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A Bold Kind of Faith


A few weeks ago, God began to challenge me in different areas of my life that I know will produce growth and a closer relationship to Him, but right now, I'm a little nervous. Actually, I'm just short of terrified. I know! I know! God has not given us the spirit of fear and all of that but let's be real, when fear hits you, it just hits you. Even if it's for a short moment.


During a time of meditation, I heard God say, "Prepare for provision!" I thought this was a financial thing but He then walked me through a study of those in the Bible He provided for in supernatural ways. Not just financially, but also physically and spiritually. He told me to be bold in my asking because a season of "open windows" is coming. It's a season where the windows of heaven are opened and God's blessings will flow out but I have to ask for even the seemingly unobtainable things. A few days after that He said, "I want you to take two weeks off of work and spend your work hours in the prayer room at church in My Presence." His voice was clearer than ever and so I immediately resolved within myself that I would be obedient. For me, there was no other option, then I began to think about all this would entail. My work year ends this month and I have used all of my vacation time already. This means that these two weeks off would be unpaid. I also thought of the fact that NO ONE on my job has ever taken two weeks off at one time. Would they even allow me to do such a thing? On top of that, my car, with 168,000 miles on it, has been 'acting up' and my church is approximately forty-five minutes from church, one way. As all of these thoughts entered my mind, I recognized that this was a test of obedience and although I felt the full weight of everything on my shoulders, I had peace in my heart.


 

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV

 

It's not a coincidence that days later, I found myself in 1 Samuel 14 reading about Jonathan's bold faith in God. This is a story we don't hear too often anymore and so I forgot about it. This story continues where the previous blog, "Don't Get Ahead of God," took place. Saul had lost favor with God and the Philistines were winning the battle against the Israelites. Saul's men were afraid and ran away or hid themselves in caves and bushes. However, Jonathan, Saul's son, took a different approach...


1 Samuel 14:6-14(NIV)


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.



The part that captured my attention in this passage was where Jonathan said, "Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many of by few." In other words, the Lord can save us whether there's a whole army of soldiers or just the two of us. Talk about a bold and crazy kind of faith. Jonathan approached the camp of the enemy soldiers who were successful at killing and scaring off many of his father's soldiers and entered their camp based on his belief that if they said a certain phrase that means God is with him. It was as though he had this supernatural faith in God to believe that if he were to boldly ask, God would respond, even though He did not respond to his father. James 4:2 (NLT) says, "... you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it." Philippians 4:6 (NLT) says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."


Because Jonathan risked his life and boldly stepped out in faith, God did the unimaginable. Jonathan and his unnamed armor-bearer were able to kill about twenty of the Philistines which caused confusion and a loud uproar at the main camp. By the time Saul found out Jonathan was missing, heard the uproar of the Philistine soldiers, assembled his men and went to see what was going on, 1 Samuel 14:20 says, "They found the Philistines in total confusion, striking each other with their swords." Verse 23 says, "the Lord saved Israel that day."


As I read this passage, I felt boldness increase within me. God had already given me the dates that He wanted me to take off of work and so I went to my office manager and requested the time off. Ironically, instead of turning me down, she was more concerned that I was resigning or ill. After I assured her that I was not leaving nor was I ill, she immediately consented to the time off. It was easier than I thought.


Today begins my two weeks with God and I plan to boldly lay some crazy request before Him simply because He challenged me to do so. Yes, I'm still a bit nervous because, with God, it's never just a test, it's preparation. Which begs the question, what is He preparing me for? I don't want to waste the opportunity by making frivolous request but I want to be a good steward of the dedicated time I have here, alone with Him. I want the result of this time be a loss for the enemy. I pray that this time with God would result in a shift that propels me and those around me into the next level in Christ. I want to see sicknesses healed, relationships built or restored, financial blessings but mostly, an outpouring of the Holy Spirit unlike any other I have seen with my own eyes. If Jonathan could be crazy enough to trust God to lead him into victory, why shouldn't I?

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graceeckstorm
graceeckstorm
Sep 11, 2019

Amen! Happy your work place was gracious and more concerned of your welfare. Knowing God transforms our life. He is a faithful God and we can rest upon His promises. (Hebrews 10:23). This will be exciting what God reveals in you. Trust and obey! Your inspiring. 🙏

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