Much like the rest of the social media world, I discovered pastor Mike Todd about a year ago on YouTube when he first began a series on relationships. If you followed me then on IG, you have seen that I just about reposted the entire message to my stories. And again, much like everyone else in the social media world, I saw (several times) the video of him preaching at Elevation church a message entitled “Marked”. It went viral. He has recently revisited this message with a series, so I thought this would be a good time to revisit this blog I wrote last year, but never posted.
The message was a beautiful reminder -using the story of David becoming anointed as king in 1 Samuel 16- that God has marked us for a purpose. I personally was encouraged and reminded that when God has called you to something, He has called you to it no matter what other people may think about that calling. God was speaking straight into my current situation. Let me explain:
Saul was the king at this time and God told him to destroy Amalek and everything in it, even its ox, sheep and other animals as consequence for what they did to the children of Israel. (1 Samuel 15, who says the bible is boring?!?) Anyways, long story short (wrap it up then *Joe Budden voice*) Saul didn’t listen, he kept the King alive and was a little greedy and kept all of the good animals (money in that day) and then he had the audacity to say that they were saved to be used as sacrifices to God. Bottom line, he didn’t listen, he wasn’t asked to do that. His disobedience led to rejection and now God was going to appoint another king. He led Samuel to Eliab and his sons, sans David who was tending sheep. When Pastor Mike was going over this part I remember thinking to myself David wasn’t even invited to the party?! and here’s goes Pastor Mike “David wasn’t even invited to the party.” Always funny when things like that happen. This kid – who wasn’t even invited to go with his father and his brothers when they followed the prophet Samuel to go sacrifice – was the kid who defeated Goliath in the presence of his older brothers when he was just taking them cheese sandwiches.
“Sometimes, God will honor you in front of those who didn’t believe.” – Mike Todd
While hearing this message, I instantly thought of me and my situation. STORY TIME
You know God has called you to something because you cannot get away from it no matter how hard you try. (can anyone say Jonah?!) I was a part of a ministry and let’s say I might have been the black sheep. The girls in this ministry naturally flocked (pun intended) to me with questions and stories and tears. All to which I was happy to meet with prayer, correction, forgiveness and empathy. I was even challenged and rebuked by the Holy Spirit in these times when I was helping others. Unfortunately, there was one person… This person felt that since they had been in the church longer than I, their level of involvement should have been matching or higher. It was all under the guise of “God was telling me I need to get more involved” but something in me felt uneasy. Maybe it was the direct comparison this person was making or the fact that they sounded competitive, I don’t know but I kept working. Soon this new person grabbed the plow right next to me, to begin working and I rejoiced at the fresh input and perspective that I thought this person would bring. Slowly but surely I felt a push. I was conveniently forgotten in leadership meetings now held by this new person. I was no longer contacted to inform about events. I was no longer asked to help. My name was being brought up outside of my presence with rumors and stories that weren’t true and no one stopped to bring to my attention. A question began to form on the lips of those who spoke about me, and quickly grew into a statement “Melanie is not fit for this kind of leadership”. In the blink of an eye, without speaking to me or informing me, I was no longer considered by these people for the calling I had felt God so clearly call me to. I was discouraged that someone would allow jealousy to root and that they would figuratively stand in the way of me doing what I was not only good at, but called to. I stood firm and things began to change. Others began to ask and comment “why isn’t Melanie here?”, “Melanie is leadership she needs to be here”, “this is her calling and her place, she is a leader”. I was not invited to the party but I was tending to the sheep (1 Samuel 16:11) quite literally. The sheep never stopped seeing me as their leader who loved them and wanted to do life with them. They went around the obstacles that this person had set and found me. They were still crying and asking for advice, asking bible questions, begging for me to start a bible study so that they can learn more and asking leadership why I couldn’t be the one “in charge”. They sent for me, I wasn’t invited to the party but they sent for me.
“When God calls you to something you cannot outrun it, no one can get in the way of it and nothing can stop it.”
David had to run from Saul, he had to repent of sin, and still was marked as the anointed king after God’s heart. Jonah ran from Nineveh, ended up being swallowed whole by a giant fish and still ended up where God had called him. Joseph was marked so he was targeted by his brothers, sold into slavery, unjustly incarcerated and still ended up in the palace fulfilling the literal dream he was given as a child.
Love those who try to stop you, love those who try to stop your calling because the obstacle they set will be the very confirmation that God has called you to something when you see that whatever God has ordained will happen no matter the obstacle. God will lift you up in the face of those who put you down, not for your vain and glory and not to say I told you so but for the glory of God. So that He can say “what you have despised, I have called and anointed and what I say will be fulfilled, what I do will come to pass and no one can stop me”. If God has called you to something, I mean really equipped you, skilled you and called you to something (sis, I can’t do a cut crease, I am not called to be a make up artist) and that calling has been confirmed over and over, through people and despite circumstances, DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO DISCOURAGE YOUR FOCUS. Focus on the Lord and the work He has put at your hands.(note: God will never call you to be disobedient to Godly leadership, to sinful actions, relationships, friendships, positions etc. If you have to lie or sin to get there, He has not called you to it. If you have to force it, instead of work for it and watch God open doors, He has not called you to it. Pray, seek God and ask if what is on your heart was put by Him or your ego).
Once you are marked, you are marked for life, even when it doesn’t seem like it. Even though one person may be questioning what God has told you and confirmed dozens of times and through dozens of Godly people. Don’t worry if you are not invited to the party, He who has called you to it, will send for you.