The Bare Soul - February 17, 2013
Power Through Wisdom


Luke 10:19 - Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.

How exciting it must have been for the disciples to receive their commission directly from the Lord! Having traveled around with Jesus for months or years and witnessing the wonderful miracles He wrought, the thought of going out in that type of power undoubtedly gave them great excitement and expectation. After their great evangelistic outreach, "The seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.' (Luke 10:17) Shortly following their exclamation, the Lord uttered the words of our lead verse, declaring what they had just experienced. The gospel was real and they were an active part in bringing heaven to earth---helping to heal, deliver, and give great hope where there was previously hopelessness.

One might ask why Jesus did not give them this revelation of their authority in the Name of Jesus before they set off. He did give them some fundamental instructions about how to conduct themselves. However, He waited to confirm what He spoke in Luke 10:19 after they returned and in regard to what they had experienced. Possibly this was to keep them in a place of humility with the ability to receive from the Lord on an as needed basis. Rather than going out with a sense of dramatic intensity that everyone they laid hands on would be healed or delivered, possibly Jesus wanted them to go out and experience power through wisdom. Rather than having carte blanche and a belief they were able to heal every illness and cast out every demon, Jesus instead wanted them to rely upon God's wisdom and move according to God's will and purpose. Remember, there were many in Jesus' time that were not healed or delivered. Case and point, the lame beggar in the Gate Beautiful which Jesus undoubtedly saw day after day during His ministry. (The Lord had a divine appointment for this man with His servants Peter and John [(Acts 3:1-2].) Possibly some days the power of God was not present for Jesus to heal, as stated in Luke 5:17. Therefore, as in the case of the seventy, He wanted them to go forth in God's wisdom first. Then, He could demonstrate His healing through them as He willed.

The disciples knew they were being sent out under Jesus' authority. However, by their exclamation of joy and surprise on their return, it is clear they did not understand the full implication. Authority is administered best when it is done so with both wisdom and power. Just because someone has the authority and the power to exercise it, does not mean they have wisdom to make sure it is passed along with grace. Merely look at any number of authority figures in law enforcement, government, or even religion to understand this dynamic. Once the disciples understood the necessity of using God's authority first with His wisdom, then it created great joy in them. Misused power will often create more problems than the solutions it seeks to remedy.

Luke 10:19  is intended to show us the strength of God over this world while giving us imagery that is powerfully descriptive. Yet, we must be careful not to allow romantic sentimentality to rocket us away from its intent and to discourage us. As the disciples learned wisdom from daily learning with Jesus, so we must slog through commonplace days to get to the days where we are demonstrably treading on the enemy. Many days, we live out the miracle of the mundane where we allow God's character to grow within a little at a time. We live as fathers and mothers and sons and daughters, doing the next right thing that God desires of us. These days are usually without spiritual drama and can look very much like what our worldly counterparts are accomplishing. However, the exceptional is made exceptionally grand when we have been living right every day. Then, when we come upon someone who truly needs a touch from God, we can be the one to offer them God's peace while we grind the enemy under our feet. This, my friends, is the real Christian life.

Lord God Almighty, lead us not into the temptation of possessing Your power without Your wisdom. May we spend time in Your presence, understanding how Your authority is perfected in humility. Grant us the joy of Your presence as we minister to others for You and Your glory. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Your Barefoot Servant,

Rick

 

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