Written by: Pastor Marcio Sierra Jr.
Some time ago, I went on a run with a friend of mine who was in better shape than me and who I knew liked to be a little extreme when it came to exercise. As we started on our run, he took a turn at a place that I was not familiar with and said, “Come, follow me!” I didn’t think twice about it and went ahead and followed. We hadn’t run more than three minutes on this new path when a hill that seemed to go on forever appeared before us. “Come, follow me!” said my friend again as he attacked that hill as if it was nothing. Again, I decided to follow him but this time with a little hesitation. When I started to reach the top of the hill, as he waited for me to catch up with him, I noticed that a new and even more menacing hill was just ahead. I looked at him with a face of discontent and listened as he said with a smile, “Come, follow me!” This time, I decided to stop and think about my decision. I looked at the hill, I looked for other options, I counted the cost, I reasoned, and most importantly, I listened to what my body was saying, “No way Jose.” As my friend started to run up the second hill, I shouted “Wait! I can’t run up that hill.” He didn’t even look back or stop running as he replied with, “You can’t or you won’t?” In order to save my ego, I went ahead and followed him up the hill, again. After running 6 very hilly and killer miles, we made it back to the car with a feeling of pride and accomplishment, I was able to say, “I did it.” I can’t say that it was easy and very fun, but I know that those six miles made me stronger and helped me realize that there is more in me than what I thought.
Just like in the story you just read, there has been many times in my life when God, through a friend, His Word, a message, a prophesy, etc. has said to me “Come, follow Me!” And just like in the story, there has been times when I have followed without thinking twice, other times when I get a little hesitant, and some times when I get scared and try to make excuses about why I should or won’t follow Him. Often times, the things that God calls us to “follow” Him on don’t seem fun, easy, or even helpful. Actually, in most cases they are very difficult, require a lot of faith, and in some cases, leave us with scars. Still, when you follow to the end, you get to experience God in ways that you couldn’t imagine and come out being stronger, more confident of who you are in God, and more like Jesus, which should be the aim of every Christian in the world.
In the book of 1 Samuel 14, we find the story of Jonathan, the son of King Saul, and his armor bearer. This is a beautiful story of a servant man who is willing to follow his master to the end regardless of how difficult the following might be. One reads in vs. 1 that Jonathan says to his armor bearer, “Come and let us cross over to the Philistines’ garrison that is on the other side.” (NASV) Again, in vs. 6 Jonathan says to his armor bearer, “Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.” (NASV) What one needs to understand is that the Philistines are the enemy of God’s people and they are a mighty and strong army that is willing and ready to kill any Israelite that comes in their way. As a matter of fact, they are assembled there in order to fight the Israelites. What Jonathan is asking his armor bearer to do is pretty much a suicide mission if we think in the natural. Not only are Jonathan and his armor bearer outnumbered by the Philistines, but they are not even sure that God is going to be with them, which is evidenced by Jonathan’s “perhaps” statement in vs. 6. Still, the servant’s reply is, “Do all that is in your heart; turn yourself, and here I am with you according to your desire.” (1 Samuel 14:7 NASV) What a powerful statement of loyalty, love, commitment, obedience, faith, and boldness was expressed by the armor bearer with these words. This is a powerful example of how we are to respond to our Master when he calls us to follow Him. Regardless of how difficult the mission or request is, we can have the confidence that God is in control and ready to fight our battle for us if we just submit to his calling. As one continues to read 1 Samuel 14, one discovers that Jonathan and his armor bearer were able to win a great victory over a great army that was bigger in number than they were. Not only were they able to win the battle, but the entire Philistine army in the region trembled in fear because of what Jonathan and his loyal servant were able to do.
If Jonathan was able to have such a great victory with the help of a loyal and committed servant, can you imagine what God can do with you if you say yes to what He is calling you to do? How committed, loyal, obedient, and passionate are you towards God? I believe it was the armor bearer’s commitment to his master that caused him to look beyond the difficulties of the task at hand and moved him into a posture of submission and obedience. The more committed and loyal we are to God, the less we are going to focus on the difficulty of the task at hand and the !more we are going to have the faith to say yes to whatever He is calling us to do. Whenever you are feeling hesitant to follow God, remember what the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:14, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” (NASV)
May God continue to bless you and help you as you become his loyal and committed servant in this world.