And 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. And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart. 1 Samuel 14:6,7

As a 19 year old college student I remember being at home in Hardin, KY during my Christmas break (it was a Christmas break and not a winter break.. I went to a distinctively Baptist college). I was sitting in front of my desktop computer and waiting for my dial up internet to pull up sermons on My friend Aaron, missionary in North Africa now, had been telling me about a man who was investing in young men’s lives by training them for missions service in Arequipa, Peru. I wanted so badly to serve Jesus with my life. I was looking for someone to lead me into the battle to help train me for future ministry. I had found a great ministry in the college I was at but what I was looking for was a mentor (I didn’t know that word and many other words back then).

As Austin Gardner preached about how Jonathan and his armour bearer risked their lives for the cause of God’s glory my heart screamed… “I want that!”. His three point message to dream, discover, and determine to live out the God given dream hit me right between the eyes. It puts words to where I knew I was at in my life. I remember kneeling at the chair and asking God to allow me the opportunity to run into a situation where victory could only be won if God fought for us. I knew I had lived too long in my efforts. I wanted to live a life that would yield an impact in this world that would be disproportionate to my talents, ability, and strength.

As I look back on that passage, that time in my life, and nearly 10 years of serving along side Pastor Austin Gardner there are a few things that I want to be found in my life. I want to challenge young men to join the battle and I want them to know I am willing to help get them on the frontline.

  • Be someone that has a heart that could be trusted in the battle. The armour bearer did not a game plan. He was able to trust the heart of Jonathan and followed him into battle. I want to live a life of actions that result of heart with pure motives.
  • I want to be better at believing at God in the work than I am at math. Jonathan was greatly outnumbered. He was not stacking him and the armor bearer verses the Philistines. He compared their strength against the might of our mighty God. There is enough people explaining to the younger generation why things don’t work out on self preserving calculators. They need to see people willing to take risks for the cause of Christ.
  • I love that Jonathan invited someone to join him in the fight. What is an extra person going to do? It is going to allow another person to be a witness of what God was going to do. That is what we should be inviting people to do. We are not inviting people to delegate work to, like carry a sword. We are inviting people to join us watch God do the impossible.

This morning at 7:30 am EST my mentor, pastor, friend, and the man who taught me how to get engaged in the battle will have surgery. I ask that you pray for him. I am confident that he will show to me and the 35+ missionaries we work with, our church family, and all those his life has influenced how a man of God will trust God in this trial as well.

Pioneer Senders let’s be this for the young people we have influence with. Let’s lead them into battle where they know that if God does not fight for us then we will fail. Let’s no longer be comfortable with what we can accomplish in our own strength.

1 Comment
  • Posted June 7, 2012 12:52 pm
    by Jason Holt

    Great reminder of how Pastor Gardner has influenced us and how we should influence others. Thanks for sharing!

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