No money belt, no bag, no sandals, no greetings

I love it when a single verse grabs me by the throat and makes me consider my walk with Jesus in a different light. Luke 10:4 did that for me this week.

In addition to the apostles, Jesus trained and equipped many disciples. Luke describes how the Lord sent them out in pairs in advance of His coming, telling them, “Carry no money belt, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way.” Since I assumed Jesus didn’t mean to be so focused that the disciples shouldn’t wave hello as they traversed the countryside, I dusted off my trusty Greek dictionary and sat down to dig a bit deeper.

Money belt…check. I get it, Lord. Don’t take something that you can rely on in a pinch–rely on Him.

Bag…hmm, what’s that? In the Greek, it’s a leather bag, commonly used to carry food. OK, once again–no provisions save Him.

Shoes? Ah…in the Greek, an extra pair of sandals. I see, Lord. One more time, trust You for protection.

Don’t greet anyone on the way? OK, that seems a bit harsh. Until I find the Greek root is the word used for swaddling an infant. Wrapping all around, embracing, getting completely enmeshed. Ooh, Lord, it’s about focus, right? Don’t get wrapped up in something that distracts from the mission, the goal, the calling? 

Where do I fail in this simple injunction? I genuinely want to completely trust God and rely on Him for my every provision, but how often do I rely on my money belt–and either feel peace or anguish depending on its fullness? Do I figuratively rely on a spare bag of food–the proverbial “plan B” if I run into trouble? I can’t count the number of times I have prayed over a situation only to find my mind running ahead of my Lord, “problem solving” and figuring out what I can do. Extra shoes? Guilty, Lord…of contingency planning that circumvents Your perfect plan for my life–which sometimes includes walking a few miles in bare feet. And oh, how easily I am distracted and enmeshed, even by wonderful things, on my way to fulfilling my calling. I lack focus far too often and I’m so easily derailed. 

Such a short verse, such a profound command.

Lord, help me to trust You completely. Help me to refuse to skip ahead of You, trying to solve my problems apart from Your will and wisdom. Let me continually place myself in Your hands and remain focused on the calling You’ve placed on my life. I am grateful for Your patience and Your gentle mercy. How I love Your word and Your commands.

No money belt, no bag, no shoes, no greetings. No plan B, Lord. Only You and Your abundant provision–let me live a transcendent life.

 

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