When I first started getting back into surfing, I went with a friend to a surf spot called Terramar in Carlsbad. We walked down a rundown staircase to the beach covered in rocks and started to paddle out to the waves. I remember looking down and the water was so clear you could make out the reef and sea life below. It was beautiful and a little scary. It made me wonder what else was out there that I couldn’t see. Sometimes when we take that step into the unknown, we have to set aside safety for faith.

In 1 Samuel 14:1, Jonathan and his armor-bearer, take a step away from safety to see what God has. In the past, I would read a passage like this and think I would have the same courage or boldness as Jonathan, but realistically I like safety. I enjoy the comfort and knowing that there is a way out because I don’t want to make a foolish mistake. Jonathan was outnumbered greatly (see 1 Samuel 13:5) and still decided to go. This seems so foolish at first, but really Jonathan like many others before him looked to God to provide the way. He knew Israel had a small untrained and unarmed army versus a strong well equipped Philistine army. Jonathan knew without God there was no chance for victory at all. So he slayed the dragon of safety and took a step. Let me preface this passage because I need the reminder, we currently reside in modern-day Southern California, not in a war-like environment thousands of years ago- your dragon might look different than Jonathan’s!

What dragon are you facing? Have you thought about what you are fighting for, what matters in your life right now that you are holding on tightly to? I ask because there have been times in my life when I tried to create my own path and then ask God to bless it, where I looked to my safety first instead of asking God what he wanted me to do. As we step into 2023, what is God asking you to do? Let me encourage you to take some time to read, pray, and listen to the Lord and let him guide you as you face your dragons this year.

Pastor Jeremy

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