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.” (1 Samuel 14:6)
The great Hebrew warriors were itching to fight their Philistine enemies. They didn’t want to wait!
That’s why I was so struck by the word perhaps in reading this passage. Instead of rushing in, these bold warriors were being tentative! Why? They needed to find out whether God would be with them in their attack. Hence, they waited for further direction from the Lord.
And they got a “Yes” from God and went on to a big victory.
Today, few of us are planning military battles, and we are probably not facing anyone as violent as the Philistines. So what, then, does God working on our behalf mean now? How can we ever be sure that God will act?
For starters, Scripture does say that there is one way in which we know the Lord will always act on our behalf: We know that God wants each of us to grow to be more like Christ and to show more of God’s glory.
But can we get the precise details and guidance on exactly how God will achieve that in our life? Not always!
Last year, I was excitedly waiting for my new age group in competitive running. I was sure I could show God’s glory by running strong and winning prizes as the youngest runner in my new group. But God had other plans — just months before my milestone birthday, I developed a heart rhythm issue that takes away much of my speed and power in running. And this probably won’t ever change. Yet I know that God is with me in it. Indeed, I have seen him more closely in some ways that I would have if I were able to persist as a running fanatic!
Yes, it’s great to know by faith that God loves to act on my behalf, even though the way he does it can be quite different from how I told him I wanted it done!