This week we continue our Kingdom Revolution series, where we look at five CABLE practices that marked Jesus’ ministry and should mark our lives and our church. Over the past two weeks we looked at the Eat and Bless practices. Now, we examine the value of acknowledging our journey with one another as we pursue authentic community.

Read 1 Samuel 20.16–17, 42.

Long before David became the king of Israel, he had a deep friendship with Jonathan, the son of then-current king, Saul. Their friendship was so strong that Jonathan betrayed his father’s intentions in order to protect David. There are a couple important functions of community that we can learn by studying the friendship of David and Jonathan.

1. Protection

(1 Samuel 20.12–13)

On our own we all will find ourselves in situations where we just don’t see the dangers around us. We need someone who will have our back, someone that will warn us when our blindness is leading us into danger. David’s path to the throne was fraught with obstacles and difficulty, just like our own lives. His friendship with Jonathan provided him with protection from many of these obstacles

2. Encouragement

(1 Samuel 23.14–18)

Even though David knew for certain that God would make him the king of Israel, he still faced battles and obstacles that exhausted and discouraged him. In the midst of this difficult time, his best friend Jonathan came to him and encouraged him to press on. Likewise, we will all face obstacles while trying to pursue God’s calling in our lives. It’s times like this when we need a community to keep us going.

We were never meant to go it alone. Even God exists in community—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We were created in His image, and He said it is not good for us to be alone. Only in biblical community will we truly flourish. Yet, we don’t always choose to walk in community.

Read 2 Samuel 11.1–5.

At this point, David didn’t have Jonathan in his life, and he made some life-altering bad decisions. Just like David didn’t see his need for someone to speak correction into his life, it’s also foolish for us to not have a friend like this in our lives. So, here are a few practical steps to build a biblical community that will help us flourish.

1. Time and Intentionality

David and Jonathan took the time to get to know and love one another, despite their vastly different backgrounds. Take the time to invest in getting to know others in a CABLE group.

2. Willingness to be Vulnerable

David didn’t hesitate to share the tough stuff he was going through. The only way we will experience true biblical community is if we are willing to take the risk of being vulnerable.

3. Willingness to Speak Up

Jonathan was willing to speak into David’s life and help him find strength in God. We need to be willing to share encouragement, challenge, or even to confront those in community with us.

Discussion Questions:

  1. When have you tried to go it alone and gotten into trouble?
  2. Who do you have in your life that can speak into the challenging situations you face? If no one comes to mind, what steps can you take to pursue biblical community?
  3. What have you experienced in the past year that biblical community helped (or could have helped) get you through?
  4. What step do you need to take to deepen your involvement in biblical community? This could be taking the Journey class, joining a CABLE group, committing to being more vulnerable in your existing community, or something else.