Jonathan and the Armor Bearer  – Asbury University
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Jonathan and the Armor Bearer 

October 30, 2023

John Morley ’84 
Assistant Director of Vocation Programs, Asbury University

“…Perhaps the Lord will act on our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.1 Samuel 14:6b 

In this story, Jonathan set out with no guarantee that God would show up. He only knew that Israel was desperate and needed some divine intervention. What was he thinking? 

At Asbury, we have been encouraging everyone to slow down and rest in who God says that we are. Endeavoring to help us all focus on “being” vs. “doing,” Brother Henri Nouwen advocated for the word “school” which comes from schola meaning “free time.” The root meaning of this word reminds us that schools were originally meant to interrupt a busy existence and create some space to contemplate the mysteries of life. I think we are catching a glimpse of this. Students are acknowledging that our identity is wrapped up in being the beloved daughters and sons of the Most High God. I’m sure the Beloved Class name was birthed from living life in this beloved culture. 

As we live into the “perhaps” of what God might do and we open handedly lean into living out surrendered lives to Jesus, who knows what the Holy Spirit might do?  

The Outpouring we experienced in February had nothing to do with us and everything to do with us. The Holy Spirit moves as He may. Hearts are softened, pauses are championed, and margin created. The soil of our hearts continues to be tilled, allowing the Spirit to have a receptive environment in which to settle upon us.  

On February 8th I only had six students show up for my Dynamics of Spiritual Growth class. The highly responsible few pleaded “Dr. Morley, you have to let us go to chapel. That’s where spiritual formation is happening!” After a brief discussion, we made our way to Hughes Auditorium. I quietly took up a position in the back. Taking in the scene before me, I was struck by the notion that this was pure joy – to be in the presence of God. We were surprised, but not unprepared. Just like that day, may we be on the lookout this week for a God who still shows up and saves.