May 24, 2019

Don't Give Up!

This morning I wanted to read something in the Bible but didn't know what I needed. So I did the age-old "Bible roulette": closed my eyes, opened the Bible, put my finger on a verse.

Then panic struck the whole army—those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties—and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God.  1 Samuel 14:15, NIV, emphasis mine 

Backing up, I read the preceding verses starting at 1 Samuel 14:1. Jonathan and his armor bearer left camp to go the Philistine outpost. Picking up in verse 6, through verse 14:

Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”
“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”
Jonathan said, “Come on, then; we will cross over toward them 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.”
So both of them showed themselves to the Philistine outpost. “Look!” said the Philistines. “The Hebrews are crawling out of the holes they were hiding in.” The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.”
So Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, “Climb up after me; the Lord has given them into the hand of Israel.”
Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre.
What an awesome story of faith and obedience!
Jonathan stepped out boldly in obedience to go forward, confident of victory, his loyal armor-bearer fully committed along with him. Two men defeated twenty of their enemy, against all odds.
Because God sent a panic in response to Jonathan’s faith. God went before them, demonstrating His mighty power in response to their obedience, and defeated their enemy right before their eyes. They did the possible (march forward and fight), He did the impossible (caused panic in the enemy camp).
The Lord showed me situations in my life where I’d given up. After praying for “so long” with no answer, or obeying in specific situations and not seeing a result, I threw my hands up in the air and said the proverbial “whatever.”

But now, after being fueled by Jonathan’s testimony of victory, my new narrative:
God hasn’t done the impossibleyet!!
Today I’m picking my sword back up and marching forward in prayer, and walking in obedience to what God showed me to do…regardless of whether or not I see results.
Our faith must be in the mighty power of our unseen heavenly Father, not in what we can see.
Where have you lost hope that God will do the impossible for you? Where do you need to move forward in faith because you already know what to do (your part)?
God doesn’t always answer in our timing.
But He always answers.
Don’t give up!

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