Based on 1 Samuel 14
What gets your adrenaline flowing? What gets your heart pumping? What causes you to decide it’s time to get moving, time to take a stand? What crystallizes your thoughts and desires into action?
In 1 Samuel 14, Jonathan decides that he’s done waiting around for the battle to come to him. He decides the time is right to take things into his own hands and make his move.
Read through 1 Samuel 14 in your Bible or at www.biblegateway.com. To get a better feel for the situation Jonathan finds himself in, start in chapter 13.
What causes you to decide it’s time to take a stand?
What does your answer reveal about your priorities? Who you know God to be? Your relationship with Him? His gifting and call on your life?
I especially like verse 6—
"Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.”
The Message puts it this way—
"Come on now, let's go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe God will work for us. There's no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when he sets his mind to it.”
Jonathan doesn’t wait until he’s assured that he’ll be successful in his daring attempt. For him, the opportunity stirs him to action, his faith is revealed in the doing.
Plucky. Courageous. Bold. Daring. Like current day fictional heroes Indiana Jones or James Bond, or Ben Gates in National Treasure. Jonathan sees a challenge and doesn’t just say “why”; he says “why not do something about this?” He figures that if God has put a challenge in front of him, it’s because God wants him to do something.
The choice to sit and wait while the tension and dread mount or stepping out in faith to see how God will act, become crystal clear, and he knows it’s time to act.
What challenge has God put in front of you?
What do you think He wants you to do about it?
What’s stopping you?
Jonathan’s armor bearer goes with him. Jonathan is one of those guys that are always found with someone else beside them. Either he’s standing alongside his dad, the king, with his armor bearer, or his friend David. He is wise enough to develop relationships with someone who has his back, not just figuratively speaking, but someone who has a vital role to play in accomplishing the mission.
"Do all that you have in mind," his armor-bearer said. "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul."—verse 7
It reminds me of Jesus sending His disciples out in pairs (Mark 6:7 and 10:1). Jesus surrounded Himself with close friends, developed deep and abiding relationships with them, and sent them out together to serve others in His name.
Jonathan had done the same with his armor-bearer. Jonathan trusts the armor bearer completely, and the armor bearer trusts Jonathan completely. He is willing to risk what looks like certain death on the basis of his confidence in Jonathan’s leadership and God-confidence,
Who has your back?
Who are you willing to put yourself on the line to support?
Then come the words that confirm Jonathan’s courage found its source in trusting the Lord, not his own abilities—
Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. If they say to us, 'Wait there until we come to you,' we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, 'Come up to us,' we will climb up, because that will be our sign that the LORD has given them into our hands."—verses 8-10
Jonathan’s thinking is reminiscent of David’s response when facing Goliath’s taunt in 1 Samuel 17—
As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it….David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”… David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”—verses 23, 26, 32
What in your life reveals God-given guts?
What signs do you look for to know that God is calling you forward in spite of what the situation looks like from a human perspective?
What are you willing to risk to make a difference for God?
Throughout Scripture, we are called to take courage, to be strong and courageous.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.—2 Timothy 1:7
God-given guts, courage, were the hallmark of early followers of Jesus—
When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.—Acts 4:13
Courage flows from knowing how big God is and who Jesus is. Jonathan’s faith in God produced courage to advance against an overwhelming enemy. As Jonathan stepped out in faith, God demonstrated His power through him.
What about you?
To view the worship celebration related to this Next Step, visit http://www.touchandchange.com/artman/publish/article_1601.shtml