In today’s reading the army of King Saul has been locked in a standoff against the Philistines. And Jonathan, the king’s son, has become so aggravated with the inaction of his fellow warriors that he decides to make a bold move. He enlists his armor bearer to join him on a two-man commando raid.
His battle plan is potentially God inspired – and a little ludicrous. The two young men will openly approach the enemy outpost. If they get a go-ahead sign from God, they will attack. A borderline suicide mission. But if God is with them, Jonathan figures, nothing can stop them.
In his motivational speech to his bodyguard, Jonathan seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth:
Nothing can hinder the Lord.
– Perhaps the Lord will act.
At first glance this seems like spiritual schizophrenia.
But perhaps Jonathan isn’t schizophrenic. Perhaps true faith always feels this way. On the one hand, I know that God is able to do anything. On the other hand, I think He’s willing to do this specific thing. I know God can. And I’m pretty sure He will. But I can’t be completely sure.
That’s where audacious faith comes in.
Audacity isn’t the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that Gods promise is bigger than my perhaps.
The Bible says that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105), not a floodlight beaming to our destination. So, armed with the confidence that there’s a decent chance and an interesting possibility that my impulse might be from God (perhaps, in other words), I start investigating.
We’d all like to live in a world where God lets us do big things that require minimal risk. Where the voice of the Holy Spirit carries for miles and miles, piercing through static and fuzz, jeers and taunts. The fact is, though, that the land where the sun stands still is a land where promise and perhaps must coexist. Audacious faith does not eliminate doubt and fear. It eclipses their power one decision at a time. You know God’s will by doing God’s will.
Jonathan and his armor bearer ended up saving the day in a spectacular way. Their act of audacious faith tilted the fate of an entire nation.
Act on your “perhaps”, and see what God will do in your world.