“One day Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to where the Philistines have their outpost.” But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing. Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree at Migron. Among Saul’s men was Ahijah the priest, who was wearing the ephod, the priestly vest. Ahijah was the son of Ichabod’s brother Ahitub, son of Phinehas, son of Eli, the priest of the Lord who had served at Shiloh. No one realized that Jonathan had left the Israelite camp. To reach the Philistine outpost, Jonathan had to go down between two rocky cliffs that were called Bozez and Seneh. The cliff on the north was in front of Micmash, and the one on the south was in front of Geba. “Let’s go across to the outpost of those pagans,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer. “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!” “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” “All right, then,” Jonathan told him. “We will cross over and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘Stay where you are or we’ll kill you,’ then we will stop and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come on up and fight,’ then we will go up. That will be the Lord’s sign that he will help us defeat them.””
1 Samuel 14:1-10
I usually try not to use a whole bunch of scripture but this story was the perfect example for the experiences I’ve been going through. So lately after the Lord making it pretty obvious on the moves to make in my life, the where to go next part has kept me clueless and honestly stagnate in my faith. It’s been really hard trying to make sure I’m not going ahead of the Lord but also trusting in Him to open doors, knowing He will provide. The biggest problem I’ve had lately is becoming stagnate, sitting still, not moving in my faith. We read so many times in the Word to be patient, trust in the Lords provision and I guess it’s easy to hear that then sit and wait. I’ve been fortunate enough with several different opportunities in the job field and chances to serve that the door was pretty wide open before I even thought about moving. I don’t know if you’ve experienced anything like that, but it’s the same way with anything in life. When you go through high school, you got your mom doing your laundry, meals always provided for you, most of your needs are met by your parents. When you get to college, out in the world on your own, I can tell ya from experience how all those things your parents used to do for you aren’t so easy to learn how to do on your own. Until you have to actually do it yourself, you don’t realize all the blessings that were always given to you. The bad part is, if you sit and wait for all those things like laundry, meals, or dishes to get done like they’ve always been, you’ll learn real quick when the dishes and clothes start stinking from being piled a mile high and always being hungry looking for that next meal, you gotta do it. You have to stop sitting and waiting for a miracle to happen, get up and start figuring it out.
I say that example because it relates to the place I’m currently in. With jobs and opportunities to serve they’ve always kind of been there and I know the Lord is opening up doors as we speak but the biggest lesson I’ve learned lately is I can’t sit around and waste my life expected these things to be handed to me on a silver platter. We’re told to be patient and to trust in the Lord to provide and make a way for us, we’re not called to be stagnate to the point we become useless though. It can be scary, terrifying to the point of feeling paralyzed when we don’t know what to do in life and thank the Lord for showing me this story because it’s a lesson on not letting the fear of the unknown keep you still but to move in faith towards the giant of unknown.
Just like in this story with the way Jonathan goes against King Saul (his father’s) battle plans, he realized that sitting still is pointless and sometimes acting on a situation is a way of being faithful, trusting in the victory and provision the Lord provides. The context surrounding these verses is that the Israelite’s under King Saul are facing off to battle the Philistine army. Both armies are waiting on the other to make a move but so far neither are moving. Since nobody’s making a move both armies are just sitting and waiting until something happens. The Israelite soldiers were becoming tired and hungry, so if they continued to wait, Jonathan knew when they did battle they wouldn’t stand much of a chance.
The funny thing about this is that King Saul is standing there with 600 men, a priest who has all the tools and gadgets at that time to find out what the will of God is for any situation. He’s got everything he needs to go and conquer the Philistines right? Nope he’s still missing one thing, faith. He’s making this decision to stay still off of the numbers of the armies, comparing His resources with the enemies. He didn’t even realize that staying still might be what holds his soldiers back from fighting in the first place since they weren’t getting the food they needed. Saul’s lack of faith causing the Israelites to be stagnated was pushing them closer to defeat and death than the victory the Lord had for them.
Jonathan on the other hand is tired of sitting still because his faith wasn’t in numbers or the amount of resources he had. If it was then him and an armor bearer taking on the Philistine army wouldn’t have even been a thought. His faith was in the Lord, he knew that the Lord is capable of victory no matter what the odds looked like or how big the circumstances were they were facing. The biggest lesson in Jonathan’s action towards sneaking up and attacking the Philistines, was his faith. He wasn’t putting his faith on himself, his resources or anything except for the Lords provision and deliverance.
So many times in my life and I’m sure we all do it, we decide to sit still, be patient and say well “I’ll pray about it.” We say “I’ll pray about it” because we’re scared to take actions into unknown territory especially when the outcome is unknown too, or the chance of defeat is present at all. I’ll be the first to tell ya that I say take that route a lot because it’s easy and comfortable. You can’t lose if you’re not even playing the game. There is times where sitting still and being patient on what the Lord is working together is good but majority of the time, we’ll never even know what the Lord is trying to tell us, show us or teach us if we aren’t willing to trust him enough to take some steps of action. Even if they are little steps. Jonathan could have sat back and made excuses on why not to move all day long, he could’ve said “my dad Saul will figure it out, he always does.”
Throughout Jonathan’s faith in action, it’s not even that he’s being impatient trying to go ahead of the Lord. Words like “perhaps the Lord will help us.” Or when he says we’ll stick our heads out and if they say this then we’ll go back, if not we’ll go forward to fight. He is moving out of faith and staying in the Lords will with each step. He knows the Lord can wipe out the whole Philistine army with less than two men if He wants but to find what the Lord was wanting done, what His will was for the situation, he knew action was the only way. He could’ve very easily let his dirty laundry pile into a mountain and expect his dad to do it but he had faith that even tho that pile of laundry stunk and he didn’t know how to do it. The Lord would provide and show him exactly what to do.
I guess the big lesson for me was not just sitting around waiting on the heavens to open up with all the answers and solutions I could ever ask for but to trust in God’s answers and provision by moving in my trust. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing, have many resources and the unknown looks terrifying but it’s only going to get scarier the longer I sit and look at it. The good thing is we don’t have to have all the answers or God’s plan written out exactly. We have Him and we know with Him He always will provide and we’ll always have victory despite anything that happens. It may not be given to us or be really easy to find that door He’s opening up, but how can we walk through the door or get to the door if we don’t start talking steps in faith. Not getting ahead and not just “praying about it” but moving and trusting, faithful action stepping with His will.