Luke 22:35-38 (CEV)
35 Jesus asked his disciples, “When I sent you out without a moneybag or a traveling bag or sandals, did you need anything?”
“No!” they answered.
36 Jesus told them, “But now, if you have a moneybag, take it with you. Also take a traveling bag, and if you don’t have a sword, sell some of your clothes and buy one. 37 Do this because the Scriptures say, ‘He was considered a criminal.’ This was written about me, and it will soon come true.”
38 The disciples said, “Lord, here are two swords!”
“Enough of that!” Jesus replied.
In the first two and a half years of marriage Trevor had moved to Canada and landed his first job in his field, we had our first baby, I finished university, and we bought our first house. It was kind of crazy! We had been saving carefully and had slowly replaced all of the damaged appliances in the house, and now had $5000 in hand to finally buy a car.
We were excited.
We’d relied on the bus and our bikes for two years, and we had done a lot of thinking about what kind of vehicle we wanted.
We had one picked out, and the time came to go and sign the papers and hand over the cheque. We were just about to strap our 14-month-old into the bike carrier when I turned to Trevor and said, “I don’t know why, but I don’t think we should do this right now.”
There was no logical reason.
We were doing what we had done for two years – carefully saving up for the next purchase, and then when we were ready, going ahead with it.
Nothing had changed.
There was no indication that anything was about to change.
I just had this feeling that we shouldn’t go ahead with it that day.
And Trevor didn’t bat an eyelid. He said, ‘if you don’t think we should do it, then we won’t do it – we don’t have to know the why.’
And so we called up the guy 15 minutes before we were supposed to meet and pulled out of the deal.
A week later Trevor came home from work early and told me that the company had gone bankrupt. That he had no job – effective immediately – in the midst of the dot-com bust.
We somehow lived off of that $5000 for the next four months until Trevor was able to find work again, and we learned that sometimes life is business as usual, and sometimes it all has to change. We also learned that when God speaks, it’s really important that we listen!
The disciples find themselves in a similar situation today.
They’ve gotten used to Jesus being there – to Jesus providing everything for them. However uncomfortable his teaching has been for them at any given point in the process, it’s what they’ve come to know and trust, and in that there is comfort.
And all of a sudden Jesus says, “get ready – everything’s about to change”.
It’s as upsetting as it is unsettling.
But it’s really important that the disciples pay attention.
Jesus wants them to have what they need.
Jesus wants them to know that he cares.
Jesus wants them to survive – even though he knows he won’t.
And I think it’s important that we pay attention, too.
Because sometimes life goes topsy-turvy.
Sometimes life throws us a curve ball.
And sometimes – if we’re listening – God might just give us a heads up about how we can get ready so that we can get through.
There’s no guarantees – but I think it’s worth listening.
- If you have experience hearing from God, how often do you make space to listen?
- In your experience, what makes it easier or harder for you to hear from God?
- How easy do you find it to trust what you hear?
- If you are in a long-term relationship with someone, how easy do you find it to trust what the other person tells you they’ve heard?
- Is there anything you want to change to make it easier for you to hear from God regularly and to act on what you hear?
- If you don’t yet have experience hearing from God, I would highly recommend Brad Jersak’s book, ‘Can You Hear Me?’ as an excellent place to start. I have a copy, and would be happy to share it with anyone interested.
- If you’re interested in introducing the idea of hearing from God to your children, Brad also has a picture book for kids called ‘Children Can You Hear Me?’, with lots of great questions to get kids – and parents – thinking about how to hear from God.