The Journey and the Provision

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The Journey and the Provision

When I began praying  about this message I felt the Lord was talking to me about how we are called to be Agents of Change in this world. I was thinking about the passage in Luke 10 where the seventy two were sent out, and I immediately started thinking about the THINGS  they were doing. But then, as I got quiet in the Spirit to start noticing all of the things that we might tend to overlook in this passage.

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I know a lot of people who are real prayer and worship people. Now, I LOVE worship, and I like to pray. But there are some people who long just to stay in the Lord’s presence. But to be honest with you, I tend to be more of a Martha than a Mary. I am all about doing the things that need to be done for Jesus and sometimes I get frustrated with the Mary like people who just sit at His feet. And to be honest, I have an unusual gift cluster in my life, so I frequently find myself appointed to some unusual tasks in the Body of Christ. The only problem with being a pioneer or a forerunner  or that person with a breaker anointing is that when you have those moments of weakness or discouragement you feel all alone. Look at Elijah in 1Ki 19. It was only hours after his single handed confrontation with 400 prophets of Baal and he was alone and in despair. But the Angel of the Lord came to him in the wilderness, bringing food, and saying Arise, eat, for the Journey is too great for you” After being refreshed, Elijah spent 40 days journeying to the mountain of God to meet with the Lord.

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So many of us want to be like Elijah and yet the truth is that like that great man of God, the Journey is too great for us also! Another way of saying it is that the Mission is TOO GREAT for us. Even while doing exploits in the Kingdom we have to refresh ourselves in the Lord, and sometimes take that 40 days off of what we had planned to do, and go meet with the Lord.

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In Elijah’s mind, he was the only one left for the Lord- He even said that in a complaint to God. But God’s provision was the opposite- Not only was Elijah NOT the only one left, but rather, he was sent to raise up his successor, who would have a double portion of what was on Elijah’s life. You see, there are two truths here: In the natural the Journey and Mission was too much even for Elijah, but in the Spirit there was a double portion provision for the work at hand, continuing into the next generation. You can see most things this way- what we see in the problem before us, and what we see In Christ and in His provision.

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So Back to Luke 10- Lets look at this passage in this same way and see what the scriptures say to us:

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Luke 10:1   After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.

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First, if you study the Greek here, the word translated “sent” is

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apostello, ap-os-tel’-lo; from Greek 575 (apo) and Greek 4724 (stello); set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out (properly on a mission)

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These are the same words we get the term apostle from, which means “sent one” If you are from the camp that says that there were only 12 apostles, plus maybe Paul, this will mess with your theology.

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Looking at the Mission side of things, if we were part of the 72 in this verse most of us would focus that we were appointed by God to the mission. And certainly, we are called to be the Salt and light to this world. But the provision of God revealed here is that they were sent to go ahead where the Lord was about to Go.

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John 5:19     Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

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We get our eyes on the mission, but the secret provision is to go exactly where the Father is going.

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Luke 10 :2 He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

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If we look at the mission in this verse, we see the great harvest and we see that the workers are few. But Here is the provision: They were COMMANDED to pray that the Lord would send the workers into HIS field.

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Luke 10:3-7  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. [4] Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.  [5] “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ [6] If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. [7] Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

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In the Natural we see in this verse that we are truly Sheep among wolves. Now, how many know what usually happens to sheep that are among wolves? And worse yet, they were told not to take a bunch of money or clothing! Just great! We are BROKE, Ill-Equipped sheep among wolves! But looking for the provision in this verse, what do we see?

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The Lord gave a portion of Peace for the Journey, and they had the ability to spread this peace into the households they entered, if the household would receive it. Instead of being ill equipped they would have a place to stay. And instead of having no money or food, with a wink the Lord says “Don’t worry about eating and drinking what they give you, for you are worth it! It’s almost as if he was telling them to not have the attitude of too little, but rather to not be surprised when there was more than enough!

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Luke 10: 8-15  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you [9] Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ [10] But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, [11] ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’ [12] I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town. [13] “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. [14] But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you. [15] And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.

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Now those who have our eyes on the mission know that much of the world will not receive us. But the Lord is saying- Keep working- When you find a place you are welcome speak that Kingdom Life- Pray over the sick, see them healed and delivered, have a meal with them. Bring the Life of the Kingdom to them.  And to those who don’t receive it- don’t be dismayed- for the Kingdom came there also, even if it was not received.
Jesus here names some of the places that had not received Him. The world will look back on the day of judgment and say “What were we thinking?”

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Luke 10: 16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

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This is a gentle reminder not to get too full of ourselves when we have success in ministry…It’s not that we are great, but rather the one whose message we carry is great. In the same way, we should not be devastated and destroyed when we have opposition or failure in our efforts, but rather know that it is not us who is rejected but He who sent us.

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Luke 10: 17-20 The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”     [18] He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. [19] I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. [20] However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

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I love the simple perspective Jesus has here on the whole Satan thing.

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Let me re-tell these scriptures in the Dave Translation, and see if it resonates with you:

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They are all amazed that the demons had to submit- But it’s like Jesus is saying to them “Guys, I was there watching when Satan fell from heaven like a bolt of lightning. Do you think I’m dismayed by Satan and his servants? No!  Do you think I am surprised that they try and oppose us here? When they were cast from Heaven, where else would they go? But in case you do come across them, remember that I have given you authority to drive them out.  But in doing so don’t let that go to your head- The important thing is not that they are cast far from me in defeat, but rather that you are to dwell close to me in new life.

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Those focused on the mission rejoice that the demons are driven out, but the true provision was that it was because of their dwelling in the Book of Life.

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Luke 10:21 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

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When I think about this prayer, I am humbled. I am pretty well educated, and as a scientist type I am always trying to figure out and to strategize and to organize and to analyze and to energize and generally pulverize the problems before me until I cannot recognize them… at all!

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But instead, think of a little kid- “ I came here because my Daddy said to. If you touch me, my daddy will get you! And when I am tired, or scared, or hurt, I crawl up in His lap and it is all better.

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So look at verse 22: Jesus said  “Some Things have been committed to me by the Father” NOT!

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Luke 10:22 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

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Friends, If you are the only Christian in your office, rest assured that the advancing to the Kingdom into that office is in Jesus hands. And He has made provision for you as His messenger there.  You can speak the peace of the Kingdom there, and some who receive it will find peace. Others will not. Pray also that other workers will be sent into the field. Pray this scripture as people get hired. Pray in more workers. And remember it is not entirely about open evangelism. Maybe you eat what is set before you. Have lunch with the people in your school, or your office. Just be who you are in Christ. The Lord can make divine appointments.  And if they don’t receive the message you bring, don’t worry about it. Your task may be to plant a seed that the next employee will water.

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Luke 10:23-24 Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. [24] For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

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What an Honor we have! We are just like the seventy- We have the privilege of being part of the mission!

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Mark 16:15-18    He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. [16] Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. [17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

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But as prayer people, remember this- There is the mission, and there is a provision the Lord makes for the mission. You can choose to hurl your bodies at the mission, or you can dwell in the Lord like a little child and enjoy HIS supernatural provision for the mission.  We need to dwell in that secret place not only in our prayer closet, but to find the secret place of provision as we go about the mission in the world. We may look like sheep among wolves, but we have the provision that the Lord set aside for this work available to us. We are so blessed. Prophets and Kings longed to see what we are seeing in the Kingdom, and did not, but we have the Joy, the Honor and the Privilege of being Kingdom agents in these last days!

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