The Lord is highlighting the word OCCUPY. Now upon first glance this word sounds like a take possession of finances type of word. It has the connotation of being positioned. Which are both true, but what the Lord has shown me this morning is that when He tells us to occupy, before we can occupy wealth or positions, we must occupy the enemy. In recent history the church has become very passive when it comes to the enemy. Passivity with the enemy has meant we have been told to tolerate and yet we wonder why it now dominates. The mantra behind this is Jesus statement in Matthew 5:44 “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” What we don’t realize is Jesus was talking to the Jews about loving the Gentiles that were about to be invited into the kingdom.
In order for us to occupy the way the Lord is inviting us to occupy is to recognize we have an enemy that is out to destroy us and as long as we tolerate this enemy it will dominate us. But we must break off the shackles of religious passivity and put on our kingdom authority. If we choose not to do this, we will find ourselves needing to be rescued/harvested, rather than being the ones doing the rescuing/harvesting. The choice is yours, but the call is clear, we must occupy.
What does it mean to occupy? The Greek word in Luke 19:13 where Jesus said, “Occupy until I come…” means to put your foot on the neck of your enemy; to restrict and restrain his movement. This is a nod to Joshua 10 where five kings created a coalition to come against Israel and when the Lord fought for Israel, “Then Joshua said, “Remove the rocks covering the opening of the cave, and bring the five kings to me.” So they brought the five kings out of the cave—the kings of Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, Lachish, and Eglon. When they brought them out, Joshua told the commanders of his army, “Come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.” (V.23-24) This is what Jesus meant when He said occupy until I come. There is nothing passive about the word occupy.
That’s why Jesus says to us and Joshua said to his commanders “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged, Be strong and courageous, for the LORD is going to do this to all of your enemies.” It is time to OCCUPY!