Monday, September 19, 2011


"He was stepping into a moment where God would have to come through if it was going to achieve its ultimate end."
(Erwin McManus, Chasing Daylight)

"Most of us never experience the power of God in our lives because we never attempt anything that would require it."
(Jim Cymbala, Fresh Wind Fresh Fire)

Risk. When is the last time you attempted something so bold that if God didn't show up, it would utterly fail? I'm reading the book by McManus and this morning, I picked up where I had left off and made it through exactly one paragraph until I came upon that quote up above. It stopped me. McManus is referring to Jonathan and his armor bearer who single-handedly killed 20 fully armed men. This wasn't a sneak attack, they didn't have sniper guns, they had swords. And they whole approach was in full view of the enemy who in fact knew they were coming up. And still, in an area of about 1/2 an acre the two of them killed 20 men. Not scared 20 men, not wounded 20 men, but killed them. The story is amazing (read it here).

God used Jonathan (and his armor bearer) as a catalyst to inspire the rest of the army who went on to rout the Philistines on this day. Saul, the king and leader of the army, was doing nothing...hanging out under a pomegranate tree.

So here's the question(s) that haunt me;
- Am I more like Saul (hanging out under the tree waiting for something to happen), or Jonathan (leading with boldness, risking all and trusting God to win the victory for me)?
- When's the last time I attempted something so bold that its success depended on God intervening?

McManus makes a great point for those of us who, like me, long to have boldness but seem stuck in lives of safety and risk management. His point? Faith to do the big things starts with obedience in the little things. So if you long to have bigger faith, then I'd encourage you to do two things;

  1. Do the little things God asks of you this day. Listen for His voice, and act...with boldness. It might be as simple as having a conversation with someone not like you, or giving a cup of water in His name. Obedience in the little things will be rewarded by God asking you to take increasingly bigger risks for Him.
  2. Pray for boldness, and pray for opportunities to strengthen and increase your faith.
Can you imagine what God could do with a world full of "Jonathan's"? Men and women willing to risk it all, totally dependent on God?


Anonymous said...

I dont struggle with being bold but doing so with my own strength not his. Thanks for the encouragement.

John R.

Shelly said...

Some years ago I learned through scripture study that courage is a command over and over throughout, and so a lack of the same is to sin. If we can be encouraged by those around us, how much more if we surrender to God will he completely give us courage to live Kingdom honoring lives. We simply don't ask for what we need. In the book of James he tells us we don't have because we don't ask. If we ask with the desire to futher the Gospel and honor God He will not deny this request, He will delight in it. Clearly our main stumbling block is a lack of faith itself- we simply don't BELIEVE God, believing IN God is not enough. As we obey, He releases His power through that obedience. We must take the steps of faithful obedience and Know God is faithful to bring about the results- everytime. It is His character and He is unchanging!!