The Habit Of Hiding
Minding his own business, tending the sheep, David was nowhere in sight when the prophet, Samuel came to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to become the next king. ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ It’s the classic line from the prophet, Samuel, in the Biblical narrative, and I am quite sure if it was left up to his brothers, David would have stayed hidden after realising he was going to be the one anointed as the next king. However, even though David was indeed pulled from the sheep pen of obscurity and into the bright lights of his destiny, he developed a habit of hiding right throughout his life.
Interestingly, before Samuel says the famous line in this story, ‘Are these all of your sons?’ David’s brothers were set apart and anointed before David. In 1 Samuel 16:1-5, the prophet, Samuel arrives in Bethlehem to search out who the Lord had chosen to become the next monarch. ‘The Lord said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.” Samuel did what the Lord said…Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.’
Every single one of Jesse’s sons was blessed and anointed by the prophet. Well, every son except David. Why was he left out? How could his father, Jesse, forget him? To be consecrated means to be sanctified, and to be sanctified means you are anointed, so why in this part of the story David is kept out of sight? It was only after God said, “You see this line up of auditions for the role as king, Samuel? Well, it’s not any of these” (or words to that effect), and Samuel then says his famous line of…yes altogether now, ‘Are these all of your sons?’ When you read the whole of David’s story, he always seems to be getting left out, however, it was his habit of hiding that was the real secret in sustaining his calling as king.
I understand that hiding calls your name when you’re feeling the pain of wounding. It entices you to shrink back and stay small because at some point you’ve felt left out, forgotten, or devalued. I want you to know that when I had a prophecy spoken over me when I was fifteen years old, I was hiding. When I was anointed by God for leadership when He pointed me out set me apart for what He had called me to do, and He said, “This is the one”, I was not hiding in a field tending sheep like David, I was in a church service hiding in the back row with my friend. My rebellious attitude didn’t stop or even faze God when He singled me out and spoke into my destiny. And although God had anointed me, let me assure you, dear friend, it took a few painful decades to kick the habit of hiding from God and from others to trust God enough to allow myself to become hidden in Him. But that’s another story…
This is what I wanted to say to you today. Developing the habit of hiding is a good thing. (And all my introvert readers shouted Halleluiah!) The habit of hiding is seen all over David’s life as he learned to live for years in the depths of the deepest, darkest caves because Saul was chasing him down. I’m sure, like me, you can relate to what happened to David. Saul was so jealous of David’s anointing, that it marred David’s kingship and throne for the rest of his days. However, it was the habit of hiding that sustained him.
The habit of hiding from others who are not so excited about your anointing can feel like a gravitational pull as you struggle to stand in the light of your calling when everything inside of you wants to turn around and flee. It’s tough when you’ve felt your enthusiasm about something get flattened and your heart steamrollered over until you’re gasping for air because for some reason or another someone doesn’t like the fact God has said, “This is the one.” I know because I developed a habit of hiding. I’ve been the one who was left out, lookover, forgotten, devalued and discarded.
However, through those decades of hiding from others, I learned to develop the habit of hiding in God, just as David did. David’s poetic prose in the Psalms is the stuff of legends and these marvellous masterpieces have inspired many a hidden hero who has let David’s praise and laments toward the glory and majesty of God wash over their weary, broken hearts. The emotional rollercoaster David takes each ‘hider’ on in the Psalms develops a habit of hiding in God that can be taught no other way, and it’s in the hiding that guides your steps toward fulfilling the calling you’ve been anointed for.
But we must be careful that the habit of hiding does not turn into hiding from everything and becomes a pattern, a routine of staying hidden because others feel intimidated by your anointing. David only learned the habit of hiding in God while he was hiding in caves because of King Saul’s jealousy over him taking his place as king. However, David eventually did become king for his hiding did not stop the calling on his life, it did not dry up the oil Samuel had anointed David with in front of his father, Jesse, and his older brothers. When God says, “This is the one” it does you no good to develop a habit of hiding, of running away because others chose to not see the anointing on your life and mistreat you because of it.
Know this, God has chosen you, and you know what, God never makes mistakes.
So, if you’ve developed a habit of hiding from others rather than a habit of hiding in God, it’s time to read some Psalms that will help you step up and step into your destiny. Don’t let others cause you to develop a habit of hiding from the calling you have been anointed “For such a time as this” (Esther 4:14)
Because, my dear friend, you can’t help anyone when you keep hiding in those caves, right?
What has caused you to develop a habit of hiding from others because they are jealous of your calling? How do you think a habit of hiding in God will help you, like David, to fulfil your destiny?