“Calling the twelve to Him, He sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were His instructions: ‘Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.’”
When Jesus sent His disciples out to do ministry on their own for the first time, he sent them with a lot of guidance that we should probably learn from, too. A couple things from these verses that we need to be mindful of if we want to be as effective as the disciples were:
- You can’t do it alone. Jesus had twelve disciples, but He paired them off…sometimes it may seem to us that God’s way of doing things will take more time, or will be more complicated, or just simply won’t be as effective as what we have in mind. The disciples could have seemingly covered a lot more ground and done a lot more ministry if they had gone individually, but Jesus cut their numbers in half so that they wouldn’t be alone. One of the biggest lies we can buy into is that the more spread out we are, the more we are able to accomplish. Jesus knew otherwise. He knew that the disciples would need each other; they would need encouragement, and they would need accountability, and they would need each other to fully invoke the presence of God. Pride simultaneously convinces us that we are capable, and makes us entirely incapable. God is King. And sometimes we need to stop trying to be, and allow others to come alongside us so that we can accomplish things that are bigger than ourselves!
- You have to trust God to provide. God is waiting to fill us with His dreams and place His provision in our hands, but in order to receive we must first make room. You will not have room for God’s kingdom in your life if your kingdom never gets smaller. As Bill Johnson has said, “the further you go with God, the less you can take with you.” Jesus didn’t want His disciples to take anything with them, NOT because He wanted them to have little, but because He wanted them to put all their trust in the Father so that He could provide for their needs. Our dependence and trust in God is directly tied to our impact on the world, and if we do not need God for anything, we won’t know God for anything either. But as soon as we make room in our hearts and put ourselves in positions of dependence, the Holy Spirit fills our hearts with holiness and our Father reaches from heaven to prove His faithfulness to those who love Him!