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 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God  – Ephesians 6:13-17

 

The story in 1 Samuel 14 doesn’t tell us exactly how long Saul and his men were in hiding before Jonathan stood up to lead the charge, but we know it was at least one whole week. Imagine yourself sitting in a tomb or in an empty cistern while the battle continued to loom – day after day, remaining in hiding, convinced by Saul to remain fearful and inactive. What would be swirling in your heart: a growing fear of the enemy’s attacks? an intensifying rage directed toward the passivity of your leadership? a swelling impatience because there’s more to be done? or a solidifying conviction that there’s more to become?

When Jonathan steps out, one small drop of faith ignites a tidal-wave of courage within the camp. Sure, there was fear in his heart, but there was also a confidence in his God. Sure, he was guilty of sitting in hiding with the rest of them and perhaps wanting someone else to make the first move, but he didn’t let those days define him. Sure, he was just one person with one sword, but he used what he had and engaged the battle once again. Jonathan’s act of courage became the spark to re-light the forest-fire around him.

Whether we recognize it or not, there’s a spiritual battle looming in our lives too and many of us are still cowering in our own caves afraid to engage the battle and join the fight. But, like Jonathan, being late to the battle is no excuse for not showing up. Jonathan recognized what he had – one friend, one sword, and one dose of courage. Then he re-engaged – not just for himself but for the sake of the whole camp. We can be like Jonathan when we recognize the armor we do have in Ephesians 6, and we can stand – not to fight the battle alone but to strike a match of courage in other people’s lives, too. Let’s ignite courage in one another today by calling out the potential we see in those around us. Use Ephesian 6:13-17 to identify what armor you and your friends already possess. Then send a note of encouragement to a friend reminding them what they have to re-engage their spiritual battle today.

 

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By Yvonne Biel 

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