“Do all that you have in mind,” his armorbearer said, “Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul.” –1 Samuel 14:7.
Have you ever had an overwhelmingly trouble-filled day, where circumstances seem to be against you on all sides? Look in on young Prince Jonathan (son of King Saul) on just that kind of day. It is a known fact his boss who was his father had backslidden from God. His dad had counted only 600 soldiers left from his 3,000-member army. He had just gotten the news that three war parties were dispatched from the enemies’ camp.
On top of those facts, the Philistines had banned blacksmiths in the land of Israel. Therefore, there was not a single sword or spear in the entire army of Israel that day, except his own and his father’s. A day or so later, Prince Jonathan decided to go over to the enemy’s camp with his armorbearer to spy out the camp. He did not tell anyone where they were going. They crossed a narrow pass between two steep cliffs. Upon arriving, he said to his armorbearer, “Let’s go over to those heathen, maybe the Lord will do a miracle. It doesn’t matter to him how many is in their army.” His armorbearer said, “Yes! Do whatever is in your mind. I am with you heart and soul.”
The rest is history. Prince Jonathan and his armorbearer climbed over the cliff and killed about twenty men who fell left and right. After that, panic struck the entire Philistine army and at that same moment, a great earthquake came. The Philistines began killing each other in confusion. The Lord saved Israel that day through a man of God and his armorbearer.14
Have you been appointed to support someone in your leadership? Is your heart set toward helping this person accomplish their God-given tasks? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. All over the Body of Christ, God continues to make specific appointments of helpers to assist His authorities. As an administration of the Helps ministry, He has uniquely formed the armorbearer’s place in His support system. It is a part of His design for a team to strengthen His leaders.
Recently, I listened to a friend complain about a Church project using a well-used phrase, “There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians around here. It seems everyone wants to be in charge.” My mind drifted as I thought, “How many times have I heard this complaint about various teams over the years. I thought about the need of understanding God’s authority structure. It is not a new struggle nor is it isolated to the New Testament Church, as I considered Moses and Aaron’s conflict with Israelite grumblers. They had complained against the leadership of Moses and especially Aaron saying, “We are all chosen and holy, who set you above all the Israelites?”
Under Old Testament law, judgment and destruction came to many of those who complained. God, in His mercy, approved Aaron’s leadership with a budded, blossoming staff with ripe almonds hanging from it among the staffs that stayed the same. He then graciously reiterated the duties of the leaders and the supporters.1 It is a fact, not everyone is called to be a leader at the same time. Someone must lead and others must follow. From Scripture, we discovered God appoints leaders and those to support them.
When Jonathan is found on top of the hill spying out the enemy’s camp, we don’t have to look very far to find his helper. He was there with him. Scripture says Jonathan turned to his armorbearer and said, “Let’s go up…” His assistant’s response was, “Do all that is in your mind. For I am with you heart and soul.” 2 Those words are music to any leader’s ears, whether he is a weary church leader or a pastor needing an arm of support. I believe the Body of Christ needs those who will support the man or woman of God in a more tangible way. God is looking for people who will be with their assigned leader heart and soul.
With any ministry, gift, or talent God has entrusted us to use, we must develop it to reach its fullest potential. To develop the ministry of helping as an armorbearer, do this:
· Build relationship. Get to know whom you are serving. Relationship will guard you. For example, one key thing relationship will guard you against are the baits of Satan (offenses). When he comes to distort the truth about your authority, you can say, “I know this person there must be a reason for this.” Your leader may do the same for you through relationship.
· Personalize your service. What one leader desires will be different from another. Each pastor or leader has a different set of gifts and needs of service than another. Learn what your leader’s are and personalize your service. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Be attentive to his promptings. He will teach you what works best for your authority.
· Be pure in your service. Make sure your service is to your leader’s benefit. For example, a pastor friend of mine expressed her disappointment at the immaturity of her assistant. She explained, “My armorbearer insisted she come to my speaking engagement for support. I said great, and then she asked if I would pick her up, which was fine but on the way, I interpreted two dreams, counseled her, and prayed with her before arriving at the meeting. I was drained before I made it to the platform.” I agreed with my friend’s frustration regarding the assistant’s lack of consideration for her need. Remember, there is a time and place for everything. Allow your concerns and needs to take a backseat to discerning your leader’s need. God is faithful; as you plant seeds of excellent service in your leader’s life, He will remember to take care of you.
· Wear Godly garments. Be careful of the attitude you wear when serving your leader. One of my team leaders says often, “I am careful of my attitude and mindset when I serve my leaders because whether I intend to or not I often transfer it to them. I don’t want them to have to guard against receiving a bad attitude from me.” If we strive to wear a garment of humility, kindness, and congeniality, our leaders may safely trust themselves to us.
· Develop loyalty in your ministry. Determine to be where your assigned leader is. Have you considered where Joshua was when Moses went up the mountain to receive the law of God? We can only assume he was somewhere close by because he was right there with him when he came off the mountain forty days later. Remember, how can your ministry to him or her be developed if you are not in place?
· Develop a watchful spirit. Jesus said to his assistants on the first night of his trial, “Watch and pray…” Yet, they were unable to stay awake to watch. He then gave us the key to a watchful spirit in His last words to them saying, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” 13 If it is your hour of trial or your leader’s hour of trial, determine to build your spirit so that you may remain alert and prayerful.
Our leaders are calling for us. They are looking for someone who will commit to the long-term. There are pastors and leaders who are weary in the fight because we have not taken our place. We must take our place as God appointed armorbearers, assistants, and helpers in His army. God will hold us accountable for the support that should have been given if that leader fails because of it.
Most leaders need a strong team of support. Your leadership should have one too! Earma is author of In the Spirit of Armorbearing and Director of Armorbearers International, Inc. who offers help with designing strong teams of support for God’s leaders. Subscribe to their free ezine “The Armorbearer Coach” at http://www.armorbearers.net/newsletter.htm or visit host site at http://www.armorbearers.net for other insightful articles and resources.