top of page

Occupying




Where are you at right now? Are you busy living life? Caught up in the stress of life? Maybe living your “best” life? Being busy living life is a normal task. Everybody wakes up in the morning, myself included, with, at least, a rough idea of what is in store for the day. I think it’s safe to say most of us just take it as it comes and hope for the best, even followers of Jesus. It doesn’t matter how conscientious, disciplined, or attentive you are. The days just happen.

Or do they?

 In this day and age, there is a real decision to be made as to how we go about our days. It’s so easy to be swept up in the moment of any situation. It’s so easy to disengage because of the physical, mental, and spiritual effort to stand firm, to encourage, or even push back. Exhaustion is a real thing. But there is a cost for every choice we make. It will cost someone something. So, it will either cost you the effort to be the light or it will potentially cost another person their eternity. Our time is so precious. That unsaved persons’ time is so precious. We must not hold ourselves more valuable than the unsaved heart God has put in our path. We know where we will be in eternity. The greater concern is where they will be in eternity.

As followers of Jesus, we are at a juncture where we must fully engage every day. We are ordered in the Bible, to “occupy” until He returns. We are to live as soldiers, ready to defend the reason for our hope and ready to help others receive that same hope.

The dictionary defines “occupy” as:

transitive verb

1.  To fill up (time or space).

"a lecture that occupied three hours."

2.  To dwell or reside in (an apartment, for example).

3.  To hold or fill (an office or position).

4.  To seize possession of and maintain control over forcibly or by conquest.

"The troops occupied the city."

5.  To engage or employ the attention or concentration of.

"occupied the children with coloring books."

6.  To take or hold possession of; to hold or keep for use; to possess.Similar: occupied

7.  To hold, or fill, the dimensions of; to take up the room or space of; to cover or fill.

"the camp occupies five acres of ground"

The bible extends the definition to include: “as it often does in our language, but to "improve," to employ "in business," for the purpose of increasing it or of making "profit" on it. 

In context, it is an act of ongoing, militant activity until notified otherwise. It is also a directive to bring others to salvation.  Our faith, if we are true followers of Jesus, demands that we take an active role in it. There is a decision you have to make.

 

We must choose deliberately to be the voice of truth, the display of compassion, and allow the lost to see the light that only we can shine. Yes, as the days grow darker, it should be easier to see our lights. But it’s so easy to acquiesce to the world, not wanting to offend or lose friends and family. That light eventually becomes so dim there’s barely a flicker. But friend, the gospel, the light of Jesus is offensive in nature though, to those who are living in darkness. But the light is the only way out of the darkness. You must deal with that fact. Make peace with it. Own it. There is no amount of sugar to make that “repent or face eternal damnation” pill go down easy. But, the lost deserve the chance to take the pill. As true followers of Jesus, we must dig down inside ourselves to find the courage, lose the embarrassment, fight the apathy, so we can keep shining the light, keep sharing the truth in love and keep calling out what is eternally destructive. We must “Occupy.”

The “Occupation” begins in our heart. An active duty soldier is always ready for any situation and so it is the same for us as followers of Jesus. It begins with reverently understanding your calling because you were called out of this world into a spiritual, eternal realm of life. It continues by spending physical time with your Father every day in your Bible, and spiritual time every day in prayer, and it culminates by spilling out into the world around you. There is no way around this point. One cannot become a formidable soldier unless they commit and submit to the drill sergeant and take the training. We must also learn to abide in Jesus. Not many followers of Christ understand what it is to “abide in Jesus”. Took me a long time to fully embrace it. But essentially, it’s relinquishing that control (perceived or actual) you so desperately crave and, for me, constantly asking Holy Spirit/God/Jesus how He wants me to navigate any particular situation. But not usually in a frantic way. It almost becomes a meditation of my heart. Am I being nudged to tell someone how much Jesus loves them? Am I being compelled to help someone in a given situation? Am I compelled to share what the Bible says about a situation? Am I being warned of a potentially bad situation? The “occupation” should spill out, into every crevice, every corner of your life and the lives of others. We have nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. Remember Jesus saying, “Understand if the world hates you, they hated Me first.” John 15:18? The time has long passed for us to be concerned with pleasing others. In fact, we should always have had our hearts set on Jesus. This “occupation” I speak of is not without precedent. Great pastors have been telling us this for a long time now. But you may be wondering what that “occupation” actually looks like in your life?

When the world looks at us, and by the “world” I mean the unsaved masses, they will find discomfort and a belligerence to and with our words and actions. They will kick and scream, say and do vile things about and to you. Just refer back to John 15:18 and draw power from knowing what our Savior did for us and what His followers have endured throughout time. There is nothing easy about living upright in this upside-down world, in terms of the viscosity of hate and evil. But there is, in turn, something very calming and dare I say, easy, about genuinely giving it to Jesus and leaving the outcome in His hands. There is a freedom you will find. But, much like Lot’s wife, it only works if you are looking ahead to the return of our blessed Savior and King. Looking back, pining for old things, situations, or people, will render you useless to Holy Spirit and in turn, ruin any testimony you have. We must get used to being different.

Much like there are different arenas and terrain in war, there are different arenas and terrain in this spiritual battle we face every day. For some of you, it will be a workplace. For others, it will be schoolboards, public board meetings and classrooms. For others, it will be doctors’ offices, hospitals, and the military. Others will face federal, state, and local legislators. For most, it will be your homes. There is no place that is not battleground. It’s all fair game to Satan and his minions. And every battle is mission critical. There is no place or time to let your witness slide or be absent. Especially when you are by yourself. Not today.

In action, it looks like putting the needs of another in front of yours. It looks like not responding with your routine snarkiness. It looks like truly forgiving a gut-wrenching hurt. It looks like giving someone a chance to try again. It looks like letting that car merge before you on the road. It means (and this one is hard for me), not getting worked up when making unpleasant phone calls. It means reassuring the person helping you at the store, drs office or wherever, how much you appreciate them and how much Jesus loves them. It means making time for your child or spouse when you have other pressing things to tend to. It means extending grace to that friend or relative who never has anything kind to say. I think you get my meaning. Each of these things, causes your light to burn brighter and brighter. And with Holy Spirits' leading, maybe you get an opportunity to share the reason for your hope and why you have a light that shines so brightly.

We must live our lives as soldiers. After all, we’re in the Lord’s Army. So always be ready to give a defense, never let the enemy gain or re-take territory and hold fast to our soon-returning Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.




2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

コメント


bottom of page