‘These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff – no bread, no bag, no money in your belts.” Wear sandals, but not an extra tunic.” Mark 6:8-9 (NIV).
Jesus’ instructions to the twelve disciples were not about being unprepared, but rather about being solely dependent on God’s provision. How can we possibly relate to these words in our current times? Jesus talks about being God-dependent, not independent. Believing that God really will provide all daily needs from His storehouse of wealth. Trusting Him for everything, when before us there is nothing. Walking by faith, not by sight. Living simply, with an unencumbered faith. Adopting humility and self-surrender. Confessing our powerlessness and His power.
Through our complex world and elaborate ways of living, we have woven ourselves lifestyles that are far more complicated that what the first disciples experienced. Yet, we can still draw meaning for our own lives from this scripture. Let’s consider how much we are shaped by the provisions of our culture. How much time and energy we spend striving for them. Are we so controlled by managing our own lives that we have forgotten how to be still and trust God for our daily needs? Can we identify particular areas in our life where we need to rest quietly and depend upon God and His provision? At the heart of Jesus’ words is an invitation for each of us to abandon ourselves, just as the twelve disciples did, and embrace the goodness of God, trusting that He fully satisfies every need we have.
‘Father, help me to grow in my dependence upon you, releasing the control I strive to have on my own life. Amen.’