Are You Hiding?
I’m always a bit shocked when I hear statistics such as 83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians (http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=90356) and yet 80% of Americans aren’t in church each week. That means there are a lot of “hidden” Christians.
I love the story of Jonathan and his armor bearer in 1 Samuel 14. I encourage you to read the whole thing (yes, dust off the old Bible, open it, and read J). The short story is that the Israelites are facing the Philistine army and they are basically hiding. Jonathan (son of King Saul) believes that the Lord is working for them, so he and his armor bearer make themselves known to the Philistines. I see him jumping up and down, waving his arms, and perhaps saying, “hey you big ugly uncircumcised Philistines”. Now, he has already told his armor bearer that if the Philistines say come up here, then the Lord is with them, so after getting their attention they say to Jonathan, “come up here”.
Jonathan and his armor bearer then crawl up the hill on their hands and knees (great military strategy), until they are near the Philistine soldiers. Jonathan then stands and the soldiers all fall to the ground. The armor bearer, forgetting his position, rushes in and kills them all. Word of their bravery rockets through both the Philistine and Israelite camps and something amazing happens.
Among the Philistines is a group of Israelites who have done their best to blend into the crowd. They are dressed and talk like the Philistines. They begin to shed their Philistine clothes and weapons and join the Israelite front line to fight the Philistines. There are also many Israelites who haven’t joined the crowd, but they are hidden from the crowd and they begin to come out boldly to join the battle line, as well.
I love this story because people respond to bravery. When a Christian steps out of their comfort zone to pray for healing or lead someone to Christ, it’s noticed by others and the story/testimony carries power to encourage others.
Here are a couple great examples:
In the United States we have many Christians who have melded into the crowd. They look just like the people of the world. We also have Christians who haven’t gone that far, but they hidden. No one at work knows they are a Christian. Perhaps even their family doesn’t know. Yet, acts of bravery will cause both of these groups to come forward and join the front line of action in the battle against the spiritual wickedness in our country.
Jonathan was a true follower of God. He was willing to step out of his comfort zone and do something courageous, knowing that God was with him. If you are a true disciple of Jesus Christ, God is encouraging you to acts of bravery. When you hear someone talking about some sort of physical ailment, ask if you can pray for them. If someone is in the middle of a financial struggle, ask if you can pray and seek a way to help them. God will honor your bravery and your story will be told by others as a testimony to God’s greatness and it will draw people out of the world and out from their hidden places to join the army of God.