“I think there is a little Saul in each of us. Part of us wants God to defeat the enemy while we sit under a pomegranate tree on the outskirts of Gibeah. We want God to do something for us without having to do anything for God. But if we don’t do anything, nothing will happen.”- Mark Batterson
“One day Jonathan said to his armor-bearer, ‘Come on, let’s go to where the Philistines have their outpost.’ But Jonathan did not tell his father what he was doing. Meanwhile, Saul and his 600 men were camped on the outskirts of Gibeah, around the pomegranate tree of Migron.”- 1 Samuel 14:1-2 (NLT)
Mark Batterson continues Chapter 7 of Wild Goose Chase as he stresses that participating in the kingdom of God never involves anything remotely resembling passive behavior. Rather, as believers God calls us to advance the cause of Christ. Consequently, Mark underscores, “Faithfulness is not holding the fort. Faithfulness is storming the gates of hell.”
Therefore, Pastor Batterson contends, God wants us to do difficult things in dangerous places. Not seek safe places to do easy things. Subconsciously, Mark believes, we think life should get easier the longer we follow Christ. Certainly, some spiritual disciplines get easier with consistent practice. However, as we grow in Christ, God gives us more difficult things to do. The author adds:
“Rarely does the Holy Spirit lead us down the path of least resistance. It’s not in His nature. . . . your Wild Goose chase will probably take you down the road less traveled. You will have to climb a cliff or pick a fight with the enemy. But you will discover this simple truth: the hard way is the best way.”
Finally, Mark contrasts Saul’s and Jonathan’s responses to the Philistines. While Saul sat under a pomegranate tree in Migron, Jonathan climbed cliffs and engaged the enemy. So, his father sat on the sidelines rather than fight on the front lines. Saul acted like a spiritual spectator, content to let others fight his battles.
Today’s question: Do you ever find yourself acting like a spiritual spectator? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Ultimate dream – what God wants for your life”