By Pastor Randy Carter
Several years ago when I was experiencing one of the darkest moments of my ministry, the Lord used a message by Dr. James Bradford to help me recapture my faith. He preached from 1 Samuel 14:6 (NIV)
Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few.” Dr. Bradford said that while all of us want a clear, “Thus says the Lord,” sometimes, all we have to stand on is a “perhaps.”
I knew the answer to my “dark night of the soul” was to find my “perhaps.” I had to take my eyes off myself and place them firmly on the next step of faith that God was calling me to. It was a life changing moment.
I meditated on that verse for monimpossible challenged it with our church family along with an impossible challenge. A friend in the congregation came up to me after the message and shared that his favorite part of this story was the next verse, Jonathan’s armor bearers response to his crazy plan. 1 Samuel 14:7 (NIV) “Do all that you have in mind,” his armor-bearer said. “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” For months I had been so focused on the “Perhaps” that I had failed to even see the armor bearer’s response. It was amazing. Go ahead and do this crazy thing you believe the Lord is asking you to do, “I am with you heart and soul.”
Here’s what I learned, It is always easier to step out on a “Perhaps” when we have a friend that will step out with us.
The scriptures give us many traits of Perhaps Friends.
Perhaps Friends encourage us. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. William Arthur Ward said, “Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me and I may not like you. Ignore me and I may not forgive you. Encourage me and I will never forget you.” Perhaps Friends encourage us to be all that we can be.
Perhaps Friends take risks with us. Romans 16:3-4 (NIV) Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. Perhaps Friends refuse to live the Perhaps life vicariously, they get off the sidelines and get into the game with us. Karl Wallenda said: “Life is being on the wire, everything else is just waiting.”
Perhaps Friends create an atmosphere where failure isn’t fatal. Proverbs 24:16 (NIV) for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity. I am convinced the number one reason we are reluctant to step out on a Perhaps is the fear of failing. Perhaps friends create an atmosphere that says, “I would rather fail trying than fail by doing nothing.”
The next time your friend comes to you with a crazy Perhaps Idea, I hope we say, “I am with you heart and soul.” Don’t be a Perhaps destroyer, be a Perhaps supporter. Dare to dream God-sized dreams with the Perhaps dreamers. Let’s help each other become all that God desires for us to become.