The Inability to do Nothing
This week's focus: Involvement
“Now it happened one day that Jonathan the son of Saul said to the young man who bore his armor, “Come, let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” But he did not tell his father. And Saul was sitting in the outskirts of Gibeah under a pomegranate tree…” (1 Samuel 14:1-2)
The Bible doesn’t mention anything remarkable about this particular day, but something must have compelled Jonathan to stand up and get in the fight. Was he prompted by watching those in charge complacently sitting in the shade? Unlike King Saul, it appears that Jonathan had the admirable inability to do nothing. He wisely refused to surrender to the enemy but instead chose to walk in faith to see what God would do when he said, “…it may be that the LORD will work for us. For nothing restrains the LORD from saving by many or by few” (1 Samuel 14:6).
Jonathan and his armor-bearer trusted the Lord’s abilities, sharpened their swords, and personally confronted the Philistines in battle. They may have been in an impossible situation, but they understood that nothing is impossible with God. Their willingness to let the Lord work through them ushered in a great victory and allowed them to witness God’s mighty power first-hand when the LORD saved Israel that day. Not only that, but their courage motivated the rest of the army to come out of hiding and get involved. By following in the footsteps of brave men, the Israelites witnessed the truth of Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Jonathan successfully demonstrated his faith through his actions, and his bravery had a ripple effect. Later that day, his life was spared when the previously trembling and afraid army courageously stood up to the king to defend Jonathan (Saul made a foolish oath—that Jonathan wasn’t aware of—but was nonetheless about to die for breaking it).
“But the people said to Saul, “Shall Jonathan die, who has accomplished this great deliverance in Israel? Certainly not! As the LORD lives, not one hair of his head shall fall to the ground, for he has worked with God this day.” So the people rescued Jonathan, and he did not die” (1 Samuel 14:45-46).
The people recognized that Jonathan was a man who worked with God—what a compliment! Like Jonathan, we, too, can see what God might do when we boldly trust Him and take action. Jonathan modeled that leading is doing, courage is contagious, and victory is secured when God is on our side.
With the boldness of Jonathan, may today be the day we are compelled to be strong and get in the fight. When we choose to work with God, the enemy has no choice but to surrender.
by: Jennifer McAlister for My Faith Votes
“But the people who know their God will be strong and take action.”
Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing Your children to work with You. Please stir our hearts to action and help us to follow You wherever You lead—bravely and obediently. In Jesus’ mighty and powerful name, Amen.
Think: “I had deep within me the inability to do nothing.” - Colonel Joshua Chamberlain
Act: Would you like to “take action” but don’t know what to do? Did you know that more than 15 million Christians in the United States are not even registered to vote? Now is the time to change that by engaging Christians at your church. It’s not too late to approach your pastor or church leadership about participating in National Voter Registration Sunday on September 17, 2023. That day is also Constitution Day, providing one more reason to celebrate our freedoms by ensuring Christians are registered to vote. Download your free toolkit here.
We want to see God honored in America, and we pray for an unprecedented spiritual awakening.
This devotion was produced in partnership with Every Home for Christ.
This ministry is made possible by the generous support of friends like you.