My journey in prayer and Scripture currently has me reading prayerfully through the Old Testament narratives beginning in 1 Samuel. The prayerful journey is to think in terms of spiritual warfare.
1 Samuel 14 is a story that draws me because of the contrast between Jonathan and Saul. I remember youth speakers really embellishing this story when I was in high school and college. It’s a lot of fun to preach.
But it IS a story of faith. Crazy faith.
Saul sits with 600 men doing nothing while Jonathan takes his armor-bearer out looking for a fight. He finds an impossible place. A garrison sits on a cliff and Jonathan figures of the Philistines invite them UP to the garrison, which would require a stiff climb, then God would give them the victory.
While Saul sits in anxiety, Jonathan takes on the garrison. In exhaustion, he fights and wins with his armor-bearer. THEN the Philistines are routed. Panic ensues and Saul finally wakes up to the reality that the Philistines are in panic. They are literally turning on each other. Saul has actually walked into a victory.
Jonathan flirts with that line of crazy faith and just foolishness. It’s a line that is so easy to jump over I’m more likely to be Saul sitting under a pomegranate tree, full of anxiety, not knowing what to do next… so I do nothing.
This is not that time.
It is time to walk in faith in a way I’ve never known. For the past two plus years I have attempted to learn prayer in a new way, like I’ve never known. Now, I am called to walk out that prayer life in a new way… a way I’ve never known.
It’s like look up and two cliffs and saying, “Well, that’s an impossible route. It MUST be God!”
Those steps of radical faith involve TRUST. It’s not about just foolishly leaping ahead. It is trusting the voice of God that has been developed over time. I can trust that voice now.
Time for sitting under the pomegranate tree has long passed. It is time to take on the impossible and move higher. When Jonathan took the radical leap… or climb… the enemy was panicked. There is an enemy relying on me to sit under a pomegranate tree and take it easy. If I take a flying leap listening to the voice I trust, victory can come.