“Occupy till I come”.
In Luke 19:11-27, Jesus tells the story about a descendant from a royal house who needed to make a long journey back to Headquarters to obtain a Kingdom for himself and then return. Because he would be away for a long time, he called 10 of his servants, gave them each 10 Minas (in other words, they all had the same amount), and then instructed them, “Occupy till I come.”
The background to this story is that Jesus was approaching Jerusalem and the disciples were in anticipation that the Kingdom that Jesus had been talking about would be manifested any moment! So, Jesus was educating them about how the Kingdom operates and what the Kingdom is about. As explained earlier, The Kingdom is about a King and his dominion and authority. A kingdom is about influence and carrying out the orders and wishes of the King in expanding his Kingdom, his dominion and his territory.
In the story referenced above, when the Rich ruler returned, he did an audit of the 10 Minas he had given to each of his servants. The first servant came and showed his ruler that from the 10 Minas he received, he had realised a profit of an additional 10 Minas from his trading efforts. The Ruler commended him and said because you have been faithful, I will make you ruler over 10 cities. Another servant came and showed the Ruler that trading with the 10 Minas he received; he was able to gain an additional 5 Minas. He was also commended and the Ruler said to him, because you have been faithful, I will make you ruler over 5 cities.
However one servant showed up and tendered his report – He had received 10 Minas and went and hid it in a cloth because he was afraid of the Ruler because (in the words of the servant), the Ruler was a wicked man who reaped where he didn’t sow and collected where he did not deposit. The Ruler was annoyed and said to the servant, you are a wicked and lazy fellow. At least, you could have deposited my money in the Bank and I would have earned interest on it! Then he commanded the other servants to take the money from the wicked and lazy servant and to give it to the one who had realised an additional 10 Minas! The other servants protested, “but he already has double! That is not fair”. The Ruler however, insisted on his decision, saying, “I tell you, for him who has much, more will be given”
From Psalm 115:16, we know that the territory that the King of Heaven has given to us (his servants) is the Earth. So, we as the occupying army of God on earth have been given a mandate to “Occupy” until our King returns in majesty with the hosts of Heaven. That phrase, “occupy” is rendered in some other translations as, “Do business – till I come”. Another way of saying this is that we are to engage in trade with what you have been given. To each of us, the Ruler has given gifts, talents and treasures.
In the Greek, the word used for occupy is “pragmateuomai” in other words, to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade, to walk in etc. Acts 17:17 makes clear to us that EVERY believer has a ministry! It is either in the synagogue (i.e. The Church) or in the Marketplace (the world). Whether you are called as a Pastor, an Apostle, an Evangelist, A Prophet, a Teacher, a Driver, a Banker, a Housewife, a Farmer or a Doctor, everything you do must be about representing the kIngdom of Heaven and extending its reach to the planet Earth.
Going forward, your thinking, speech, prayer life, spending habits etc MUST reflect the fact that you are aware of your prime purpose in life is to extend the influence of The Kingdom of God to the Earth. Whatever you do, wherever you are, the culture of the Kingdom must be revealed through you. This will mean a radical departure from your present speech patterns, dressing, approach to life and outlook!
To do this successfully, YOU must imbibe the culture and settle it in your spirit that you are in the World but not of the World! Everything the World does is designed to erode your identity as a citizen of and Ambassador for the Kingdom. The culture of this Kingdom is love, loyalty, faith, boldness, patience, diligence, respect for authority etc. if we go back to the story Jesus told in Luke 19, you will see that the major thing that stopped the unproductive servant was fear! If you are not bold, it is an indication that you are not a member of this Kingdom. In the book of Revelation, Chapter 21 talks about the new Heaven and the new Earth. Verse 8 makes an astonishing statement. It says that the cowardly and unbelieving and adulterers etc will be locked out of the City and will have their place in the Lake of fire!
As far as this Kingdom is concerned, being cowardly is just as bad as being an adulterer! If indeed we have tasted of life and the powers to come, we should be bold to represent our King and show forth His praise and glory.
I challenge you today to choose to take God at His word and live as a Kingdom representative. Then wait and see how all the resources of the Kingdom are placed at your disposal as you begin to take territory for him and Occupy till He comes.