Bible says they saw him; David didn't have to advertise that he was a child of God, people around him knew it because of how they saw him act. So David was selected to comfort Saul, the man who was currently in the position that God anointed him for, based on his consistent routines. What are you doing consistently that will cause people to remember your gifts and testimony in times of trouble? If we're honest, in today's world promotion has a lot to do with who you know, but consider that when you know GOD, He will cause the "right" people to see you that will then push you towards your promotion. David didn't just go from shepherd to King. There were consistent routines and a reputation that he developed before his promotion that ultimately helped get him to the throne.

Right now, wherever you are, how are you establishing routines that make you reputable? Right now, what are you doing that truly shows God's hand on your life and that you're worthy of being exalted to where He's calling you? Don't wait until your promotion to start acting like a leader. Lead wherever you are, right now. God wants to see you be faithful with little before He makes you ruler over much. Want an enlarged territory? Show that you're responsible and worthy of what you want God to bless you with by tending to what He has already given you. If you can't handle being a leader amongst your household, don't ask God to make you leader in a large corporation. If you can't handle praying and spending time with God right now as a single, don't expect God to bless you with a family that will tug on your time even more. Be faithful NOW.

4. If you know that God has graced you for a promotion, can you serve others, that may not be as thrilled about your anointing, in the meantime? (Steadfast Submission and Uncanny Embracement)

Understand that God had selected David. Samuel was sent, by God, to announce that God had chosen David. Let's be honest- you and I would probably get real prideful. I know I would. You wouldn't be able to tell me NOTHING because I would say, "Hush your mouth. I'm anointed. I've got the oil to prove it!" Not David. He was chosen to be king and still was submissive to Saul. David realized that God promised he would be king, and just because it didn't happen immediately didn't mean it wasn't going to happen, so when Saul called for David to soothe him with the harp, David went. Not only did he go, he honored Saul by bringing fine gifts to him and performing. If you know what God has promised you, operate gracefully in the meantime. God WILL fulfill His promises.

This is tough. It literally convicts me every time I read it. God promised the throne to David, yet David had to serve the man who was the only thing standing between him and his promotion. Saul was a roadblock for David, yet David chose to serve him. HMM. That's some serious humility that few of us probably have, but you know what, Saul was grateful for David and embraced him.

What happens next? Saul promotes him to be an armorbearer which was a respected servant-leadership position; someone in his inner circle. So because of David's consistent testimony, he was chosen as a harp player for the king, which allowed him to bond with Saul to become Saul's armorbearer. Do you see the process? God can promote you with ease, but there's a process. If you submit to God and do right, no matter who you're serving, God will honor every move and carry you to the next level. You are serving GOD, not your enemies, stop being selective in who you're serving. Do everything "as unto the Lord." Are there limits to who you'll serve? If we're honest, many of us may have lost our anointing if we were David. We would draw the line at serving Saul. Flip over to 1 Samuel 18. The Bible says that Saul became so increasingly angry and jealous of David that eventually, David would come to play the harp and several times Saul even tried to kill him.

The Bible says that David's talents refreshed Saul. Saul's actions towards David may have been confusing, but it was because he was warring internally with his pride. Saul was appreciative of David's comfort yet jealous of his anointing which influenced his actions. Have you ever thought that the way your enemies are acting towards you, though harsh, is a result of an internal battle that you have no control over. Stop losing sleep over it. Regardless of how they treat you, God has a promise on your life that NOTHING they do can stop. Help your haters, serve in humility, and watch God elevate you like never before.

Are you using your talents solely for gain? How can you humble yourself and go out of your way to "refresh" your enemies with your God-given talents. Don't witthold what God has graced you with because of petty personal reasons that make you not want to bless or encourage someone that has treated you wrong.

Humility is hard work, particularly in the midst of and wrongdoings is hard, but so necessary. David, a man after God's own heart, learned to be steadfast in the midst of whoever and whatever odds were against him. God could have made him King within moments, but God chose to take him through a process to reach his promotion that involved persecution. Yet still, David honored God, and each time God blessed him.

So for us reading this in the 21st century, we have to ask ourselves, are we fighting the process? Our paths to promotion require humility, and in spite of haters who will attack us solely because they see our anointing, we have to serve others, no matter how much we may not want to.

Can I encourage you? Keep doing right, God sees you. Keep tending to those sheep even though God called you to be a king. Keep fighting giants with slingshots because they will fall, in spite of your unorthodox weapons. Keep playing that harp for your enemies. God sees you. Your efforts aren't in vain. God's arranging the opening of doors for you, in this very moment. Be faithful in this season, and watch God elevate you to much more.

Humbly Hugging Haters,

Dear God, WOW, What a conviciting lesson. I know I need your help on this because it just doesn't seem right to let others mistreat us. I know my flesh is weak and my clapback game is real strong, but I have to remember that when people see me, they see you. FOr everyo person that I choose to react to and stoop to their level, I miss out on an opportunity to show You to them. How dare I do that? God, You've chosen me for a specific purpose and You have promises with my name on them. There's a "kingdom" awaiting me, but my actions today impact my path, so I pray that You'll help me do right. Help me die to myself and choose You over fulfilling my flesh through petty comebacks. I pray the same for each and every reader, In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

God's On Your Side- Mississippi Mass Choir feat. Leandria Johnson
Don't Give Up- Josh Lopez