Can you imagine waking up, getting ready to leave for work and your spouse or your parent saying, “Hey, before you head out the door make sure to leave everything here. Leave your keys and phone, leave your purse and lunch, put your money on the counter, and don’t bother bringing any extra clothes for the gym, you can wear what you have on”?
Understandably, our first reaction is “Haha, yeah right… I would get absolutely nothing done today if I did that.”
But, 2,000 years ago people who serve the same God we serve were told exactly that.
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them, “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no money, no extra tunic…” Luke 9:1-3
Why? Why do you think Jesus instructed them to do something so seemingly ridiculous as bringing nothing for such a taxing trip?
Isn’t it ironic that Jesus loaded them up with all these invisible, supernatural things, yet told them to unpack all the visible and more practical things?
From these three verses I’ve deduced two things: 1. Jesus is not worried about how the disciples will eat, where they’ll stay, and what they’ll wear (He’s got it). 2. He is entirely consumed with one thing: people beholding the kingdom of God.
I say with confidence that I do not reflect Jesus’ heart in this way. I’m so preoccupied with what I’m going to eat tomorrow that when my head hits the pillow I take a mental looksie through my fridge to decide what’s for breakfast. I’m so concerned with having enough money that I have various stashes of 5 and 20 dollar bills hidden in my car and house.
I could go on, but my cheeks are turning red.
I don’t know where you’re at on your walk with Christ, but I promise you, you can go deeper. You can be sharper, you can be lesser. If this verse makes you squirm then (a.) that’s normal and (b.) that’s a challenge.
Try it. Try going without for a day or a week. Maybe it’ll be a meal, maybe social media, maybe Netflix. Try letting go of something. Ask the Holy Spirit what that something should be. Within the day, you’ll realize how many things you elevate to a status much higher than just things.
I promise that on the journey to Heaven you will have to let go. You will have to say goodbye, and you will have to sacrifice. So why not start training ? Why not be brave enough to see where your concerns really lie, to find out what your priorities truly are?
Call it quits with that clouded view of God and that dulled understanding of life’s true meaning. He’s ready. He’s waiting. He’s so excited to load you up with His power and love. Change is coming, and He wants it to come through you.
But hold them [these earthly things] loosely, as though you were not holding them.”