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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 1 Sam 14:13 | Upon his hands and upon his feet

1Sa 14:13  And Jonathan climbed up upon his hands and upon his feet, and his armourbearer after him: and they fell before Jonathan; and his armourbearer slew after him.

This verse shows the industry of faith. That is, faith without works is dead, and real genuine faith will cause a man to go on his hands and feet up a cragged cliff to accomplish what he believes God has commissioned. 

Israel and the Philistines were locked in a stalemate for many days, Israel camped at Gibeah and the Philistines locked in their Garrison on Mount Ephraim. These sorts of stalemates are seen in the life of the Christian as well, we have sin, unbelief, inability, or any number of enemies present in our life but fear, doubt and ultimately faithlessness keep us in a place of stalemate with them. We spend days, months, even years locked in a battle that is going nowhere. That was Israel’s condition until Jonathan decided he’d had enough. “Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few.”

Jonathan was not being foolhardy, he wasn’t emboldened by his ability but by the power and ability of God. He trusted in God to deliver the Philistines into his hand and look what faith does, “Jonathan climbed upon his hands and his feet.” Faith makes us walk, faith makes us move, faith in the Lord has made men live in jungles, die at the stake, risk life and limb, O that we knew more of daring faith! Faith will exercise all of its members, if the feet won’t do then the hands will share in the work, if preaching doesn’t work praying will be engaged, and faith won’t rest until like Jacob it has received its victory. Faith that hasn’t caused us to do anything is not faith at all, just an idea or a notion but faith always has works, if not, it is dead. We see dead faith in Saul, his faith couldn’t get him out of his tent in Gibeah. So, what is It that we have? The sort of “faith” that is content to stay in the tent, or the sort of faith that says even if we have to climb this mountain on our hands and feet, we will conquer it with the help of Our Lord!

Something amazing happens when we operate and conquer by faith. Others are emboldened to do the same. Jonathan climbs this cliff, slays 20 of the Philistines and this rouses the others to the battle. Saul assembles the armies, the inhabitants of Mount Ephraim who have been hiding in holes and caves come out and the Lord delivers the Philistines into the hands of Israel. Often Christians are sitting around waiting on a champion, someone who will live by faith, someone who will Go, someone who will dare to serve God no matter the cost. In my own life, God used the Foxes book of Martyrs to embolden me, as well as the testimony of other missionaries and servants, particularly A Man by the name of Tommy Tillman. I read of men and women who were willing to die for their testimony and it convicted me and emboldened me, if they could die for our Lord, surely I must live for him. I remember the words of Paul in Philippians 1:13-14 “So that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places; And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” Paul’s faith to go and preach even in the face of death and imprisonment had emboldened the other brothers to preach without fear! O that we would dare for our Lord, O that we would live by this conquering faith! Not only would victory be wrought but others would be emboldened. Like the Ephraimites climbed out of their holes and joined the battle, many church members would climb out of their apathy and worldliness if there was a faithful example to embolden them to do so. 

Dear Soldier of the Cross, May this heart be in us. To be emboldened by faith to lead the war against sin. To lead the crusade in the conquering of souls. O the victories that can be wrought when we live and fight by faith! “…And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 Jhn 5:4)

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