This past weekend, I had my dear friend and brother, John Jun drive me to Santa Maria and back. I love driving because it’s my time of prayer, reflection, and meditation with the Lord. I love road trips and I love being behind the road. I definitely feel better driving than being a passenger! ;]
Not that it’s because I like being in control, but because I don’t feel car sick when I drive.
Anyways, brother John, who is a fellow leader in our church and a covenant brother to me, drove me and accompanied me in this weekend church. It was a full on weekend; just the way I like it!
Lots of ministry, driving, people and fun!
As I was in ministry mode, ministering to about two hundred or so people, in a time span of two days, John was ministering to me. As I was serving the people, John was helping me by serving me.
He was accompanying me, praying with me, reflecting with me, and most importantly, he was keeping watch. This is what you call an armor bearer.
We need people in our lives who are going to keep watch over us and help oversee and administrate the flow of our lives. John was being that for me in this past weekend. He was being a heavenly and holy armor bearer.
Paul says in the letter to the Corinthians, that there are different gifts in the Body of Christ. One of them is service. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
I don’t believe in the doctrine that only a few of the gifts are especially designated for a few. I don’t believe that it is Christ’s desire to only give us some. I believe that it is His will to give us all that He is!
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not, also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
But I believe one of the most holy and beautiful gifts in the Body of Christ; is service. The Lord is restoring a true definition of what this word and realm of service is all about.
Jonathan, the prince of Israel and up and coming, rising king, after Saul, had an armor bearer.
Everybody was dead afraid of moving further in battle against the Philistines. But here comes Jonathan, full of wit and guts, to want to sneak in to the enemy’s camp, during the night, and to do something! Some times, what we do isn’t important. What’s important is that something is just done!
So here comes Jonathan with this wild, passionate, crazy idea! He’s the prince of Israel! Shouldn’t he be getting fed grapes and get cooled off, sitting on a habana, while people are fanning him with giant leaves? Shouldn’t he be sitting on the throne or enjoying a concubine, or another form of leisure? After all, he’s the prince of the king of Israel! He’s royalty!
But here is, in battle and wanting to valiantly make one of the boldest moves of his life; which in turn, could also put the lives of the men of Israel at stake.
God is raising up leaders who rise up to the occasion, and go bold, in making the hard, yet necessary decisions to advance the Kingdom of God further.
Guess who goes up with Jonathan? It is his armor bearer.
His armor bearer responds and says, “Do all that is in your heart. Go then; here I am with you, according to your heart.” (1 Samuel 14:7)
Now this guy, this armor bearer, isn’t just any armor bearer; he is Jonathan’s armor bearer. What does that mean? That means that this armor bearer had a form of adequacy to meet and match the high needs of Jonathan, the prince of Israel.
It means, that in a sense, this armor bearer was in the same amount of stature, wisdom, strength, and character, to be able to service this prince. He was literally a match in stature with Jonathan, maybe even more?
But who’s the leader here? Jonathan or the armor bearer? The prince or the servant? The one who is known all throughout the world, or the young man, who’s name isn’t even mentioned in the text, but is just called by his role?
Who’s the real leader here? The known or the unknown? The nameless or the renown? The recognized or looked over? The ones on stage, or the ones behind it? The ignored and forgotten parents, or the cute children with all of their selfish attention? Who’s the real leader?
The Lord is raising up an army of people who are walking in covenant, who will say yes in their heart, to serving one another. It doesn’t matter how great, crazy, and wild the dream may be; if it’s of God and if it’s in your heart, let’s do it! Let’s do all that we can to see it happen! Let’s do all that we can, to see it come to life!
People who are willing to put their lives on the line, for the sake of another’s dreams and visions. This is sacrifice! This is service! Serving people isn’t done out of convenience; it’s done out of covenant.
Serving people isn’t done out of selfish gain and motive; it’s done out of love. We serve one another because we’re in Love Himself, Christ Jesus. We serve one another, because the Holy Spirit on the inside of us, compels us to do so. Wherever the Spirit of God is, I want to be!
Serving people, selflessly and relentlessly, cost lives. It costs us everything; but the dreams of God are worth it. To see another brother’s and sister’s dream come to life, is so totally worth it! To see another member of the family, progress and move forward in life is so worth it! Their promotion is my promotion! Their breakthrough is my breakthrough! We celebrate one another because that’s the culture of Heaven. That is the culture of honor.
Being able to celebrate another person in their time and victory, is the prerequisite for us to be positioned to receive our victory. This is Kingdom. This is love. This is the very nature and DNA of being an armor bearer.
Everybody knows who the Apostle Paul is, but do we even know who Barnabas his mentor and commodore is? Everybody knows Paul, the greatest theologian and apostolic church father of his time, but does anybody know who Ananias is?
Ananias was the one whom the Lord spoke to while he was in prayer, to go and pray for Saul, the one who persecuted the church. It was this Ananias who willingly obeyed to bring Saul to the brothers. But who’s greater: Paul or Ananias? Who’s greater: Barnabas or Paul?
The Lord is raising up armor bearers who want no credit nor honor, yet their reward is fully in seeing the people that they’re serving, take the Kingdom by force. This is the heart of the Father. This is heart of God.
Who is the greatest in the Kingdom? He is the one who serves and goes low.
“The greatest among you will be your servant.” (Jesus, Matthew 23:11) Without the armor bearer agreeing with the dream in Jonathan’s heart, there would have been no victory for Israel. Without the armor bearer, there would be no story for Jonathan to be prized in.
Without Jonathan being an armor bearer to David, David would not have taken his place as King, and man after God’s own heart.
Who knows how powerful and impactful our small deeds are? Who knows how far our acts of kindness and graciousness will go?
We’re called to be like this armor bearer, who says, “If it’s God, I’m all in! If Jesus is in it, then let’s do it!” With no hesitations, reservations, and second guesses. Let’s do it.
Recognize to love and honor and appreciate the armor bearers around you and in your life. Make sure you give them your respect.
Also, be an armor bearer to those around you. Be watchful, prayerful, servant-hearted. Be serving whatever way you can be to those who are aspiring to be like Christ; with your time, money, energy, prayers, and presence. Be an armor bearer today and gain the greatest rewards in Heaven.
Be like my friend John, who served me and helped me drive, pack up, clean up, and who prayed with me and stood on guard, watching in the Spirit. Be like John, who helped me, as I ministered to two hundred or so people in a matter of two days.
The question isn’t, who is greater? The question is; who is willing to be bear the dreams, burdens, joys, and losses of our brothers and sisters?
After all, the next person we serve and bear the armor for, may just be the next King David or the next Apostle Paul? Maybe even the next Ben Lim, or the next John Jun? Who knows?
We’re called to be a community and a family who serve one another. We will take turns in bearing one another’s armors, with cracks, kinks, dirt, and blood and all. We will take turns in helping clean and wash and polish up and modify our armors. We will take turns in supporting one another in pursuing the callings and visions and dreams of God on our hearts.
We’re called to be covenant and stick close in our victories and successes, and even more so, especially in our times of peril and uncertainty; in the times of conflict and difficulty.
After all, we are a family and we are the Body of Christ.