However, if He should say, “I do not delight in you,” then here I am — He can do with me whatever pleases Him. – 2 Samuel 15:26
As David fled from his son Absalom, the priests brought along the ark of the covenant (ostensibly to guard it, but probably to be guarded by it). David soon realized that the ark had been removed from its rightful location in the Temple and insisted that it be returned, properly deducing that he had no personal right to assume God’s favor. In David’s mind, if God had indeed chosen him, the evidence would be in his triumphant return to Jerusalem and not in the possession of God’s symbolized presence.
The “appearance” or assumed outward manifestation of God’s blessing and favor is not a guarantee of that reality. Success in a ministry enterprise may give a leader a false sense of security and, in turn, cause that leader to assume facts that are not in evidence. God was not present in the ark and David’s right to rule did not rest there. As long as David maintained a right relationship with the Lord, he would reign as King of Israel.
Leaders should not look to their results for proof of God’s favor, but instead should seek to please the One who causes them to bear the “fruit that remains.” If they do this, then they are truly surrendered to the One who can do with them whatever He pleases.
Pray that success will not come any faster than you are able to endure it. – Elbert Hubbard