Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

The
mission is crucial to the war. The commanding officer stands before his troops.
Every ear is attentive ready for his orders. Each soldier is apprized of the
situation. The situation is desperate. Every soldier understands fully that
his role and is a vital part of the success of the mission. The orders are given.
The command to strike comes down from the top, yet no one moves. No gun is lifted.
No tank rolls out. No shots are fired. Consequently, the war is lost. Wars can’t
be won unless soldiers are willing to follow orders from the top.

I.
Orders from the Top v.1-11

Such
is the scene as Jesus stands before 72 brave followers which he has selected
for the mission. The plan of attack was to pair them up two by two. The situation
is desperate. “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”(v.2)
The mission is simple, “Go into every town and place that Jesus was about
to go and prepare the way for Jesus. Preach the good news of the Kingdom of
God. Overcome every demon that sought to prevent the spreading of the Kingdom.”

As
you can tell the mission is crucial. And the mission is ours today. The same
orders that Jesus gave to these disciples will help us to win the battle for
Christ in the pagan world of the 21st century.

Order
1: Prepare with Prayer.
Jesus told the disciples, “Ask the
Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Often we wish to hurry into battle without significant preparation. Samuel Chadwick
once said that “hurry is the death of prayer.” Thus, hurry may also
be the death of victory. Prayer must come first.

Order
2: Display Complete Dependence on God.
Prayer shows dependence on
God. Jesus sent them out defenseless, “like lambs among wolves.” They
would not protect themselves, but depend on God for their protection and provision.

Order
3: Be Focused on the Task.
“Do not take a purse or bag or sandals;
and do not greet anyone on the road.” There is no time for those things
that may distract us from the task.

Order
4: Distinguish Friend from Foe.
(v. 5-11) Some will accept the message
and have a proper attitude toward God. To them, we leave God’s blessings. Others
will reject the message and the work of the Kingdom. We must have no part of
their disobedience. Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against
us?”


II.
The Debriefing v.16-20

When
the disciples report back to Jesus they reported the victory they experienced.
The victory of evil was evident. Jesus had given them authority over Satan (Gen.
3:15). The success did not come from their own power, but from the authority
Christ gave them when he commissioned them for service. The authority of Christ
provides the power to overcome the enemy. (V.19) Jesus warned the disciples
not to rejoice that spirits submitted to them. A display of power can go to
one’s head and cause the pride of personal accomplishment. John Ortberg struck
a cord with many of us when he said, “I know I am suppose to be humble,
but what if no one notices.” Rather than rejoicing in what God does through
us, we should rejoice in what God has made in us. We are children of God, citizens
of His Kingdom.

The
story is told of Martin Luther one day answering a knock at his door. “Does
Dr. Martin Luther live here?” the man asked. “No,” Luther answered,
“he died, Christ lives her now.” We rejoice that Christ lives in us.
We live in his grace and with his authority to overcome the evil one.

_______________________
Sermon
brief provided by: Bradley Rushing, Senior Pastor, First Baptist
Church, Amite, LA

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