The Call to Obedience
Read Luke 10:1-20
At first glance in this passage we notice that 18 of our 20 verses are written in red. That means the majority of this reading comes from the lips of Jesus Himself. He is instructing His disciples, now numbering 72, on how they should pray, act, give, and receive. Let's pause a moment in verse 2, and hear Jesus' heart on their prayer.
"The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. Pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest, and ask Him to send out more workers for His fields." Luke 10:2
The workers are few, so pray to the Lord that He will send out more workers. Many times I believe we think it’s our job to create more workers. We see the need and it’s only natural for us to want to fill it. But we know that prayer is not in the realm of the natural. Bringing people to Jesus is only done through the supernatural. It’s really the Holy Spirit of God that leads people to Christ… and we have the privilege of encouraging them while He does.
Reading further down the page, we find Jesus instructing His disciples on practical matters. Matters such as where to stay and when to leave (shaking the dust from their feet as they go). They were to heal the sick, receive hospitality, and leave a blessing. And in every instance, they were to lovingly remind people that the Kingdom of God was near. And that's exactly what they did.
In verse 17 we’re told of their return. They had done just as Jesus instructed, and these 72 disciples were exhilarated. In fact, they were bubbling with the news that even the demons obeyed them when they spoke in Jesus' name. Yes, everything had gone as Jesus directed. So why did He give these faithful followers a gentle rebuke? Let's look at verse 20 and hear these important words from Jesus.
"But don't rejoice just because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of heaven." Luke 10:20
In essence what Jesus is saying is, Don't celebrate your successful service to Me. Celebrate your right relationship with Me. Successful service isn't our calling. Obedience is our calling. We’re not to stockpile trophies for God. Our lives are to be trophies for Him. We're to become so intimately connected to the heart of God that His desires become our desires, and then we’re to actively pursue what we know He wants. I like the way Oswald Chambers put it when he said, "It is the work that God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him."
As we remain close to God, His Spirit will bring opportunities for service. Our job is simply to obey.
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