When we go on a road trip, I like to be prepared for any eventuality. This means having plenty of drinks, snacks, phone chargers, etc. Did I mention snacks? Also, a blanket and a pillow, so the person that’s not driving can relax. The relaxee may or may not be me, but still, these things are important, right?
With all of that said, when we head out the door, our arms are usually full. Thus, when I read Luke 9:3 again recently, I was mildly horrified.
The Lord was sending His disciples out on the road with… nothing. No sticks or rods, which would have provided a measure of protection. No money, or even a wallet. No change of clothes. Imagine wearing the same clothes every day, especially in an arid climate! But then we get to the part that really caused me consternation. No food?! If I’d been a disciple, I may have needed to “confirm my understanding” on that one. No snacks, Lord?!
It seems, however, that God didn’t want them to be weighted down or encumbered with things, AND He wanted them to rely entirely on Him, even for the necessities.
After getting past the thought of setting out on a journey empty-handed, I went back to verse one and noticed something. Before telling the disciples all of the things they had to leave behind, the Lord first gave them some other, and very important, things they would take with them. He gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. I suppose with that kind of power, they weren’t worried about the small things. In any case, He’d given them power before telling them what they couldn’t take on the road.
Isn’t that like the Lord? He requires us to trust Him, but first, He gives us a reason to do so. He builds our faith. Then, and only then, He asks us to trust Him more.
And the disciples did indeed trust Him. Verse six says they “went through the towns, preaching the gospel, and healing every where.” Which tells us the smelly clothes weren’t so off-putting that people didn’t come around. And to the part I was worried about, they obviously didn’t go hungry either.
In our case, God first draws us. Then He asks us to extend our faith a little more. But He always shows us He’s able to be trusted before asking the hard things of us.
Taking it a step further, maybe that hard “thing” He’s asking of us is only hard because we’ve forgotten how He’s proven Himself in the past. In reality, it may be His way of saying, “Don’t worry about the small things. I don’t want you encumbered with all of that. I have a much bigger work for you to do, my child.” In other words, “Don’t worry about the snacks.”
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