1 Samuel 14:6-14:7 In looking at the passage in 1 Samuel, Jonathan seemed to be in a situation of uncertainty. The future, the absolute direction he needed for the present time just was not clear. All he could say in v.6 was "It may be..." He couldn’t be sure one way or the other. He seemed to, and probably did, feel that it was the right thing to do, but there is uncertainty revealed in his words. There seemed to be some doubt.
Doubt is the opposite of faith. In Ephesians 6, the apostle Paul talks about the "armor of God." In that discussion, he speaks of "taking the shield of faith, with a hitch we can quench the fiery darts of the enemy." If doubt is the opposite of faith, then it is faith that is needed to dispel the darts of doubt that the enemy tries to hit us with. There are times when we are just "hit" with doubt, and we need a shield of faith to quench Satan’s attempts to unravel our faith.
But I also believe that there are times when we have uncertainties and doubts, if you will, when the enemy is not majorly involved. There are times when we are just unsure and unclear on the right step to take, and the right move to make. Sometimes, all we have is a sense, a feeling, and something abstract. We have nothing concrete and sure. Most of the time, in every area of life, we like guarantees. We like the sure thing.
But the "sure thing" doesn’t require any faith. In Hebrews 11:6, faith is identified as a prerequisite for pleasing God. The truth is, most of us will face more "maybe’s" than we will certainties in our walk with God. There will be times when we have a sense of what’s right, what God’s will is, but we will still have doubts and uncertainties.
Ecclesiastes 11 talks about "not watching the wind and clouds." What does that mean? I believe it means: Don’t get caught up watching the natural circumstances. Don’t get distracted by waiting for natural things to align themselves. Listen: If all we do is wait on the right time, on the right conditions, on the right people, or the right atmosphere, then all we will ever do is sit around talking about "how bad we need things to line up" so we can get things done!
The metaphor used in Ecclesiastes 11, relates this truth to sowing and reaping. "He who regards the wind will never sow, and he that observes the clouds will never reap." Whether sowing or reaping, you can’t sit around waiting on "perfect" conditions before you take action. Don’t wait on the wind, and don’t focus on the clouds. And if we wait to do anything for God, until we are absolutely sure that it’s the right thing, then we will only sit around and miss miracles!
Sometimes you have to move out on a "maybe." Now I’m not talking about senseless action, and trusting God to empower our every whim. But I do believe that there are times when you have to step out by faith, and that means that YOU WILL NOT BE SURE. To wait until you’re sure is not moving by faith. All you may have is a "maybe". But I believe the Lord would say, "If you will begin to move out on a maybe, I will transform your maybe into a MIRACLE!"
We are to walk by faith and not by sight. That means take a chance, move out even when you’re unsure. Move out on a "maybe". That means you can still have some doubts and reservations. You can still have questions, and not know the whole plan. But if you will move out on a "maybe," then God can do an awesome work, just because you stepped out in "maybe faith."
So, what are you going to do when you’re not certain? Are you just going to sit back and wait on the natural circumstances to align themselves? Are you going to wait for conditions that are perfect to launch the ministry expansion God put on your heart?
I want to try and help you in this area. I really believe what I’m about to tell you, so please hear me. Jesus said, "I am he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens." I believe that God can open and shut doors that we, nor anyone else, can do anything about. *HOWEVER, I also believe that there are doors that God unlocks, but leaves closed, seeing if we have the faith to try the doorknob! I believe we have often missed God’s movement and direction, because we wanted to see the entire panoramic view. But God may just be wanting us to "push on the door" a little bit!
I believe that God will draw you to an unlocked door that is closed, and then give you a "maybe" condition, and see what your faith will cause you to do! Some people are worried about making a mistake. And it is a possibility. But I have come to know that you cannot make a mess so big that God cannot turn it around. You can’t make a mistake so big, that God cannot erase it. If you give yourself permission to fail or falter, you give yourself permission to try. And sometimes, that’s all God wants. He just wants you to try!
Now, you may think that we are only to move out on a surety. But do you realize how many natural decisions we make, based on a "maybe"? What about marriage? What about fishing? What about these deer hunters that get up a 3:00 A.M. while it’s still dark, put on camouflage, go to the woods, get in a tree stand and sit for EIGHT HOURS? They are doing all of that based on a "MAYBE!" *And if people will do natural, menial things based on a "maybe," could it be possible that God wants us to incorporate that kind of faith into the realm of Spiritual matters?
A man brought his demon possessed son to Jesus, to get him to cast the devils out. Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible." But the man replied: "I believe. But help my unbelief." Now, that sounds like "Schizophrenic Faith." First he believes, then he doesn’t believe. But I believe that he was saying: "All I have hope in is a ’MAYBE!’ I know you can do it, but I’m not sure what you’re going to do." But Jesus moved on his behalf, and turned his "maybe" into a MIRACLE!
And his armor bearer coming to a place where they were facing a garrison of the Philistines. Some believe this to be up to 250 armed soldiers. So it was 2 against 250. What were they to do? Jonathan says, "Let us go over unto them, for IT MAY BE that the Lord will work for us." Now listen: An armor bearer didn’t have his own weaponry and armor. He only bore that of his master. So there was only one sword among them, and they want to "attack!"
And the armor bearer, in v. 7, proves that he’s just as "crazy" as Jonathan, because he says, "I’m with you. Do what’s in your heart!" Oh Lord, give us a church full of people like that. People who will move out on a maybe, and others who will say, "We’re with you!" Let me try to bring this to an application for us.
Look at what these men were missing. They were at a place of insufficiency. They had insufficient personnel, insufficient weaponry or equipment, and insufficient plans. They weren’t equipped, or able in the natural to do it. But they also had something else: THEY HAD "MAYBE FAITH." They didn’t have assurance, but they had faith in a "maybe"! And God intervened on their behalf, and wrought a wonderful victory!
So listen in closing: I don’t want to excuse my inactivity any longer, nor the church’s inactivity, by giving lame excuses that are not full of faith, but full of doubtful reasoning. I don’t plan on my last words being "It’s just not time yet." I think it’s time that we analyze our faith, and begin to step out on a "MAYBE", and trust God to turn that "maybe" into a miracle!
When all you’ve got is a "maybe," MAYBE God is wanting you to move on out, test the doorknob, push on the door, and step out in faith. And what is faith? What is it really?
Faith is what moves you, motivates you, and ACTIVATES you, WHEN ALL YOU’VE GOT IS A "MAYBE".