PART 26 – PERHAPS THE LORD (5/2/20)
‘Jonathan said to his young armour-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.” (1 Samuel 14:6)
Jonathan’s approach to life is expressed in his faith that “Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” Our view of God will limit or release us into action; indeed, what we attempt for God reveals what we actually believe!
Faith moves mountains, but poor faith erects them!
What can hinder the LORD?
I guess I might say: my inability limits God; people who reject the truth can limit God; lack of finances, lack of the right kind of people, lack of time, the kind of society that I’m in... can limit God! Let’s be clear, God Almighty is unlimited in power and knowledge - He is able! However, one thing does limit God and that is lack of faith! His power is released through prayer and action that is founded on faith in His ability and willingness to act.
He can save
In this incident, when Jonathan says ’nothing can hinder the Lord from saving’, he is referring to a military victory that is against the odds. However, the term ‘save’, can be used for many things: people becoming Christians, provision, opening a door of opportunity, answering any prayer etc.
God is not limited, ‘He can save by many or by few’ - against all the odds, with God, we are always on the winning side. John writes,
‘You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:4)
On one occasion, in a very similar situation to that of Jonathan and his armour bearer, as Elisha the prophet and his servant are surrounded by a great enemy, we read,
‘When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked. “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.’ (1 Kings 6:15-17)
Perhaps the Lord
Jonathan can take this step of faith, even when that faith is not completely sure, because he has faith in the greatness of God to save. As the account continues, we will see that they are seeking to perceive God's will as they progress - they are not just being presumptuous; The ‘perhaps’ (daring action) needs to be joined with prayer (apprehending God’s voice) as we seek to make a difference for God.
It’s the Holy Spirit’s empowering presence that grows our faith in God. As we learn God's Word, the Spirit grows our faith. To this end, this week we are memorising and meditating on 2 Timothy 1:7.
If you store this text in your mind, who knows, you may be in a challenging situation in which the Spirit will bring it to mind; you will be enabled to overcome timidity and act in power, love and self-discipline - just thought!
TIPS ON MEMORISING SCRIPTURE
We will only do this, and persevere in doing this, if we believe that it's truly important to hide God's word in our heart. So get faith!
Don't disqualify yourself if it's hard - it is hard!
Write the text somewhere that's easy to find and use
Include the reference throughout the process
Read it slowly and carefully x 10 (Don't rush or dismiss this accurate repetition)
Recall it, without looking as much as possible x10
Do this a few times through the day
Revise regularly (and revise previously memorised verses)
Make it a habit to learn new verses - skill comes over time
USE IT! Actively use it to pray, worship, counsel, prophecy, and counter temptation and lies by quoting truth - it’s the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).
TIPS ON BIBLICAL MEDITATION
Biblical meditation is to prayerfully read, repeatedly, a section of the bible and pray, worship and respond as God leads. Here are a few tips and questions to help you when meditating:
PRAY - Ask for the Spirit to help you and to speak to you. Keep the goal in mind - having a relationship with God!
WRITING- Writing/journaling is often a great help as you answer the questions below. Remember, don't allow worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, perfection... stop you from writing - it's between you and God.
GOSPEL- What does this text say about salvation through Jesus?
UP- What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
IN- What does this text say about you, the church and how we are to relate?
OUT- What does this text say about non-believers and our mission?
RESPONSE – Is there anything you want to pray, worship God about, do, ask forgiveness about, ask God to help you to change…?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY
(FOR THE WEEK OF 3/3/20)
Introduction (Please read this intro to the group)
This week, in our devotionals, we have been looking at the account of David and his armour bearer achieving a great victory against all the odds. It's a story that teaches us about Faith, leadership, following and listening to God.
The Father has good works for us to achieve together. Allow this story to inspire you to expect God to speak to you, and lead you into His good works.
Please read and discuss 1 Samuel 14:6-7.
'Jonathan said to his young armour-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 armour-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.”'
Jonathan is encouraging his 'young armour-bearer'. Why is it important to mentor younger Christians and are you looking out for people that God wants you to help to train?
According to this text, what can hinder the Lord from saving? (We should take 'saving' as referring the broadest range of categories in which we desire God to change things).
What other texts might you use to encourage someone who was doubting God's abilities?
Perhaps the verse we memorised a few week's ago would help - read Psalm 56:3-4
What are the kinds of things that cause us to think that God cannot save or act on our behalf?
Is there anything in which you are desiring to see victory?
How does this text encourage us to take more daring action, and into what do you think God might be calling you?
What does 2 Timothy 1:7 say about how the Holy Spirit will help us to act like Jonathan and his armour bearer?
NOTE - Please ensure that everyone knows where to find the devotionals (our blog). Encourage the members of your group to use it and to memorise 2 Timothy 1:7 this week.
Please pray for our Community Group ministry. We need to multiply groups and, therefore, need loads more leaders. Like Jonathan and his armour bearer, more of us need to be prepared to lead. Please pray for the multiplication of this vital area of church-life.
Please look at the church news together.