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SPRING BREAKTHROUGH #4AM – PICK A FIGHT WITH A PROBLEM!1 sam 14

Your world is about to change – but only if you let God get involved.

I want to put you into a certain frame of mind to get you ready for the message this morning. I want you to picture church people a little differently today. I want you to see a picture as I paint it for you, that church people here today are something like this:

It’s late at night; and there’s nothing on TV, you are as bored as anything and now like a pack of restless teenagers you are wandering around town looking for trouble. There’s a kind of crowd confidence that overcomes normal inhibitions, anything can happen. You will follow a leader if that person shows any sort of confidence. You might end up wet or covered in dirt or miles from home, but one thing’s for sure you will have a story to tell for the next few years. And what’s more it’s been a heck of a lot more interesting than staying home and doing nothing.

Think like a bored teenager for the next hour. Think about how much you want to experience life and energy and change. Think about how much you have let caution, shyness, fear and playing it safe, keep you limited for the last few years. When was the last time you were outrageous? When was the last time you sang Karaoke? When was the last time you did something for the first time? – Hold that thought. Hold that mindset.

IT’S TIME TO GO LOOKING FOR A BREAKTHROUGH!

SO PICK A FIGHT WITH A PROBLEM

Read 1 Sam 14:1-16, (MESS)

1Sa 14:1  Later that day, Jonathan, Saul’s son, said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison patrol on the other side of the pass.” But he didn’t tell his father.

1Sa 14:2  Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). There were about six hundred men with him.

1Sa 14:3  Ahijah, wearing the priestly Ephod, was also there. (Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli the priest of GOD at Shiloh.) No one there knew that Jonathan had gone off.

1Sa 14:4  The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh.

1Sa 14:5  The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah).

1Sa 14:6  Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on now, let’s go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe GOD will work for us. There’s no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop GOD from saving when he sets his mind to it.”

1Sa 14:7  His armor bearer said, “Go ahead. Do what you think best. I’m with you all the way.”

1Sa 14:8  Jonathan said, “Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll cross over the pass and let the men see we’re there.

1Sa 14:9  If they say, ‘Halt! Don’t move until we check you out,’ we’ll stay put and not go up.

1Sa 14:10  But if they say, ‘Come on up,’ we’ll go right up–and we’ll know GOD has given them to us. That will be our sign.”

1Sa 14:11  So they did it, the two of them. They stepped into the open where they could be seen by the Philistine garrison. The Philistines shouted out, “Look at that! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”

1Sa 14:12  Then they yelled down to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up here! We’ve got a thing or two to show you!”

1Sa 14:13  Jonathan shouted to his armor bearer, “Up! Follow me! GOD has turned them over to Israel!” Jonathan scrambled up on all fours, his armor bearer right on his heels. When the Philistines came running up to them, he knocked them flat, his armor bearer right behind finishing them off, bashing their heads in with stones.

1Sa 14:14  In this first bloody encounter, Jonathan and his armor bearer killed about twenty men.

1Sa 14:15  That set off a terrific upheaval in both camp and field, the soldiers in the garrison and the raiding squad badly shaken up, the ground itself shuddering–panic like you’ve never seen before!

1Sa 14:16  Saul’s sentries posted back at Geba (Gibeah) in Benjamin saw the confusion and turmoil raging in the camp.

1Sa 14:20  Saul immediately called his army together and they went straight to the battle. When they got there they found total confusion–Philistines swinging their swords wildly, killing each other.

1Sa 14:21  Hebrews who had earlier defected to the Philistine camp came back. They now wanted to be with Israel under Saul and Jonathan.

1Sa 14:22  Not only that, but when all the Israelites who had been hiding out in the backwoods of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were running for their lives, they came out and joined the chase.

1Sa 14:23  GOD saved Israel! What a day! The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now–ten thousand strong!–with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.

BACKGROUND

Here’s the background to the story.

King Saul had been king for a while and not doing a very good job at all. He disobeys God and offers animals as sacrifice when he should waited for the prophet Samuel. Jonathan his son is a bit of a hothead, but he wants to make some progress. Saul started off with three companies of soldiers but most of them left him in fear and he has now only 600 left and they don’t have spears or swords. Sounds like a crack fighting force right?

THE STORY

Now Jonathan thinks, “I’ve gotta do something!” He decides to pick a fight with the Philistines. Something has got to change! Somebody has got to move out and do something, and that person may as well be me!

He takes his armour bearer with him – just two of them. They go right up to a garrison of the enemy and this is their unique strategy: Let the enemy dictate the terms of the battle – that way we know God is in it!!

Think like a teenager now: He’s off on his own, he hasn’t consulted the king, his father, but look at this boldness, this seemingly misplaced confidence! There’s initiative, there’s a bit of craziness, there’s thinking outside the box; but above all there’s an expectation on God!! Jonathan says God can save by many or by few (Vs 6) This is the key to his outrageous adventure.

He decided – GO PICK A FIGHT WITH A PROBLEM – but believes God is with him no matter what!

What have you done different this month? What have you changed or applied or given up to create momentum in your situation? Have you given God something to work with to give you your Spring Breakthrough? If nothing changes then nothing will change.

Are you doers of the word or are you just hearers only? Will we be a powerhouse church that is so passionate about God’s word that we listen to the word preached and we apply it straight away? Are we built on Rock or sand?

Here’s your check point….

In August our theme was Living Word. – How much change took place in your life so far to build the word of God in because of those messages?

Don’t fool yourself that you can just come along to church every week and listen to messages as though they were just interesting information and not change and expect to be an effective Christian. God is looking for His people to be salt and light, that’s influence. Standing out not blending in.

We need a Spring breakthrough, the church needs a Spring Breakthrough and Melbourne needs a Spring Breakthrough! We probably judge ourselves too kindly. It’s just too easy for all of us to say, “I’m a good Christian!” But we measure things like being honest, loving others and being good. When God is doing the measuring He looks from heaven and says,

Eze 9:4  “Walk through the city of Jerusalem and mark the forehead of anyone who is truly upset and sad about the disgusting things that are being done here.” (CEV)

And this: Mat 28:19  Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

If we want to reach our city of Whittlesea for God and we keep going at the rate we are going it will never happen! The church here and elsewhere looks a lot like Saul and his army, not making any headway and not having any weapons of substance. But it can all change with one bold move from a person of faith.

THIS IS WHAT ISRAEL WAS LIKE BEFORE JONATHAN’S MISSION

1Sa 13:15  At that, Samuel got up and left Gilgal. What army there was left followed Saul into battle. They went into the hills from Gilgal toward Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul looked over and assessed the soldiers still with him–a mere six hundred!

1Sa 13:22  So when the battle of Micmash was joined, there wasn’t a sword or spear to be found anywhere in Israel–except for Saul and his son Jonathan; they were both well-armed.

WE SAW WHAT JONATHAN ACHIEVED WITH HIS CRAZY MISSION INTO ENEMYTERRITORY.

THIS WAS THE OUTCOME –

1Sa 14:23  GOD saved Israel! What a day! The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now–ten thousand strong!–with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.

ITS TIME FOR YOUR SPRING BREAKTHROUGH – IT’S TIME FOR YOUR BOLD MOVE.

Come on you reckless teenagers, bored with hum drum life. What will your move be?

For Carole  – it was to obey the voice in her heart that said share your faith with your father again even though he’s been antagonistic for years.

For Andrew  – the bold move was to continue to believe God for a job long past the due season for answers.

What about you?

What’s your bold move to create an opportunity for God? What does it look like? Ask the Holy Spirit. Step out and obey God. Pray and seek Him.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What inspires you about Jonathan in this story?

2. Describe how he talks about faith in this story.

3. How are you going with being a doer of the word and not just a hearer only?

4. If our church has a vision to impact the local area, then what kind of activity is required from the members?

5. What will your bold move be?

 

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