(What On Earth Are We Doing?!)
Of course there is a vast difference! A vacation, ideally, is a mere rest, a time of refreshing, a cessation of work – usually a brief season that has been set apart specifically for those things. But an assignment, is a specific duty that needs to be accomplished, no matter how long it takes – or how much difficult effort must be expended.
I have come to the sobering realization recently, that I am on Assignment! I do not think I was fully aware of this before! I mean, I knew it. But I didn't seem to have a clear grasp on just what that assignment entailed! I have realized of late, however, that I am definitely NOT, as most American religious sorts seem to believe, on some permanent, life-long vacation, waiting on Eternity for “the real work” to begin!
So then, what exactly is our assignment? To what work have we been called? What is it that Yeshua expects us to do – since He is our commanding officer, and the One who hands out our assignment!?
Isaiah 61 outlined it this way, in the first few verses:
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives, And freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD; And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
Then they (those who accept the assignment to operate in that kind of anointing and authority) will rebuild the ancient ruins, They will raise up the former devastations; And they will repair the ruined cities, The desolations of many generations....”
Yeshua Himself taught from this very Scripture, applying it to Himself. His words were recorded by Luke the Physician, in chapter 4 of the book named after him, saying:
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. 17And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written,
“The Spirit of the LORD-GOD is upon Me, because He has Anointed Me to preach the Gospel (Good News) to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the blind, to set free all who are oppressed, to proclaim the Favorable Year of the LORD, Jubilee.”
And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
And of course, as His disciples recorded, Yeshua went about doing exactly all of that, in His daily life on earth. Mark records in chapter three, verse twenty that, after a time of rest and refreshing from a previous healing/deliverance session, “He came home, and the crowd gathered again, to such an extent that they could not even eat a meal.” And this was due to the fact that His ability to heal and deliver had become so well known! He frequently pulled off to a quiet place to recharge, to reconnect with God, the source of His Anointing and Power, but when He emerged He was thronged with people wanting healing and deliverance! Often referring to those times as His “bread”, meaning that bringing people freedom was nourishing and energizing to Him! I can certainly see how it would be exhilarating!
But, what we miss, I think, is that this is our assignment here! Yes, WE are meant – called and equipped - to bring people that Anointing! He said (John 14:12) that we could do whatever He did, and more, because He was going to the Father! We are commanded and empowered by His Spirit, to walk in His power, and Authority – that is able and present - to free fallen humanity of affliction. To loose them from the strongholds of the enemy which bind them to evil – in tendencies, thought or habit patterns – such as suicidal depression, or life-altering, life threatening addictions, etc; mental paradigms and such, often manifesting in manifold health issues or mental/emotional dysfunctions of varying types.
It is time that we wake up to this assignment! It is time we got a clue as to our purpose here! It is time that we grasp the fact that we are not here to play church in exclusive social clubs, where we hang out and congratulate one another on our perceived spiritual whiteness! Nor are we here to fill Sunday School charts with gold stars for all our good works! Nor are we here to finance an expensive edifice, or to merely support so called “Shepherds”, “Bishops”, “Priests”, “Rabbis” or “Apostles” - who fleece more sheep than they feed, and exploit issues rather than bring deliverance of them!
We are not here to merely survive, or to amass worldly goods for ourselves! Abraham was Blessed to BE a Blessing! Not to snob those less blessed, nor to pat himself on the back for being blessed! He was not blessed just so he could afford a vacation home for himself and his family! He was rich! God blessed and increased the work of his hands! No doubt about that! But it was not just for his own comfort and survival! From his devotion and love for God came the people who would eventually birth our Salvation! He was on an assignment of eternal magnitude!
Yeshua who was our Salvation (since that is what “Yeshua” means) was also on assignment! Boy, and how! He was Anointed to bring US – fallen humanity - deliverance from the curse of sin – a.k.a. - “The curse which was brought about by disobedience to the LAW, due to a fallen nature unable to obey the Law of God! Yeshua was and IS anointed to break the power of sin over our lives and equip us with natures which automatically LIVE the LAW of GOD! An anointing which transforms us into LOVE! Which is what the Law was sent to facilitate! (Romans 13:8-13, Galatians 5:14)
We are not here on some carnival pass or free-ticket, erroneously called “Grace”! Grace is drastically misrepresented, and misunderstood! In fact, Grace has come to be treated like some “get-out-of-hell-free” card, or some kind of legal loop-hole around His Law a.k.a. Torah! God forbid! Yeshua came not to abolish or nullify the Law but to fulfill it! In us! He was the Living Torah!
We are not here on some extended vacation/holding-stall, waiting on “Pie in the sky, in the sweet by & by!” There is work to be done! That whole thing that God commanded, not suggested, about “You SHALL work six days and rest one” still applies! Shabbat is still His appointed time to rest from our own works, in order to celebrate His! What part of Grace do we not get? Apparently ALL of it! Grace is a transforming force! It is not a passive state of mere pseudo-spiritual existence! It is NOT some trance inducing apathy! That is a deception of the enemy! And it is time we got free of that web of futility!
Yeshua went to synagogue! He taught Torah! He kept the appointed Feasts of the LORD! He did those things out of a heart of grateful Love for His Father – while rebuking Pharisaical legalism to the letter of the Law, while ignoring its heart and intention! He was all free, and yet all submitted! And that is His will for us as well! And as a result of His unwavering obedience to His Father's will – which was unalterably expressed in Torah – and because of His ability to keep that Law in His very nature, which was like God – He was also blessed with an anointing to pass on that power to us! And now He expects US to pass that anointing on to others! That is our assignment! Our “Mission, if we choose to accept it”!
We are to be enlivened by His Spirit, transformed by His Anointing, and charged with His Authority and power to bring that Good News of deliverance to all of humanity – beginning with His own natural brothers, who got tripped up with religious spirits, much like His adopted brothers of today!
When will we forget about our own limitations, ideologies and religious substitutions and run after HIM! When will we allow the flesh to be crucified in Him, so that our reborn spirit-being can fully thrive!? When will our passion for Him exceed our fleshly lusts and addictions? When will we accept our assignment in Him and get on with bringing His Good News to the rest of the world?
We sing, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back!” But then fall into a pout fest at every challenge and disappointment! We – as the called out ones – need to answer the call! We need to grow some love, which would supply the chutzpah and the wisdom we need to fulfill this assignment! Let's get hold of His Spirit today, and find His help to connect us to the source of Love that is available to us 24/7 – so that we will not fail our Lord – so that we will complete our assignment!
Let's stop kvetching about the world “going to hell in a hand-basket” and get to saving it! After all, that is our Mission or Assignment! If we choose to accept it!