Many desire a “Jonathan and David” friendship but few are willing to pay the price. The starting point for such a friendship is a heart surrendered to the Lord. If I am not yielded to the will of God, not only will I have difficulty embracing God’s purpose for my own life, but I also open myself up to jealousy and envy, even with those to whom I am closest. Jonathan exhibits for us a heart that is surrendered to the purpose of God that resulted in his extraordinary friendship with David, in spite of their circumstances.
As Jonathan and David’s story unfolds we see deep into the heart of Jonathan. Jonathan was to be the king of Israel after his father Saul, but due to Saul’s stubbornness and disobedience, his family loss the right of succession. Jonathan’s loss of the throne was due to no fault of his own, and yet he is submissive to the purpose of God even though it means a lesser role for him. Not only was it a diminished role, but he submits himself to the very man who is to take his place on the throne.
And Saul’s son, Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” (1 Samuel 23:16-18)
Jonathan had the freedom to love and serve David rather than consider him as a threat because he was surrendered to God’s purpose in all things. Viewing others from a surrendered heart removes all threat and gives me the opportunity and privilege to lay down my life for my friend, first out of my love for God but also out of love for my friend. Also, David could trust Jonathan because Jonathan’s surrendered heart would never allow him to thwart God’s plan. A surrendered heart finds joy in making others a success, no matter the cost.
Here are some final thoughts:
- Take an afternoon with the Lord to pray for your disciple/friend and seek what the Lord’s purpose maybe for your friend’s life. (Most people will never have anyone do this for them during their entire lifetime.)
- Communicate to your friend your belief that God has a purpose for his life and together seek out what that purpose may be.
- Ask the Lord to provide opportunities for you to serve your friend.
- Help your friend to recruit a team of people to prayer for their life’s purpose.
Great, thoughtful post! I caught myself thinking about Zechariah and John the Baptist. Though Z was a priest in the Lord’s temple, his central goal in life was his fathering little John. Much like John would say of Jesus, Z must decrease, and John must increase. With Z’s admission of God’s will for his son, he was given speech, and more than that, Z was given a destiny.
If Christians enter into disciplemaking, they must be prepared to be EITHER David OR Jonathan, since this is not about us, it is about Christ.
I’ve had 5 key people in my life pursue me as a disciple/friend, speaking vision into my life and helping me figure out God’s plan. This is huge…we are a peole marked by doubt that we are usefull for anything or at least paralyzed by indecision about what path to take in life. We need this puruing love. We need this belief that we are “made for a purpose.”