Every man wants to be king. From the time we are little boys, there is something inside us that calls us up to rule and reign well. We only need to look within the first book of the Bible (Genesis 1:28) to see that the Lord placed this desire into our hearts by giving us the mission to rule and subdue the wild earth He created.

This desire to lead does not change as the man grows older. He wants to “come through” when the chips are down. He wants to know that he “has what it takes” to make a difference when called upon.

Not all men, however, are good kings. There is a distinct difference between what the world says is a good leader versus what God has to say on the matter. The worldly definition includes words like success, wealth, and power. The Godly king is defined by words such as integrity, character, spirituality, humility, and courage.

Let’s take a close look at a king in the Bible who portrays the image of a Godly leader in the eyes of the Lord.

David was not a perfect man by any stretch of the imagination (Uriah and Bathsheba for example), but he was called “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14). What did the Father see in this man to anoint him as King of Israel and how did He train him up in the ways of the Lord to prepare him for this kingdom? I think we get a clear picture of this training and transformational process by looking at the stages of David’s life. (The life of David can be found in the following books of the Bible: 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and 1 Kings for reference).

Before David became king, God trained him up in His ways. David knew that his Father in Heaven loved him as a son. The name David means “beloved son.”  In the fields tending the sheep, David learned to be fully committed to the Lord and to live in harmony with Him by studying and meditating on His commands all day and night. Living in solitude in this manner, praying and connecting with the Lord, nurtured and matured David’s character. David lived in the obscurity of the wilderness taking care of his sheep. This created humility in David.

David’s heart was also shaped outside of the limelight. He learned to be faithful in the things unseen and unknown. David’s time in the wilderness shepherding was monotonous. It gave time to David to master the sling shot, to learn playing the harp, and to connect with the Lord throughout the day. This training also exposed David to the dangers and threats of the wilderness, including bears and lions attacking his flock. These adventures honed his skills which would provide useful during combat with Goliath and later in war. This training allowed David to have complete faith in the Lord and to have no fear as he battled the Philistine giant. David became a warrior as noted in this verse “Saul has struck down his thousands, and David his ten thousands” (1 Samuel 18:7).

David would face many trials before becoming King of Israel. He would be hunted relentlessly by Saul and his men over a long period of time. David lived in caves for safety from Saul and faked insanity with the Philistines to save his life.

David’s character was not developed by one encounter with Goliath. His manhood was molded by the Lord over many years in the fields and through numerous difficult trials and adventures. The Lord required David to be capable in handling little things (his flock) before entrusting him with the nation of Israel.

The masculine journey is a life-long process of being molded into a man of integrity. Many battles must be fought and won. Many hearts must be saved. Courage in the face of fear must prevail for a boy to become a man and a man to become king.

David is a man I admire for many reasons. His love, connection, and close relationship with the Lord is one I desire. His steadfast commitment and meditation on the Lord’s commands gave him the strength, courage, and faith to fight in battle. I appreciate how real and authentic he was as a man of God. He didn’t care about persecution and what others thought about his beliefs. Although imperfect, he was sold out for the Lord.

Over the years, the Lord has molded and shaped my character through difficult trials and tribulations; divorce, being a full-time single father, re-marrying into a blended family, being a step-father, and more. He has taken these seemingly insurmountable obstacles and turned them into good as He has molded my character all at the same time. I am thankful for these trials as I would not be the man I am today without them and there continues to be much room for growth in my character along my masculine journey. We never “arrive” as the men God fully intended us to be. That, however, doesn’t stop us from openly accepting His training and working to be better.

I look forward to meeting my Father in Heaven someday. I envision it looking something like the excerpt from the book “The Way of the Wild Heart” (pages 217-218) by John Eldredge directly below. This short description of coming Home speaks to my soul as a man and makes me want to be the warrior son He always intended me to be.

“Picture in your mind’s eye an image of a great warrior, a renowned champion, returning home from far-off lands. His fame has long preceded him, and now the reports of his feats are confirmed by the scars he bears, the remembrance of wounds more noble than any tokens of honor. With dignity he moves up the main causeway of the city, lined with the faces of his people, the very people for whom he has fought bravely, whose freedom he has secured. The warrior has returned after years on the field of battle, returning only when triumph was achieved and not a moment before. This is his homecoming, and it is as a conquering hero he returns. Before him, at the head of the street, stands the king, who is his father. The scene is both a homecoming and a coronation. For the father-king will now hand the kingdom over to his son.”

Now let’s get to work! Be the man He intended you to be!

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