We Got a Reason to be Stoked

Do you ever find yourself just going through the motions of what you perceive is expected of you as a Christian?  Ever find yourself in a joyless funk where you feel like you’re just going through the motions of faith?  Every once in a while, its really good to get back to the heart of what this life of following Christ really has going for it…to sort of shake us out of our malaise and reignite our passion and excitement for the kingdom project Jesus started whilst on earth.

Our passage in Luke will be chapter 10:17-24 this Sunday.

As the 72 (or 70, your choice) return from their mission, they are pretty stoked.  They give a reason for that joy, and Jesus affirms it, and that is…Jesus WINS.  If Jesus wins, who loses?  Why is that a reason to be joyful?

We do have Jesus qualifying their stokedness…reminding them that they don’t want to look at what they’ve done, nor even what they may do as being the SOURCE of their joy…what IS the source?  Why is that a reason to be joyful?

In so many ways, this journey Jesus takes from Galilee to Jerusalem is a picture of the church age, and even the end of the story.  It’s a good ending, an ending prophets and kings were longing to see fulfilled in their day.  If the story has a good ending, then all adversity that happens in the meantime is simply part of the adventure.  To me, that seems like a good source of joy. What about you?

11 thoughts on “We Got a Reason to be Stoked

  1. Very good Rob! Very nice to hear your heart and insights into the book of Luke. When we visited Eastgate in January, you were just starting the book. We loved the fellowship and warmth, the simple worship and simple teaching. Very good!!! Love to you and Robbie!

  2. Have you ever heard that statement, It’s not the destination but the journey. Well in this case I believe it’s both. The journey is to live as God intends us to and gives us the guide and the process to get to the destination that will give us more joy and happiness that out minds cannot phathom. I am blessed and honored that I live this life with the joy that there is more to come.

  3. Here is the real question for me, “what is joy”? The Bible talks a lot about joy, “joy unspeakable and full of glory…” but honestly, I never have been able to get my hands around what joy really is. I have been told, “oh brother, you just need to get in joy” like it was a car or house where I could simply open a door and walk on in. Seems I am much better with happy or unhappy. After a while, happy is replaced with something else. From what I read, joy seems to transcend the ups and downs of life. Looking forward to hearing your insights.

  4. For some reason I can hear Ol’ Lockridge calling out, “Do you know Him?” I think if you can anwer yes to that question, it implies that He also knows you.

    The 70/72 came back declaring what they knew about what they had done. Assuming ownership of their deeds. But isn’t that just like a bunch of adults. Mature in their age, experiences, deeds and wisdom, yes even their wisdom of God. But Jesus reminds them, don’t get caught up in the flash and excitement of a moment, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. He reminds them that those moments have already passed, but the kingdom of God extends beyond time.

    And them he compares them to children. Were we not like that when our fathers taught us something. Or a coach taught us something. Our excitement for a new achievement forces open the flood gates of enthusiam and joy. I see the joy of a father and a coach rejoicing with a son or young athelete who learned from their knees how to do something like ride a bike or hit a baseball. He rejoices with them and reminds them that you kept those knees pumping just as I told you and that’s why you rode, and you kept your eyes on the ball and swung through the pitch, that’s why you hit your first home run. Jesus tells them, yeah you did those things, but remember if your name was not written in heaven, the power to do so would not have been provided to you.

    Finally, Jesus looks to heaven and thanks His Father for providing to Him the spirit to provide to them.

  5. Just going through the motions is even worse when you don’t have a heading. I am at a time in my life that I feel stagnant. I can see these confusing and painful things happening to me without being able to stop them. I don’t want to move just for the sake of moving. I want every step I take, every decision I make be covered in God. But it’s difficult when you don’t have a clue of the right path to take. Even though I can’t see ahead, I can make my motions those of joy. My movements can be towards loving others. The other day God brought me to this scripture “I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not know” (Isaiah 42:16). God’s gently reminding me that I am helpless, blind; but he’s got my back. He knows the path that I don’t. The verse doesn’t necessary say that He will open my eyes to see the path; but he knows every stone I could trip on, every pothole that might be only steps in front of me. And if I happen to trip He is there to pick me up, heal my wounds, and hold my hand so I can keep going. If that’s not enough reason for joy I am at a loss.

  6. I think that verse 20 serves as a warning. Having the authority to trample on serpents, scorpions, Satan, etc. is something to get excited about for sure. Anyone with these superpowers could easily get caught up in the excitement of stamping out evil at every turn and forget where the authority comes from in the first place. We may not be casting out demons on a regular basis, but I think we can all relate to having times of “spiritual highs.” I believe Jesus was warning the 70 that they were not always going to live on this spiritual mountaintop. I would be willing to bet that the 70 did not continue on at the same sort of pace throughout their lives, busting up demons and healing the sick every single day. Although we have authority to do great things in Christ’s name, our lives are still punctuated with times of monotony, boredom, going through the motions, and even tragedy and heartache, and I suspect it was no different for the 70. If we expect God to give us an endless supply of spiritual highs like the ones the 70 had just experienced, we will inevitably be disappointed and wonder where God is.

    When I first became a Christian I thought that I needed to “feel” God’s presence; otherwise, I was not close to Him. Later I realized that the emotions that go along with becoming a new Christian are not constant throughout the marathon of life. It took quite a while before I felt ok that I didn’t always have a tingling sensation wash over me during prayer or worship music. We must rest easy knowing that he has saved us and that he has a good end in store for us, that our “names are written in heaven.” I believe that is what joy is, being steady and even-keeled, knowing we are secure in His hands.

  7. Matt, that was just what I needed to hear. You helped me to understand more of what this journey following Christ is all about.

  8. When I read over Matt’s (my husband 🙂 reply, I told him that this passage reminds me of what we always talk about after watching an epic style movie. Even as a woman, I left all the Lord of the Rings and other movies of that genre feeling so dull and boring and redundant. I would think “so what is the point of my life then”? I am not out slaying the wicked and returning peace to my “middle earth”. So, why should I be joyful? What is so special about me? What is my point? I am doing nothing of epic proportions on a daily basis. Apparently, I have a HUGE reason to be joyful, and like Celeste said, if I can’t be joyful about having my name written in heaven, then what can I be joyful about? Life can be dull and monotonous, but we must look at the big picture, see the forest for the trees. God is working out such an amazing story, and we have the privilege to be a part of it. He loves us and KNOWS us, and that should be enough for us to be stoked about for sure! If I could just quit being so darn selfish and remember what is true about His character and desire to know me and for me to know Him, joy would be endless. I love that this passage is so relatable to our 21st century lives. The Bible can be really cool that way. 🙂

  9. The disciples returned all caught up in their “ghost busting” experience while Jesus seems to down play the whole Satan falling from heaven thing like he was just another lightening bolt God sent with a flick of his finger. This is so easy to relate too as a christian. The mountain top experiences we have with God leave us in awe and craving more of Him but in reality there is a lot of “down-time” in-between where the valley seems to be home. This passage is a good reminder to keep our focus on the end of the story… the enemy of our soul looses and we are ultimately on the winning team. This life is but a “vapor” of time in the big scope of eternity and we can have joy because He has joined us on our journey here and is leading us home!

  10. I can totally identify with what Summer said. I am a a dreamer… I get caught up in the epicness of “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter” where good triumphs over evil. I totally feel unfulfilled in life when I see people accomplishing great things, I feel stagnate sometimes here in Panama City, working 3 days a week, most days covered in spit-up and up to my neck in laundry and dishes :).
    I feel, for lack of a better term, “Lame”.

    But, I am encouraged by the fact that I have a saviour who died for me. He provides for me. He has blessed me with a family and friends. He has freely given me salvation that I did absolutely nothing to deserve. He has lead me to this point in my life, and here I am.
    He is the ultimate Hero.

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