“When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power” Acts 1:6-7.
In the parable of the Ten Pounds in Luke 19:11-40, the Nobleman went to receive His Kingdom. “And He called His ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Luke 19:13. As a servant of God, is this not our discharge as well? It is not our business to know the times or seasons but rather to “occupy” till He comes. Occupy does not mean spiritual apathy. We will be held accountable for what we have been given. This includes what we do with what we have been given but what we don’t do with what we have been given as well. As a Christian, we have been given this Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to steward over. It is our commission to spread this Gospel we have been given. Jesus Himself came to show us, He sent His apostles to show us and gave us epistles to follow to learn and know how to spread this Gospel. We have our instruction manual in the Word of God.
Man has a problem with “occupying”. Our human nature is to make things better and more efficient. That’s why it’s so hard for us to accept the simplicity of the Gospel. When we look at what Jesus and the apostles did to spread the Gospel, we don’t see them waging war on the enemy. We see them doing what God the Father instructed them to do, spread the Gospel, and He protected them. By spreading the Gospel, the power of God waged the war. No matter the circumstances, God gave them the strength to endure. Christians today are being taught 1) they have to proactively fight off demon powers to survive and then 2) spread the Gospel to show others how to proactively fight off demon spirits. Yes, demon spirits are real. Yes, they try to oppress Christians. When this happens, this is when we press through and remember Jesus has given us all power and authority over such spirits. We place our faith in Jesus triumph on His Cross, bind that evil spirit in Jesus name and pray for deliverance. We may not be delivered immediately and sometimes this may be a test of our faith to help grow our faith. No matter the case we fight the good fight of faith and keep our faith appropriated on Jesus Christ and His finished work.
Occupying requires trust in God. We have to trust in Jesus finished work and know the same power of God that saved us, is the same power of God that will keep us – that is the Cross of Jesus. This proactive spiritual warfare is work added to the Gospel of Jesus. We have been given power and authority in Jesus name to do that which we have been commissioned to do. People are perishing without knowing the Gospel of Jesus because the servants have been slothful. They “feel” like they have been waging war on the enemy when in fact the enemy has just kept them preoccupied from their commission of spreading the Gospel. They are indeed slothful in the eyes of the Lord.
The law of diminishing returns – when light has been given and further light is rejected, all light is taken and given to another who does not reject the light. “For I say unto you, That unto every one which has shall be given; and from him who has not, even that he has shall be taken away from him.” Luke 19:26. We will be judged not only by what we do with the Gospel of Jesus, but what we don’t do with It. What are you doing with the light you have been given…or maybe the better question would be, what are you not doing? – Donna Warren