“He said to his men, ‘The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord's anointed.’”
1 SAMUEL 24:6
Read 1 Samuel 24:1-22
It’s amazing to look at Christianity around the world and know that we all, at varying levels, are going through battles. It’s an apt reminder of Paul’s words to Timothy, "fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12) The fight can simply be the ability to trust God under what seems like insurmountable pressure, a decision that needs to be made, bills that need to be paid, confrontations that need to be had. Yet in the midst of it all we wrestle with, “what can we do to help?" when actually the wrestle needs to be around, “Lord help me step aside and trust you. You called and you will provide, you will open, you will remove the obstacles.”
One of my favourite stories is that of John G Lakes’ call to Africa, and how this man of great faith trusted God through the process. The part that challenged me was that even after John had seen God provide his ticket onboard a ship, there were more obstacles to come. Once onboard and crossing the ocean, John was informed of an amount of money he would be required to provide as a disembarkation tax. However, John had only had enough for his ticket. Rather than approach others to raise the funds, he got on his knees to pray. In the midst of the prayer, He felt God tell him he need not worry and that God would provide.
He continued to sail and days past with no sign of the money he needed.
What would you do?
John rested in, "God had called and had said". When the time came to depart, knowing he did not have the money for the disembarkation tax, a stranger walked up to him with an envelope and said, “The Lord has told me to give this to you”. Talk about the 11th hour!
Upon opening the envelope, he was surprised as there was around £35 extra than he had asked for. Upon disembarking, John found out he needed to catch a train to his accommodation. The cost for the ticket including meals? You guessed it £35.
When it comes to standing in faith, there’s always a test and a battle, but every test passed and battle won is a foundation for bigger victories to come. Don’t put on the boxing gloves when God has called you to pray, “lifting up holy hands”. (1 Timothy 2:8) You may not see how; you may feel battered but lean into God and let your faith take you through to the fulfillment of God’s promises.
Author: Martin Stockdale - Lead Elder, Impact Church, Adelaide