Archive for December 2009

Shake It Off

December 18, 2009

Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you
go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet
Matthew 10:14

As Jesus began to prepare His disciples for their calling as
leaders in the Church, He decided they needed to go out on
their own and learn to do what they had previously seen Him
do. For soon Jesus would no longer be physically with them
and they needed to know how to operate in His absence. So He
gathered the disciples together and instructed them to go
out into the surrounding cities to preach and demonstrate
the Kingdom of God. At the very end of His instructions,
Jesus tells his disciples to do something, that is not as
spectacular as His other instructions, but is essential to
their having success in what they have been assigned to do.
This essential piece of wisdom that Jesus shared with his
disciples has just as much application and revelation for
us today, as it did when He originally spoke these words
over 2000 years ago.

Jesus first instructs His disciples to take no money for
their journey, preach the Kingdom of Heaven, heal the sick,
raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons and when
it is all said and done – know when to “shake the dust off”.

Jesus said that their ability to shake off criticism, rejection,
opposition and other people’s opinion of them was just as
important as their preaching the gospel, healing the sick,
raising the dead, cleansing lepers and casting out demons.
Jesus knew that their ability to overcome persecution and
rejection was critical to their ability to succeed at what He
told them to do. If they succumbed to criticism and rejection,
there would be no preaching, healing, raising or cleansing
because they would quit and abandon what they were sent to do.

We too must learn to shake off the dust that others cast upon
us to stop us and move forward in life. There are times in life
when we will have to go at it alone! If you never learn to
shake off what life and others will place upon you, you will
find yourself bound and unable to move forward in life because
you’re carrying things and burdens that God never intended
for you to carry.

Not only must we learn to shake off the dirt that others place
upon us, but we must also learn to shake off the dirt that
we’ve accumulated and held onto over the years. There are
things in our pasts that have clung to us to remind us of what
we used to be. This dirt may be failures, words that have
wounded us or mistakes we’ve made that we are trying to make
up for that hinder us in moving forward into our assignments
and callings. Many of the disciples had less than desirable
pasts that they had to shake off and move forward despite
their history. There was Matthew the tax collector who had
to shake of the guilt, shame and condemnation of his past
occupation in order to move forward in the ministry that
Christ had given him. If Matthew had not learned to shake
off what he knew about himself, and what others were saying
about him, he would not have been able to minister with the
conviction and power necessary for him to do what Christ
instructed him to do. The enemy will use other people’s
attitudes and opinions to try to cause you to doubt yourself
and forfeit what God has for you.

What is it that you’ve allowed to lay dormant because of
rejection, opposition or someone’s opinion of you? Has someone
said something to you that has caused you to doubt yourself,
your ability, purpose or future? If so, do what Jesus told
His disciples to do – “shake it off” and keep moving!