Summertime – my favorite time of year. It is a time for a break from the everyday routine. For many, it is a time for vacation, fun, relaxation and family gatherings.
But it is also a time of church mission trips. Packing for a mission trip can be a challenge as there are normally limits on how much luggage you can take. How to squeeze a change of clothes for each day into one small bag is an interesting experience. And don’t forget about all the incidentals plus mission gifts.
Yet when Jesus sent His twelve disciples out on mission, His instruction for their travel was very different. He told them to “take nothing for the journey”, not even a change of clothing! They were not to take a suitcase, food or money. Can you even imagine leaving on a mission trip with only the clothes you are wearing? No purse full of stuff ladies. No briefcase of work to do as you travel, or technology. No snacks. No cellphone. Nothing.
Perhaps the journey was a short one and they would not need provision. However, the words of Jesus dispute that claim by showing their need for housing. Therefore, I believe the message Jesus is teaching them is to trust God as Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides. A change of clothes for everyday is not to be the focus of the mission. Worrying about food and housing was not to be the focus of the mission. Their mission was to preach the kingdom of God for salvation to all who would hear, to heal and to cast out demons. Jesus would be their provision inspiring others to house and feed them.
Jesus, who knows all things sent them out knowing that provisions would be made for them as they obeyed what was asked of them. He had given them the power to do so. When Jesus empowers and we respond, He provides. That is a trust building truth you can count on.
When it seems the provisions in your life journey are not what you wanted or hoped they would be, Jesus provides what is needed. He tells us in Matthew 6:31-33 not to worry about what we will eat or what we will wear. Just take care of today for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
He applied this same message to sending the disciples on mission, and it applies to our everyday lives as well. Focus on the moment. Do what you are sent to do. Trust God to provide.
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power
and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them
to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said to
them, ‘take nothing for your journey, neither staffs nor bag nor
bread nor money, and do not have two tunics apiece. Whatever
house you enter, stay there, and from there depart’. [Emphasis added]
Luke 9:1-4 (NKJV)