The Spiritual Discipline of Following Well
Following well is the first challenge of a leader.
In 1 Samuel 17, David was anointed the next king of Israel, and the "Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward." In the very next chapter, David found himself in the palace to serve King Saul. Day after day, he worked in the palace but not in the position to which he was called. And the man he served was a terrible boss. He made poor choices, was not respectable, and was known for trying to kill his employees.
And yet David served.
If we keep reading the story, we find that Saul hunted David, yet David refused to harm Saul even when presented with the opportunity twice. I might have thought the first time was a "test," but by the second time, I would have convinced myself that God was giving me a sign that it was time to get rid of this guy and step into my calling. Not David. He followed well. And mourned that he even cut off a corner of Saul's robe.
If we want to lead, we must first learn the discipline of following well. I'm convinced that God will not allow us to step fully into our giftedness and calling until we have first served another. He will not give us people to help us accomplish our vision until we have first worked to accomplish the vision of another. We must follow well. It may mean serving a leader that we do not like or respect. But if we truly believe in the faithfulness and sovereignty of God, we can trust that He will get us where we are supposed to go when we are supposed to get there.