[vc_row height=”small” el_class=”dailyBody” css=”.vc_custom_1465516518912{margin-top: -25px !important;}”][vc_column width=”1/4″][us_image image=”31115″ size=”tnail-1×1″][us_separator height=”20px” size=”custom”][us_sharing providers=”email,facebook,twitter,gplus”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]Sometimes the greatest battles we face are the internal pressures that we or others have placed upon us. Things like family expectations wage war within us. Question like will I ever be good enough to be noticed? Sometimes it is these internal battles that unravel our souls more than any external adversity could.

It’s those internal voices that probably explain Jonathan’s actions in Chapter 14 of 1 Samuel. It says he takes his armor-bearer and leaves the camp, “but he did not tell his father.” There were so many familial, social, and political pressures that begged Jonathan not to leave the camp that day and follow God into that great victory. Picture the situation. In chapter 13, Jonathan had taken the very ground they were standing on from the Philistines. The Israelites gave the credit to his father, king Saul. Father had his posse gathered under this pomegranate after offering an unrighteous sacrifice to try to get God’s help against this huge army they faced.

Jonathan had the authority of his father (who was also the king) preventing him from stepping out like he did. He also had the social pressures of the fearful crowd waging against him. The six hundred men gathered there were already the bravest men in Israel. All the others had left to hide in caves and holes in the ground. There is this huge question about who will lead this group but Jonathan can’t usurp his father’s authority. All these internal pressures could have prevented him from acting but they didn’t. Jonathan finds a way to avoid shaming his father and king while at the same time following God into victory. He simply sneaks out of all those pressures when he sneaks out of that camp.

There are pressures all around us that wage war in our souls to prevent us from doing what is right. Today, under the teaching and way of Jesus, we learn that we are supposed to pray for our enemies. Many of those pressures beg us to respond to our enemies (Matt. 5:44). There is nothing inside us or inside our culture that likes that. Take some time to think who your enemies are right now. Who are you struggling with? Sneak out from under the pressure to hate and instead pray for them. Follow God into that victory.[/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Aaron Bjorklund 

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