I remember the scene in the movie Major Payne where Major Payne's ROTC crew reports for duty. They drag in without urgency, without and semblance of duty and without any passion for their ROTC class. Teachers reading this may say, AMEN!
If we are the "resurrection army" called forth by God's Spirit in Ezekiel, indwelled by the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, sent out as God's witnesses in Acts, how do we report for duty? In Luke 9 Jesus gives us some pointers.
First and most important, they were equipped and sent by their Commander and Chief, Jesus. He called them together (their was unity), He gave them authority (His power was their only power that could cast out demons and heal), He sent them out to 'tell everyone about the Kingdom of God.' All of this was delegated authority from Jesus Himself. All of this reminds us that we report ready to receive what Jesus gives us.
Second, we report ready for our orders. We come ready to listen to our commander and follow the orders we are given.
Finally, we must be ready for the positives and the negatives of ministry. If I were send out on a mission for our military in Iraq, I would be ready for and expect opposition. It is interesting that the expectation and surety of opposition is part of Jesus' message to His disciples.
Too often our modern day Church fails to follow the pattern Jesus sets forth in Luke 9. We go in our own authority, trusting our own feelings and relying on our own understanding. We hear the orders of the one we call master and then do it our way. We are opposed and we run away, cowering because we have found the battle hard or unpleasant.
Jesus is clear here. We are called, we are equipped, we are given instruction and we WILL be opposed. It is what we should expect as we fight in the greatest and most relevant battle ever ... the battle for the hearts and souls of people. I think this is why Jesus says, in John 15:4, "abide in Me ... and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine." Nuff said! Randy