Tuesday, December 08, 2009


1 Samuel 14

Saul had led the Israelites out against the Philistines and the two armies were encamped on opposite sides of a pass. His son, Jonathan, was inspired to go over to the outpost of the Philistines and see what the Lord might do. He said to his armor-bearer, 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” (14:6). So Jonathan and his armor-bearer crossed the pass, climbed up the opposite cliff, and with God’s leading, struck down the Philistines. God then put the Philistine army into a panic which resulted in a day of great victory for the LORD and for Israel.

I sense a real need for men like Jonathan in the church today; men who have vision; men who have faith; men who are willing to risk it all for the glory of God. I know men like this. Some of my church-planting brothers are like this. It seems they have God’s vision and enough faith to try anything to reach people for Christ. On the other hand, what good can be done if we sit back and do the same things we’ve been doing for decades, risking nothing? What is it that makes it so difficult for so many of us to step out of our comfort zones?

Jonathan was prepared to return to camp without a battle. Notice he said, “Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf.” Perhaps! In his plan he provided for the possibility that God did not want them to fight that day (14:9). But he took action! He went out to see if God was working that day! Jonathan believed God would show him what he was supposed to do and he knew he had to put himself in a position to be used by God. So many times we don’t put ourselves in useful positions. There is too much at risk.

We need to ask ourselves if we really believe the words Jonathan said to his armor-bearer. Do we believe that “nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few?” Are we afraid that we will fail? Do we think victory and success are up to us? It is the Lord who does the saving. It doesn’t matter if there are just two of us or many of us. God wants men and women who are willing to step out in faith and risk all for the kingdom and his name’s sake! Because Jonathan stepped out in faith Israel won a great victory.

I want to be like Jonathan! I want to have a vision of the church’s victory! I want to act, not just sit back and see what God might or might not do. I want to see a great victory for the church and for the kingdom of God in my community! May God grant me the vision, the courage, and the faith to be like Jonathan. May there be nothing in my life that I love so much that I wouldn’t risk it for the sake of the kingdom’s victory.


At 5:49 AM, Blogger The Abshires said...


At 9:11 AM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Thanks Aaron and/or Liz! I am so grateful for your encouragement and friendship. You really have NO idea how much they mean to me. I'll have to sit with you and tell you about it sometime!

At 3:36 AM, Blogger Brenda said...

Well-said. I am studying Esther and read a related verse, Isaiah 44:28 which shows that God's will is going to be accomplished using whomever He wills. Does that mean that there is no such thing as God's 'permissive' will as compared to His 'perfect' will?

At 5:23 PM, Blogger Shiloh Guy said...

Hi Brenda,

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You always get right to the bottom of the thing and ask the question nobody else thinks of or is afraid to ask.

I believe God is sovereign over everything and that his will is always accomplished.

Ephesians 1:11,12 "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out EVERYTHING (obviously my caps)in conformity with the purpose of his will...for the praise of his glory."

I think trying to make a difference between permissive and decreed will is a human invention. If God controls all things in nature and human history then how can he NOT have his hand in every storm or human tragedy?

Scripture clearly states that he controls the winds, storms, etc. This, of course, leaves us in the position of having to trust him to know what is going to bring him glory because so many events are beyond human comprehension!


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