Devotional The Perhaps Paradox

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 God’s 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.

1Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.it came…: or, there was a day
2And Saul tarried in the uttermost part of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree which is in Migron: and the people that were with him were about six hundred men;
3And Ahiah, the son of Ahitub, I–chabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the Lord’s priest in Shiloh, wearing an ephod. And the people knew not that Jonathan was gone.
4And between the passages, by which Jonathan sought to go over unto the Philistines’ garrison, there was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp rock on the other side: and the name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh.
5The forefront of the one was situate northward over against Michmash, and the other southward over against Gibeah.forefront: Heb. tooth
6And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.
7And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart.
8Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.
9If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them.Tarry: Heb. Be still
10But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us.
11And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.
12And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armourbearer, and said, Come up to us, and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armourbearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel.
13And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.
14And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armour bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.an…: or, half a furrow of an acre of land.
From YouVersion

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