“Then Jonathan said, ‘Very well, let us cross over to these men, and we will show ourselves to them. If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we will stand still in our place and not go up to them. But if they say thus, ‘Come up to us,’ then we will go up. For the Lord has delivered them into our hand, and this will be a sign to us.’” 1 Samuel 14:8–10
We don’t know how often it happens but from time to time God calls us to do something for him that’s truly special. These moments are, in fact, times when God is prepared to do something great through us and all that’s required is that we be willing say yes, take what ever risk the situation presents, and do what ever it is that God’s calling us to do.
Today’s passage in 1 Samuel chapter fourteen tells the story of a time when Saul’s son Jonathan had a call to greatness. Scripture’s unclear as to how the call presented itself to Jonathan. It doesn’t say that God spoke to him, or that an angel came to him, it seems that Jonathan simply felt a compelling desire to go out and confront the Philistine encampment that had assembled against them not far away.
Most of us in this situation wouldn’t have handled the situation like Jonathan did. We’d have talked to someone about it, gotten advice or approval, and probably ended up getting ourselves talked out of doing anything risky or rash. But Jonathan doesn’t tell anyone what he’s doing except his armor bearer who he asks to come with him.
The plan is that they will show themselves to the Philistines and that if the Philistines say to stay where they are and wait for them to come down they will, and if they tell them to come up that’s a sign that God has given the Philistines into their hand.
They do just what Jonathan suggested and are told to come up so they do and as soon as they’re up they attack the guards and at the same time God attacks with an earthquake. It appears that in the camp of the Philistines there were also some Hebrew mercenaries who decided to betray their employers and fight with Jonathan.
Eventually, Saul and his six hundred soldiers also enter the fighting but by that time the Philistines are in full retreat completely routed by God working through Jonathan, his armor bearer, and the now loyal Hebrew mercenaries. Great things happened that day because Jonathan answered God’s call to greatness.
A call to greatness doesn’t always have the glorious result that Jonathan’s call had that day; the impact is always important but not to everyone.
Like with Jonathan the call to greatness may not come with an obvious indication that it’s God making the call, it may just feel like a whim or a crazy idea. If you’re going to follow God’s call quite often it requires that you have a very close connection to God so that you can hear his faintest whispers and recognize that the prompting is coming from God. After that you need to get in the habit to going and doing what you believe God’s leading you to do. You don’t need more counsel or permission; God’s given you the call. Faith is all that’s required for you to say yes to God’s call to greatness.