We all need our ‘mighty men’ …
David had his mighty men. All sorts of ne’er-do-wells who’d heard rumours of him and decided here was someone they wanted to follow, therefore, follow they did. I can only imagine what it must have felt like for David to have this motley crew decide to hang around him. But over time these rejects and misfits became something more than they had ever been, they became David’s mighty men, a community of people bound together in purpose and vision.
Who were they?
1 Samuel 22:2 ‘Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was bitter in soul, gathered to him. And he became captain over them. And there were with him about 400 men.’
By the next chapter the group has grown to 600 men, add in the wives and children and you have quite a crowd.
There are particular groupings within the totality, there are the thirty, and then the three. These three are the ones who were closest to him, those who would be by his side through the thickest of trials and troubles. These are the ones who risked their lives by going for the water when David said: “Oh, that someone would bring me water from the well at Bethlehem”. But surprisingly to us, he didn’t drink the water, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord.
His men wouldn’t have seen this as the insult we might mistakenly imagine. They understood what he was doing, that he had seen their risk-taking efforts as sacred, and wanted to recognise it as such by sacrificing the water as an offering to God. See the full story in 2 Samuel 23. That isn’t really the point I want to make here though, not today.
What do we need?
What is on my heart for us today is that we all need our own mighty men, and no, I’m not on some mad errand to big up our men, they are fine as they are. What I mean is that we need those friends alongside us who are around us enough to know us through and through, and who see themselves as one with us, and us with them. Friends through thick and thin.
Just as David and his men were misfits and probably less than the best of the rest, we may feel we are nothing to write home about, but in time, and with others we can be transformed to be something rather special.
You see, however much we may discover and seek to use our gifts and understand our strengths and weaknesses, unless we have people we know, like, and trust, on the journey with us, we will not be able to accomplish all that we are called to do.
We are called on purpose, and for purpose; this purpose will be achieved with the most excellence through the company of our friends. It wasn’t for nothing that Jesus called us his friends, we are called to partner with him to bring in the kingdom. He was modelling something vital for us, we are not expected to do this alone, we are to be in authentic community with those who have their hearts set on the King and his Kingdom.
With all of that in mind, I’d love you to take some time to think of those who you might consider your mighty ones, your authentic community, those who you think you could build something special with. Then get a date in the diary to eat good food, and drink good wine, and listen to good music. Worship, pray, dream big dreams, and so together pursue the sort of friendship which can carry all of you further than you’ve gone before.
Our dreams and purposes can lie dormant until we have people around us who know us well enough to call those elements out of us. They may not be aware of this, or even particularly deliberate, but simply by their presence and their own pursuit of Jesus, and the deep conversations inevitable to this sort of relationship, the good stuff within each of us is stirred and drawn out.
Life is too precious for you not to live it to the full. Jesus has said he has intended for us to have an abundant life. An abundant life isn’t a solitary life, it is life with solid connections to an authentic community of real friends.