As a daddy leads a fearful, hesitant child toward a new situation, the Lord has been gently encouraging me – never forcing me – down a new path.
He’s been quietly, compassionately, and consistently reassuring me, “Come this way. You’ll be okay. I am with you. I know you’re scared, but come, you can trust Me. I know it’s uncomfortable, but come, I will supply all your needs.”
A loving smile has graced His lips as He’s held my hand and patiently waited for me to take baby steps in the way He is showing me.
The fear is subsiding. I’m trusting Him more. Focusing on Him more. Realizing more He is really all I need. Really.
I read in Luke last night that this was Jesus’ plan for the original disciples, and it is no less true for His disciples today.
In chapter 22, Jesus is telling Peter that he will deny knowing Jesus once He is arrested. Peter, in naive, yet sweet, fashion, is swearing up and down that he certainly will not deny his association with Jesus. Come hell or high water, prison or death, Peter is adamant he will go with Jesus wherever He goes (Luke 22:33).
Jesus shakes His head, no. “No, Peter. You will deny 3 times that you know Me,” Jesus says. (Luke 22:34).
Jesus then encourages his disciples to get ready for the ensuing arrest. To illustrate contrast, Jesus recalls for them the time He sent them out to heal people and share the news of Jesus’ arrival (Luke 10). He had instructed the disciples at that time not to take anything with them but to rely on the Father to provide for their physical needs via hospitable people. Jesus brings that imperative back to mind for the disciples in Luke 22 by asking them, “‘When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?'” (Luke 22:35).
“‘Nothing,’ they answered,” (Luke 22:35).
Can you imagine?
A modern example might be the Lord telling you to walk out of your house with nothing but the clothes on your back, walk into the nearest city, start sharing the Gospel with whomever you see, and depend upon their hospitality to offer you a place to sleep, food to eat, and an occasional shower.
Would you trust the Father to provide?
Let’s get more personal.
Change the scripture to future tense for a minute, and insert your own I-Can’t-Live-Withouts in the blanks.
Imagine the Father asking YOU, “When I send you without _____, _____ or _____, will you lack anything?”
Things I put in the blanks:
- my church
- good food
- a comfortable bed
Our tendency is to answer God’s questions with, “YES! If You send me without my best friend, my child, and acceptable coffee, I will lack things! I will be cranky and unhappy and unfulfilled and sleepy and probably have quite the headache.”
I’ve been telling God this for far too long. For years.
But what I am saying is a lie. Because scripture says otherwise. When God sends us with nothing but Himself, we lack nothing. TRUTH! Right there. In the Gospel of Luke. Twice.
The Lord is good. He is trustworthy. He cannot break His promises.
Whatever He is telling us to go without, no matter what it is, we will not lack anything.