Luke 9:1-6 (NLT)
One day Jesus called together his twelve disciples[a] and gave them power and authority to cast out all demons and to heal all diseases. 2 Then he sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 3 “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money,[b] or even a change of clothes. 4 Wherever you go, stay in the same house until you leave town. 5 And if a town refuses to welcome you, shake its dust from your feet as you leave to show that you have abandoned those people to their fate.”
6 So they began their circuit of the villages, preaching the Good News and healing the sick.
All across the state, many of my fellow North Carolinians have been without power as we continue to endure heavy rains and gusty wind from #HurricaneFlorence2018. Even though FLO has been downgraded to a tropical storm, she is slow moving and her circular bands are dumping record numbers of water onto our already saturated land.
We were without power last night for a few hours. Yes, only a few hours. But lemme just go ahead and confess this to you: I’m a wuss without power. Born and raised in Southern, CA, this city girl, who was transplanted to the country in the late 80’s, is NOT equipped to live like a pioneer. Sure, I can go tent camping. I even enjoy “roughing it” for a few days. But at home? Uh. No. It’s like I forget how to function! Without powerI can’t cook, do dishes, wash clothes, turn on the fan (this is VERY important for hot flashes!!!), use my computer, iPhone…wah, wah, wah. I have become much too dependent on electronics that are useless without power. Electrical power helps me be productive in my role as Home Manager, Homeschool Mom, and with At Home Ministries. The same is true in my relationship with the Lord, and in what He has called me to do. Without His supernatural power, I’m unable to fulfill His plans for my life.
Such is the case with the church in America. She, in many instances, is trying to function without power. She has equipped herself to preach to the multitudes on Sunday mornings by using electrical power to brew fresh coffee, show videos and announcements on the big screen, stream children’s curriculum, share on social media, amplify instruments, and project people’s voices on microphones… But none of these things need supernatural power to perform. Supernatural power doesn’t need to be plugged into a sound system. Supernatural power simply needs disciples who know Jesus. Disciples who know Jesus andhave been given His power and His authority to cast out demons, heal the sick and tell others about the Kingdom of God.
Without power, we, the church, cannot PREACH the Kingdom of God.
Without power, we, the church, cannot PRAY for others to be healed from disease and set free from the demons that torment them; body and soul.
Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE our neighbors, as we love ourselves.
Without power, we, the church, cannot LOVE God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their community to PREACH & PRAY until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Luke 9).
Jesus didn’t send His disciples out into their communities, their nation, or the world to PREACH & PRAY after His death, resurrection & ascension until they knew Him andHe equipped themwith His Spirit & Authority (Acts 2).
Jesus still doesn’t send His disciples out to PREACH & PRAY until they know Him andHe equips themwith His Spirit & Authority (Hebrews 13).
My fellow disciple,
Are you trying to fulfill your calling without power? Are you preaching the Kingdom of God as a spectator of Jesus Christ instead of His friend? Are you praying for others so that they can be healed, or because you want to be their savior & lord? Stop. Confess. Repent. Be still. Know Him. Then….He will equip you with His Spirit & His authority.
My fellow North Carolinians,
I sincerely apologize for my whiny-ness of being without power. I am acutely aware that many of you have been devastated by this storm. You’ve lost loved ones, homes and all your earthly possessions. My heart grieves for you. May the Lord be with you as you endure the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, and may we, the church provide what you need to rebuild.