“He chose David, his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, and of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skilful hands he led them.”
Psalm 78:70-72, NIV
Wherever you are just now in life and whatever it is you are doing, there are two things God looks for as He prepares a future for you. Both of them are highlighted in our Scripture for today from a Psalm of Asaph.
David is described as having been among the sheep pens, a simple shepherd boy with an everyday task to do, caring for the sheep. But he isn’t firstly described as being a servant of his father, whose sheep they were, he is described as having been, firstly, a servant of God. At that time in his life shepherding was his human responsibility, but the over-riding calling of his heart was firstly to serve God.
To choose to serve God as the primary calling of your life deals with all the pride of self-importance and puts everything else in life into its true perspective. Whatever it is then that you are doing in life, is then covered with a cloak of humility. And it was James who told us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up” (James 4:10). And that’s exactly what God did with David. God saw his humility and picked him out.
But there was something else that God saw in David’s heart – and that was integrity. A person with integrity is someone you can trust and depend on. They are not going to change their mind depending on which way the wind happens to be blowing! In good times and in tough times, they remain constant and faithful. As a boy David wouldn’t leave his sheep to fend for themselves if there was something more interesting to do. He provided grazing for their food and protection from the wild animals. He was faithful to his calling because, ultimately, he was faithful to the God he served.
God looks on our hearts and when He sees humility and integrity he knows that He can trust you with His plans for your future. Being a servant of God has to be the first calling of our lives. And serving Him with integrity of heart equips us for His future. You may feel as though you are ‘serving in the sheep pens’ just now. But God has His eye on you – and who knows what God is preparing you for!
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for showing me from your word that humility and integrity are the vital qualifications for godly living. Help me, Lord, to always be glad to serve You, wherever You have put me, and to always do my work with integrity of heart and faithfulness both to You and my work. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.