Summary: God is always getting us ready for something. This season is a preparation for the next season. The next season will be different and bring about its own set of challenges.

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God is always getting us ready for something. This season is a preparation for the next season. The next season will be different and bring about its own set of challenges.

Life is one continuous cycle of seasons. Every season builds on the previous one, but gives you a new start.

One of the most compelling passages on getting prepared for the next season is the story of David.

6 Phases In Preparing for a New Season

1. The Shadow Phase (16:11): Deep lessons are being learned in humble places.

* David is behind the scenes learning deep truths in the shadows. He is in the shadow of his brothers.

* Writing songs, taking care of sheep, and learning about the nature of God.

* 1 Samuel 13:14: The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD had commanded him to be commander over His people. What made David the one was that he was a man after God's own heart.

* David will become one of the greatest men of the Bible, being mentioned more than 1,000 times in the pages of Scripture - more than Abraham, more than Moses, more than any man in the New Testament. It's no accident that Jesus wasn't known as the "Son of Abraham" or the "Follower of Moses," but as the Son of David (Matthew 9:27 and at least a dozen other places).

2. The Calling Phase (16:13-14): A fresh awareness of God's call on your life and desire to use you.

* David stood up dripping with the oil or royalty and anointing. Here is your staff to go right back to the sheep.

* "You may have nothing in your outward semblance, nothing in your surroundings or circumstances, to indicate the true royalty within; but if you bare your heart to God, you shall stand revealed as his son, as a priest and a king unto Himself." (Meyer)

* Anointing has to do with granting authority and power to do something.

* The final evidence was when he received the crown and was enthroned in Israel, some 25 years later.

* But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 1 John 2:20

* The symbol of the Holy Spirit coming upon David was the anointing oil on his head. The symbol of the Holy Spirit coming upon Jesus was the dove that appeared from heaven. The symbol of the Holy Spirit coming upon the disciples was the tongues of fire that appeared over their heads.

* Many are called, but are not yet ready emotionally, spiritually and physically.

* Often there is a lag time between the calling of God and the engagement in his mission.

* Moses: Tried to liberate the Israelites on his own and failed. Only 40 years later would he be ready for the task God had called him to.

3. The Formation Phase (16:21-23; 17:15): formation of heart and skills that you will need in the next season.

* What is he doing with his anointing? Holding someone else's weapons, soothing someone else's depression and watching over someone else's sheep.

* Keeping the sheep was a servant's job. The fact that David was out keeping the sheep showed that the family of Jesse was not especially wealthy, because if they were, a servant would have been keeping the sheep. But they were not affluent enough to have servants. David was the servant, and keeping the sheep was a servant's job. (David Guzik commentary)

* You will never learn to lead until first of all you learn to follow well.

* Learning to minister to the troubled heart is part of the preparing of every leader.

* Many bail out on this phase. Too full of self. God is forming heart and skill.

4. The Stirring Phase (17:22-26): An increased burden and desire related to a specific need.

* The louder Goliath shouts the more your heart is stirred.

* Others back off or ignore it, but you can't. Seems like you are hearing and seeing something different than others.

* "God energy" is building up inside of you that says "I must do something about it."

5. The Testing Phase (17:28-40): Your desire to be used of God will always be tested and opposed some how.

* All of us run into the "the older brother syndrome" at one time or another.

* You don't belong here. You are not qualified. Your motives are all wrong.

* You will learn you can't fight with someone else's armor.

* Saul finally agreed to let him go, but wanted him to use his armor.

* Ultimately you may have to exchange sword and armor for a sling shot.

* You were not called to be someone else. God will use you and your past. Embrace it.

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