Reading in Luke Chapter 17 this morning, I came across something that supercharged my spirit and I just have to share!
And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.” So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’” Luke 17: 5-10
First off, let’s talk about this word unprofitable. Jesus said we are to say we are “unprofitable servants.” Wait, that doesn’t sound like Jesus! This is the son of God who came down from heaven to rescue us! The one who said we are like treasure that was buried in a field and when a man finds it, he gives all he has to buy that field to have it. How can we be both treasure and unprofitable servants?!? I find that when something doesn’t sit right with me in scripture, it’s a good indication that the Holy Spirit is beckoning me in for more. And this one is a goodie!
The word unprofitable here is achreios. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says this is hyperbole of pious modesty. “Although he(the servant) has done all, yet he has done nothing except what he ought to have done; accordingly he possesses no merit, and could only claim to be called profitable should he do more than what he is bound to do.” Jesus is not talking about our personal value here. He is talking about our assignment. A servant is assigned to do certain things. Fulfilling that role is a given. In fact, not fulfilling that role would be bad, right? So what was Jesus talking about?
“When you have done all those things which you are commanded,” what commands was Jesus talking about? He was talking about having faith. Prior to these verses, Jesus is directing the disciples to forgive without limits, which kind of blew them away. Their response: “Lord, increase our faith!” Jesus responds that faith is our assignment, and whether it’s the faith to forgive, to believe for miracles, provision, radical generosity, or city, regional, or world-wide revival, as His servants, this is our assignment. The beauty in this is it absolutely takes the pride out of believing God for great things! Jesus said we would do even greater things than He did. (John 14:12) To believe for and act on these things is not arrogance, it’s our assignment as servants! I believe each one of us is to seek God’s heart to find out more specifically the role He has for us to play in the Great Awakening He desires to bring in the earth. You are placed in your home, your family, your street, your job, your region on purpose and your assignment is to hear the Father’s heart, believe Him and go out and do the acts of faith He has assigned for you to do. Never get your assignment mixed up with your identity. You are a son or daughter or God, the end. Your value to Him cannot be diminished or increased because it is infinite. As such, we have the privilege of participating in unfathomable acts of greatness, and because this is merely our assignment, God gets all the glory.
So, today, what assignments does God have for you to do? Don’t be afraid to dream big, to believe big, to pray and act boldly. Some things take time, but each day we are to grab ahold of our assignment of faith, hear the Father’s heart, engage with the Spirit and live the faith He’s assigned us to. It’s merely assignment. Enjoy!