Every time I hear anyone mention the first Gulf War, it brings back to my memory an interview with a soldier who was there as they were about to go to war from Kuwait and into Iraq. She said, “You know, we’ve gotten training when we were in boot camp about chemical warfare. We kind of dozed off, you know, and didn’t take notes, It was boring, threw paper wads, whatever. It was just boring stuff.” She said, “Now they’re covering chemical warfare again, because we’re about to go into Iraq where they have them.” She said, “We’re taking notes, we’re asking questions this time, we’re staying late after class.” I thought, “Wow! What a big difference; same material, same information.” What was different? All of a sudden soldiers knew that their life could depend on what they were learning, and they were going to need it, not just know it.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “The Need to Need What You Know.”
Our word for today from the Word of God comes from Matthew 28:18. Jesus is just about to ascend into heaven and leave His disciples. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.'” Wow! What a great statement! And Jesus has saved it until this moment. You can almost hear His disciples say, “Oh, that’s a good one. Remember that one. That’s a great statement. ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’ I like that. That’s powerful. Huh, John? Huh, Peter?”
Do you know why He waited until now to give it to them? Listen to what He says next, “Therefore…” What’s the “therefore”? Well, because all authority was given to Me, “Therefore on that basis,” go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Here’s eleven guys standing on a mountain, and Jesus says, “I want you guys to go and take care of the whole world.” It’s a good thing He said, “All authority has been given to Me.” All of a sudden that’s not just a nice wall plaque. That is not just a great quotation to write down. There are lives, there are ministries that are going to depend on what Jesus said there. He is giving them a mission that is so much bigger than they are. They’re going to need that power as they’ve never needed it before.
See, you don’t know God’s power until you really need God’s power. You have the need to need what you know. I’ve watched a lot of yawning youth group kids suddenly grabbing their Bible, learning to pray, asking questions. You know why? Because they were on a mission trip, they’re away from home, they’re pushed to the limits physically and emotionally. And suddenly they need for the first time what they’d be hearing for years.
Like those soldiers in that class. They weren’t interested in the material until they knew they’d need it to stay alive. Now, what’s that all mean to you? Well, you need to be out on a limb for the Lord, because you’re going to really experience His power there. And people who never get out of the boat, never know what it is to walk on water. Safe Christianity is boring Christianity. You need to get busy doing something for the Lord; not just knowing things about Him, learning about Him. You’ve got to do something.
So, take the plunge. Take that Sunday School class. Yeah, go ahead and take it. Or working with that youth group. Get involved in that outreach program. Go on that mission trip. Get involved with some group of people who need you or some community outreach. Become committed to actively sharing Christ with the people around you so they have a chance to be in heaven. Or say “yes” to that invitation to get involved in some part of the Lord’s work as a volunteer.
Get out on a limb where you’re taking some risks for your Lord serving Him so you get beyond yourself. Because that’s where you will meet Him in a way you can’t meet Him anywhere else because now, you need to need what you know.