Sometimes walking by faith seems passive and slow in coming to pass. Look at David’s life. In the book of 1 Samuel, we can see how David endured much, yet he never resorted to fighting to make sure the crown God promised him would be his. He had faith that God would fulfill the promises He had made.
David started out as a mere child taking care of his father’s sheep. On the day the prophet Samuel came to anoint the new king, chosen from David’s family, his own father didn’t even regard young David as one to be considered. It wasn’t until Samuel had passed over all the older sons that David’s name was even mentioned. Then, when David was finally acknowledged and Samuel poured the oil on David’s head, anointing him as the chosen king, what did David do? Go and demand the crown and begin reigning? Not at all! He went right back to his simple sheep-herding.
It was only later, when David brought food to his brothers who were fighting the Philistines, that God showed His favor upon him, giving David the victory to defeat Goliath. When King Saul found out about this, he didn’t step down right then and say, “Alright David, now you are the king.” No. David’s journey of obtaining the promise from God was, from then on, filled with dodging spears, running for his life and living in caves in the wilderness, hungry and destitute. Even David’s wife gave up on him, and several times his band of followers threatened to leave. Once he even had to pretend to be a madman just to escape his adversaries.
Finally, after many years, David had the upper hand. King Saul, unattended and alone, came into the cave where David was hiding. This was David’s opportunity to kill the king who had so earnestly sought his life, or at least to capture him! All those years of running could finally come to an end. Saul’s life was in David’s hand and at his mercy. But God did not want David to act on the opportunity this way. The temptation to walk by sight must have been so great. Yet trusting in God and not choosing his own ways, David allowed Saul to escape so that God could fulfill the promise of making him king in His own way and in His own timing.