“Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” I Samuel 14:7
Jonathan and his armor-bearer were outnumbered. Knowing God, Jonathan said “Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few.” Knowing that Jonathan couldn’t go alone, the young armor-bearer had a choice. Would he encourage or discourage? At that pivotal moment, he infused Jonathan with courage by saying, “Do all that you have in mind. Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” More important that any weapon carried in his arsenal, he armed Jonathan with courage.
Like Jonathan’s armor-bearer we are faced daily with this same challenge. Will we encourage or discourage? Will we speak what only our eyes can see or the possibilities of God? To encourage is to embolden, hearten, reassure. It means to urge, support, aid and help. It is easier to discourage based on what our eyes see than to encourage with faith for what could be.
The original Hebrew word for encourage is “to tie fast, to bind bonds strongly”. This reminds me that we are instructed to “put on the full armor of God” (eph 6:13-18). We don’t just wake up with it. We have to decide to put it on every day. We have to buckle the belt of truth, put the breastplate of righteousness in place over our hearts, fit our feet into the gospel of peace, take up the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation and hold fast to the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. After doing this we can step out into the unknown in His power, in courage.
To encourage is to cause someone to be in a state of courage. Therefore, encouragement is a power transfer and faith is the catalyst.
[1Sa 14:13-16 NIV] Jonathan climbed up, using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer right behind him. The Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and killed behind him. 14 In that first attack Jonathan and his armor-bearer killed some twenty men in an area of about half an acre. 15 Then panic struck the whole army–those in the camp and field, and those in the outposts and raiding parties–and the ground shook. It was a panic sent by God. 16 Saul’s lookouts at Gibeah in Benjamin saw the army melting away in all directions.
Jonathan received the gift of courage from his armor-bearer and the power of God was released. God isn’t going to force his way into your life, but if you invite him in, expect the supernatural.
When was the last time you gave someone the gift of courage?
How could you tie someone’s shoes with the gospel of peace today?
In His Unfailing Love,