Kingdom Tradecraft - Luke 22:7-13 NIV
Intro - Anyone like to watch movies where the good guys are living behind enemy lines, yet they form an underground resistance? They have secret codes and hidden communication technology to be able to receive covert instructions from those in charge of the rebellion against the dark forces. Sometimes they don’t even know who the other good guys are. Here’s why you like - description of Christianity today. Are you prepared to act for Jesus?
Four Ways To Be Prepared For Jesus:
#1 - __________________________ .
Cryptic instructions from Jesus…
“Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparation for us to eat the Passover.’” Luke 22:8 NIV
What if Peter and John weren’t listening? God still gives instructions…
“God does speak - sometimes one way and sometimes another - even though people may not understand it.” / “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” Job 33:14 NCV / Psalm 37:7 ESV
Do we set aside our cynical attitude AND/OR the busyness of life to be able to hear God speak? Why prayer times so important!
Note that Jesus did NOT send all the disciples - only the two, Peter and John. God may have something in mind for you to do for Him, but not the same for everyone else. However we also note that Jesus picked two disciples, not just one. Often in Christianity we see God sending ministry teams in pairs. Good for support. Also good to make sure that we have right instructions. I should question if I really hear from God if no one else partners with me.
#2 - __________________________ .
“‘Where do you want us to prepare for it?’ they asked.” Luke 22:9 NIV
Presumed answer with our Lord is always, “Yes! Whatever You want!” But then, “Could you tell me what I need to know to do what You want?” Not necessarily all the info we want to have, but what I need to know to please You. In their case the issue was “Where?” because traveling.
As Christ-followers, our presumed answer is still always, “Yes! Whatever You want!” God still answers when we call & tells us what we don’t know:
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 NIV
God knows our hearts and tells us what we need to know to accomplish His will. When we don’t know enough to act, it’s because He’s not ready for us to act yet. Or we know enough to do just enough.
When I pray to God and ask for instructions, is it with the presumed assumption that I am His servant and want to accomplish what He wants? And not just what I want?
#3 - ________________________ .
Much of prayer is listening!
“As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” Luke 22:10-12 NIV
Talk about detailed specifics! Wow! A man (not a woman) carrying a jar of water will meet them (wait for greeting.) Follow him to a house.
Go in house. Talk to owner. Here’s what you say. Here’s what he will do. Make preparations there.
Note he didn’t give address. All secret. All planned ahead of time. None of the disciples involved. Here’s our question - do we listen to instructions? Each one? No jumping ahead!
“Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the LORD will be joyful.” Proverbs 16:20 NLT
Disciples didn’t know everything. They could have thought, ‘hey I’m on the inside. One of the 12. I know everything going on. Maybe I can take Jesus plan and make it better.’ Bottom line - we don’t know everything… or even everyone!
#4 - __________________ .
Nothing so far would matter if Peter and John did NOT do what they were told to do.
“They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.” Luke 22:13 NIV
They didn’t wait for more instructions. They didn’t debate the plan. They didn’t ask Jesus, ‘hey when did you have time to figure all this out?
3 verbs so crucial to our own obedience:
(1) They left. They started out. So many of our actions never get started because we simply don’t take the first steps. We wait until all the lights are green before pulling out of our garage of certainty. Ask myself: ‘Do I know enough to take the first step?’ If so, don’t worry about the 2nd step. That’s where faith comes in!
(2) They found things just as Jesus had told them. Taking that first step in faith has a way of confirming to us that Jesus really does know what He’s talking about. But we’ll never know that for sure until we step out in faith. We want just the opposite. ‘Jesus you show me that everything is as You say it is and THEN I’ll take that first step. Doesn’t work that way.
(3) So they prepared the Passover. Combination of faith (1st step) and confirmation (2nd Jesus was right) gives us the confidence to accomplish great things for Christ. Things He wants. Instructions He provides!
What about me? Am I listening for specifics and then doing those specs?
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!” James 1:22 MSG
This is the secret agent code that God uses to change our world around us. YES it involves praying and listening - getting those antennae up and asking and listening - all important parts of prayer. But that’s just the beginning of prayer!
Productive Prayer is ultimately concluded not with ‘Amen’ but with “All in!”
Conclusion - CIA doesn’t call them “spies.” They are “intelligence operatives.” What about me? Am I intelligent about my faith operation? Is my life a continuous flow of these 4 key steps? (1)Antenna up. All the time. My life is always tuned into God. No matter what I’m doing or where I’m at. My life, my plans, my activities are always subject to interruption from God for His plans and His activities. (2) Asking for specifics. Don’t need every last detail - just enough to get started. Are my questions for specifics oriented around finding out what God wants (and not just what I want?) (3) Am I in listening mode for the specifics? More than just antenna up for any broadcast, but looking for ways that God is providing me specific answers to my specific questions? (4) Am I all about doing what I know to do right now? Not waiting until I know everything, but just enough?