January 7, 2009


Yesterday I was reminded of the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer - or as the NLT titles it, "Jonathan's Daring Plan". Then the story came up again last night while I was in a meeting. I love this story. I remember when it was really first called to my attention, how the inherent courage and reckless faith of this young man caught me off guard. As this new year begins I think there is no better time to be spiritually awakened by the implications of this event.

If you don't know the story, read it in 1 Samuel 14:1-15.

As Jonathan proposes this seemingly haphazard plan to his armor bearer the thing that stands out the most to me is his faith in uncertainty. He says, "Let's go see if those pagans want to fight. Perhaps the Lord will help us...." Perhaps? As in maybe, possibly, there's definitely a chance? I don't know about you but most of the time in any situation where my neck, my reputation, my success, and especially my life might be on the line I want better odds than "perhaps". But you see, this is the essence of courage. "Perhaps the Lord will help us, for NOTHING CAN HINDER THE LORD. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!" The faith and the courage increase when you know the One who will truly be fighting the battle.

God is probably going to ask me to do something this year that will have uncertainty written all over it. He will most likely be placing an opportunity in your lap that on the outside looks like trouble and smells like an enormous risk. What will we do?

God will be asking people who are comfortable with "safe" to go to dangerous places to advance the Kingdom. He will be opening doors for his "warriors" to build houses, dig wells, teach English, transport medical supplies, humbly love the unloveable, reach out to the unreachable, and to preach the Gospel to those who have not yet heard that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. And the reality is, "Perhaps" is waiting on the other side of every one of those doors. Jesus made it clear that "the Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing, and violent people will attack it." We don't know what's waiting when we climb up that hill, draw our sword, and advance. But we'll never know if "perhaps" is our stumbling block.

Maybe the real question for many of us is, "How well do you know this One who has called you? How intimately are you in tune with His heart? How committed are you to truly follow through with the calling He set before you from the beginning?"

Will you risk? 

Your reputation? Your finances? Your stuff? Your ambition or success?

Will we live by courage or fear? 

"Come on, climb right behind me," Jonathan said to his armor bearer, "for the Lord will help us defeat them!" So they climbed up using both hands and feet, and the Philistines fell back as Jonathan and his armor bearer killed them right and left. They killed about twenty men in all, and their bodies were scattered over about half an acre." 

And do you know where King Saul - Jonathan's father - was during all of this? 
Sitting under a pomegranate tree.
What a legacy.

Your opportunity's coming. Our story is yet to be written.
"Perhaps the Lord will help us...."

No comments: