Jonathan: 3 Keys to overcoming battles in your life.

 

It is important to preface that you should read 1st Samuel 14: 2-14 before beginning this devotional because you will have a hard time understanding where things are headed if you don’t have this as background knowledge.
Click the link below to read this portion of scripture on-line:
1st Samuel 14:2-14
What are the keys to overcoming things in life? What is it that will get you through every trial and every circumstance? When all the odds are against you; when time is running out; when resources are low; what do we do?

Through Jonathan’s life, I believe that we are given 3 keys to overcoming battles in life. In verse 6a, ‘Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows.”‘ Jonathan leaves the large group and attacks the Philistines. Now understand that his father Saul not only had bad communication with Jonathan but he had minimal leadership skills as well, and Jonathan probably saw that, but more importantly because Jonathan trusted the Lord, that’s why he decided to go.

What was Jonathan first key? He took action in the time of stalemate. It is vital that the visions for your life stay fresh in your mind. When it comes to the desires that God places in your heart, you do what you can not only to preserve them, but to position yourself to seeing them fulfilled. Don’t allow your visions to become stale and turn to dust, keep them fresh within your heart, allowing the Lord to envelop them and give you guidance. We trust only in Him to see those things fulfilled in our lives.

It is one thing to take action, but for Jonathan, he realized that it would not be on his own strength, but He understood that God was ready to take action with him. Verse 6b says, “Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” Jonathan was reassured and trusted the Lord to help him in transition and in his feat to take action. Trust in the Lord. We are told and shown countless times throughout the bible how nothing is impossible for God. (Genesis 21:1-7, Exodus 2:1-10; 14:10-28, Daniel 3:19-30. Mark 6:30-42, Luke 1:5-23.)

In verses 8-10 “Jonathan said, “Come, then; we will cross over toward the men and let them see us. If they say to us, ‘wait there until we come get 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.” This is a perfect example of Jonathan receiving wisdom on how to act. My guess is that he didn’t just come up with this great idea, but rather He listened to the Lord and waited on the Lord for the direction.

What was Jonathan second key? He sought direction from the Lord. If you don’t seek His face, then it is almost guaranteed that He won’t unlock the door to your vision. Seek Him in the quiet times as Jonathan did. It’s during the quiet times when we begin to receive specific instruction from the Lord as to which steps to take and which doors to walk through.

“The Lord’s direction without trust and faith is just a dangerous path to walk.”

Without trust and faith in what the Lord has directed, we become vulnerable to failure and then we begin to try to make something happen on our own because we substitute our faith in God, with faith in ourselves. Jonathan knew the odds of beating an entire army were impossible, but he knew that His faith was dependant upon the Lord, so that would be the degree of fulfillment in the matter.

By seeking God’s face, the Lord gave Jonathan the keys to attack, and Jonathan knew that his showdown with the enemy would simply come down to the way that the enemy would response. He knew this because that’s the specific instruction that the Lord gave him. Verse 12 says, ‘The men of the outpost shouted to Jonathan and his armor-bearer, “Come up to us and we’ll teach you a lesson.” The Lord gave Jonathan clear conformation.

In verses 13-14, ‘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 the first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some 20 men in an area of about half an acre.’ Reading on we find out that the Lord struck the whole army with panic and the army began running away in every direction. The attack left the Philistines in total confusion, so much so that they were striking and destroying each other with their swords.

What was Jonathan third key? He understood that trusting the word of the Lord would result in victory. Why didn’t God just strike them with panic before Jonathan and his armor-bearer came to the camp? When God sees you act on your faith to His instruction, then the Lord is faithful to supply the need. In this third key we find that faith without wavering causes God to act on our behalf. He moves when we call on His name and He knows the desires of our hearts and longs to guide and develop them. Every single thing is possible through Christ.

Did you notice while you were reading this passage earlier that even though Jonathan was taking steps toward the Philistine camp in faith, he never event contemplated taking action until he received the word from the Lord.

We are to continue to move toward the goal trusting what it is the Lord has said and then being led by His voice and instruction alone. As the Lord continues to guide we take the steps. The way in which He guides us
is a way of righteousness, by truth, from beginning to end, though counsel, by His hand, using discernment, and in wisdom; as God simply puts it in Proverbs 6:22…

‘When you walk I will guide you.’

(Psalms 23:3, 25:5, 48:14, 67:4, 73:24, 139:10; Proverbs 1:5, 4:11, 6:22, 11:3, 11;14, 16:23; Isaiah 58:11; Matthew 23:16; 23:24; John 16:13)

Whether it is with areas of your own life, transition on the worship team, starting a business, being on the board of a church, going into the mission field, or leading your church; Jonathan provides a perfect example of how the Lord is always with us in the battles, transitions, and changes in life.

Coty.

www.cotysloan.com

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~ by cotysloan on July 9, 2007.

One Response to “Jonathan: 3 Keys to overcoming battles in your life.”

  1. Coty,

    Today after I was worshiping God in my room, I read this and all throughout reading this devotional; it was exactly what I needed to hear. God said to me during my worship time “Look, I am behind you” and I was like “what,” what does that mean? So after reading this I know now that he meant that I needed to walk in steps of faith and not fear. He will guide me and direct me and watch over me, He will never leave me 🙂

    That is sooo soooo cool.
    Love you man of God, big brother,
    Sari.

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