In a prayer meeting the other day, I asked Shane Rogers, who has recently come to TFH as an Assisting Pastor, to share with you the rich insight he shared with me and Tracy from scripture. Enjoy and be inspired.
-Pastors Dan and Tracy
Mark 6:7-8 (ESV)
“And he called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff—no BREAD, no BAG, no MONEY in their belts.”
I came across this scripture recently, and immediately the Lord began to speak to me about a timely prophetic instruction for the special journey ahead. This journey that God has so clearly begun in our church family, and indeed extends to our own personal lives and family. A journey to participate with Him. What an incredibly humbling thought—PARTNERING WITH GOD.
It’s with this understanding that the Lord graciously placed this verse on my heart as a loving reminder and simple instruction. In Mark 6, Jesus is sending out His disciples to do ministry for the first time without Him. He must have felt like a proud father watching his kids drive off for the first time without Him after getting their driver’s license!
If you are a parent, you can relate with those moments when your child is crossing over from one significant season into another and we all know what happens right before you let go … you give your final instruction. Most of the time it’s something you have already said more times than you can count. Things like, “Remember, the break is on the left.” Or, “Please keep your eyes on the road and NO TEXTING!” You get the picture. Important, simple instructions for the journey ahead.
Well, Mark 6 gives us these same kind of instructions as Jesus invites us as a church to prepare to occupy the land He has given us. Joshua had a similar moment the night before God would part the Jordan River and give them the City of Jericho. “Ready yourselves, for tomorrow God will do wonders among you.” I love that story. Ok, back to Mark 6 and our instructions.
Four things stand out as instructions for us in this season:
1. He gave them authority over the unclean spirits
If you have been in church for any length of time you have heard that, as believers, we have power, dominion and authority. But what we must remember is what that power and authority is for. What do we have dominion over? We have power, dominion and authority over the works of the enemy. I hear the Lord saying to remember who your enemy is. Our enemy is not our neighbor, the city, your boss or the person that just stabbed you in the back with their words. Our enemy has a name. He is real and we need to fight him. Let us stir one another up to good works and let our Spirit-man lead in the fight, because our flesh will always choose the wrong enemy.
2. Take nothing for your journey, no BREAD
This seems like a very odd instruction. Who goes on a journey, hike, walk or day trip without food? Jesus made it clear on more than one occasion to His disciples that His food, His nourishment and sustenance came from above. Jesus was simply reminding His disciples that they must eat fresh, “now” food from Heaven each day. Just like the mana that God provided in the desert was only for today, so it is with God’s spiritual food for us. We can’t live in yesterday’s anointing. I sense the Lord reminding us to step into a now anointing. I can think of a dozen amazing meals I have had over the years at fancy, expensive restaurants. I can remember the view through the window, the great company I enjoyed and even how thankful I was that we had a gift card! But none of those meals can feed me now. We need food today.
3. Take nothing for your journey, no BAG
Once again, who goes on a journey without a bag? Where are you going to put stuff you want to bring and where will you put anything you want to grab along the way? Then the Lord spoke to me that this bag is where people carry their baggage, past hurts, disappointments and offenses. Many people carry their bag from one season on into the next and continue to place new offenses in their convenient “carry-on” bag. We must hear our Father’s loving instruction to deal with any past offenses in a godly way, and not pick up any new ones as we journey. Let us extend grace and remember who our enemy is.
4. Take nothing for your journey, no MONEY
Lastly, Jesus told them to leave their wallets at home. This would be such a bummer if you were the disciples. Not only can you not take any food or a bag full of your stuff, you don’t even get your wallet. There is a particular nakedness that I feel when I don’t have my wallet. Its a feeling of helplessness. “What if I need to get gas in my car or have an emergency … or better yet, how will I pay for my afternoon Starbucks fix?” These are the thoughts that bring me instant anxiety when I realize I left the house without my wallet. As I process this in context of the journey God has invited us on, I am reminded of how readily we can take control. God tells us to trust in Him with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding—our own capable, self-reliant, make-it-happen abilities. But instead, relinquish complete control to Him, His way, His timing and His plan. When we do this, we are journeying from a place of rest instead of anxious striving.