Luke 10:1-3, 17-20 NASB
Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. "Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves."
The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
My thoughts -
Jesus sent the seventy out. He gave them instructions to go minister to communities. And upon their return it was clear that they had an amazing experience.
"Can you believe what we did?" they asked. "That was awesome! We even cast out demons!"
They were riding high. And Jesus didn't exactly kill their buzz. But he reminded them of something I think we all need to be reminded of from time to time.
Whatever awesome things that have happened. Whatever you see or do or hear. Whatever amazing ministry you are a part of. None of that compares to simply belonging to Christ.
We want to be moved. We want to be inspired. We want to have these "mountain top" experiences. But none of that compares to the "mundane" reality that we belong to Jesus. That our names are written in the Book of Life. That we have been redeemed. That we are loved.
The most moving worship service, the most life changing retreat, the most inspiring sermon, the best praise band in the world, the most intense missions opportunity, none of that compares to being redeemed by God through Christ. None of that compares to being saved.
I hear all the time from people that worship didn't "have it" or a retreat was "kind of boring" or some experience "just wasn't moving" and I have to wonder if sometimes we don't just sit back and hope the Holy Spirit will entertain us.
But Jesus told his followers not to rejoice in the amazing experiences they had. Jesus told them to rejoice that their names were written down in heaven. I think sometimes we forget what we are saved from and what we are saved to. I think sometimes we take the opportunity to worship and serve the Lord our God to whom we have, through no act or virtue of our own but through grace alone, been reconciled, for granted.
Rejoice in your salvation! Rejoice that you have been redeemed! Rejoice that you have been reconciled to God through Christ! Rejoice that you have been saved! Don't wait for the mountain top. Every day that you have been saved from your sins is the mountain top. Every day that you have been redeemed is the mountain top. Every day that you thank God that Christ intervened on your behalf is the mountain top.
If we're not rejoicing in our salvation then we're just doing it wrong. There's nothing wrong with amazing experiences. There's nothing wrong with being moved or inspired. But this is not what we should be rejoicing in. Not when we compare it to the miracle that is every day spent in a reconciled relationship with our Creator.