By Josh Ott

Now a detachment of Philistines had gone out to the pass at Mikmash.One day Jonathan son of Saul said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the Philistine outpost on the other side.” But he did not tell his father…On each side of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine outpost was a cliff; one was called Bozez and the other Seneh. One cliff stood to the north toward Mikmash, the other to the south toward Geba.

1 Samuel 14:1-5

When the path isn’t easy.

The imagery of this path is absolutely amazing.

On one side, you have this cliff, Bozez. Bozez means slippery, like slippery slope. And on the other side is Seneh, meaning thorny cliff. You have Jonathan and his armor-bearer literally walking down a path between a slippery slope and a thorny cliff to an enemy outpost that is sure to put up a fight.

That’s not a journey you want to plot out when you talk to your travel agent. It’s not like when you’re plotting the future with your leadership team. You don’t look for the road down the middle of a slippery slope and a thorny path with the cliff at the end of it.

We look for the easy route.

But the path that God is calling us down is not always easy. It can be a slippery slope on one side; a thorny cliff on the other side with opposition right in front of us.

What could God do with us if we refused to sit under the tree and followed down the thorny, slippery path just to follow the call that God has for us – to engage an enemy with hope and love and the Word we have from God.

But we need a couple of things to help us along the way.

1. We need wisdom.

As they are walking the path, Jonathan and his armor-bearer had a discussion about what the response was going to be to their actions. Jonathan exercised wisdom as he followed the path God set out for him. We have to use wisdom on the path, too.

2. We need other people.

Listen, the path is always hard, but it is always worth walking – together. The armor-bearer had Jonathan’s back. we need people like that.

Jonathan pitches his plan to his armor-bearer. If I were the armor-bearer I would have immediately dismissed the plan. But the armor-bearer says, “I’m with you heart and soul.”

You’re supposed to walk the path, but you’re not supposed to walk the path alone.

When you feel like it is too hard.

Here’s the challenge – don’t be Saul, be Jonathan and the armor-bearer.

Saul’s story continues in the next chapter of 1 Samuel. It is the beginning of the end for Saul. And the chapter after that, God points at His man, David, and says this is a guy who is going to replace Saul.

Saul’s story was over. Yours isn’t.

If you’re thinking your story is over because you have to make a change in ministry – you’re wrong. If you think you’re story is over because you don’t know what job you’re going to do next, because you’re worried about your finances – you have to understand that when you’re following Him your story is never over.

It’s only over if you end it by falling back and staying by your pomegranate tree. God wants to do so much with your life no matter what part of your ministry and life you’re in. He’s not done with you yet.

Be a Jonathan who is courageous and willing to say, “I am scared. I don’t know what this next part of my ministry will look like, but I have to follow you, Jesus. I have to follow you and be faithful to the call you have placed on my life even when the tension rises up and squeezes my heart.”

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Joshua Ott
Josh Ott is lead pastor at Grace Free Church in Cressona, PA. He is also a speaker, coach and creator of the The Speaking Course for Pastors, Speakers and Church Leaders.
Joshua Ott

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