See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way
in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
We are familiar with the story of the talents. Before going on a trip a master gave each of his servants talents according to their ability. This master knew his servants well. He knew their capabilities and treated them accordingly. He therefore did not give any of them more than they could handle. His servants were not the same. Each was unique and yet it is not implied that any was better than the other.
Similarly, God knows each of us inside out. He knows we are unique because He so created us and does not expect more or less from us. In fact, He deposited our abilities into us and He created each of us for a specific purpose. Therefore, He does not expect any of us to operate outside of His plan, purpose and will for our lives. Whatever He has put in us is to fulfill His plan and purpose on earth. So, He will never ask anything of us that is outside of His plan for us and that He has not equipped us to carry out.
Now, the man with the five talents and the man with the two, doubled their talents. In other words, they did something with what their master had given them. They probably understood who they were and therefore were able to and even chose to use what they had received. The man with the one talent did nothing with his talent but hid it. Sometimes, we too hide the abilities and the gifts the Lord has deposited in us. We don't want people to know what we are capable of because sometimes we are lazy, we do not want to be committed to the Lord's work. We think it will take up too much of our precious time. For some of us, on the other hand, it is fear. Fear because of a feeling of inadequacy or inferiority. I'm not good enough. I can't sing as well as Tracy. I can't preach as well as Robert. I can't play the drums as well as John. And these feelings and attitudes hinder us from being all that God created us to be in Him. Sometimes, we don't understand our purpose here on earth and that God knows the plans He has for us and so we take for granted what He has given us.
Let's think about it. Who was the greatest, the man with the five, the man with the two or the man with the one talent? None of them were the greatest or greater than the other. However, the men with the five and with the two talents were rewarded by their master, not because they had more talents than the man with one, but because they did something with what they had been given. Ironically then, we could almost say that importance was not based on how gifted they were but on if they did something with what they had been given. Likewise, so many times we compare ourselves to and are even compared to others. "Greatness" is many times based on "giftedness." Yet it is not what we have as much as what we do with what we have. Some of us are like the man with the one talent. Because our one talent seems "insignificant" in comparison to someone else's we run the risk of being lazy, of being ineffective, of being disobedient. Yet, if we were to use that one talent God has given us no matter how insignificant it seems or how we may feel, God will increase it and He will help us to become better and better at it. Psalm 138:8a says: "The Lord will perfect that which concerns me."
Sometimes, we listen too much to the wrong voice. We listen to voices of discouragement, voices telling us we can't and we should not because we're not good enough. Some of these voices are well-meaning. They don't want us to embarrass ourselves. However, it is God's voice that we need to listen to and obey. God will never try to embarrass us. He knows that there are people that can and will benefit from what He has given us. That is why He has given us these talents, not for ourselves but for others. It is never about us and about what we can or cannot do. It is all about God and His purpose and His ability. So, whenever fear steps in, we need to remind ourselves that it is not about us and whether we can or can't, it's about the person who will benefit from our obedience, who will get saved, the backslider who will be restored to the Lord. It's about God's purpose and will.
Yet, sometimes, God's purpose and will is to work on areas in our own life that need help. A few years ago, in my former church, we were preparing for our women's conference complete with international speakers. It was not our first conference of this nature yet I felt very inadequate and nervous. I remember coming home and sitting on my bed crying and asking God why did I have to be the keyboardist chosen to play for this conference, why couldn't the other keyboardist be the one chosen. By the way, in my opinion and that of others I am sure, he was certainly the better musician and I felt he should have been chosen for this type of job. I will never forget what God very clearly spoke to me. He said: "Because you have a problem with fear." That response silenced my complaints. God was more interested in helping me overcome fear than He was in who was the more skillful musician!!!
At the end of the day, it is about God's plan and purpose and the fact that if He gives us the opportunity to do something, He will equip and enable us to get the job done. And not only will others benefit, but we will become more of who He wants us to be.
When all else fails...
Many times we don't recognize "help" when it comes. We can be so absorbed in our problems that we miss it. The disciples were out at sea alone without Jesus. The winds became contrary and it was difficult to control the boat. Jesus came to them walking on the water. They did not recognize him and thought it was a ghost. Mark 6:49 says: "And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost, and cried out." (NKJV) Could it be that they were so caught up with trying to save themselves that they could not recognize their true help?
So many times we get caught up with trying to save ourselves using our methods and our knowledge. So many times we run to other people as our help and the last one we turn to when all else fails is God Himself. Maybe they could not recognize Jesus because they could not see Him as their "help". They were too busy looking at themselves and each other for help. They were seasoned seamen. They were accustomed to storms and contrary conditions. They knew what to do when these situations arose. Each man knew what his task, his responsibility was. So maybe they were too busy trying to save themselves that they almost missed the real Saviour.
How many of us are like that? I am. It is so much easier, at times, to look to others first, to look to ourselves first before looking to God. We try everything we can to remedy our situation and when all of our efforts fail, we finally turn to God. I remember one occasion when I was going through a really tough situation in my life and immediately I wanted, even needed, to call someone to talk to them. I did. But guess what? I did not get through because they were apparently not at home at the time. Through that situation and even others after, I realized that sometimes God removes our human support systems because He wants us to come to Him, to lean on Him. As humans we have a natural desire of course to reach out to someone we can touch, we can feel. We can't see God so we tend to run to someone we can see. And so sometimes He moves our human support out of the way just to get us to run to Him instead, the One who has all the help we need even if we cannot physically touch Him or even see Him.
Let's not miss God in the midst of our situation. The situation was created to show who God really is. Without that negative situation we would not get to see how big our God really is. We love to praise God "in spite of" the situation. Let's learn to praise Him "for" it because without that situation we would not get to see how "great" our God really is. Yes, we see His greatness in good times but He really gets to "show off" when problems come our way. It is at these times that we see His might, His power, His strength, His ability. Let's learn to thank God for the situation because it draws us closer to Him and helps make us into what He wants us to be.
This blog provides inspirational nuggets inspired by the Word of God and serves to encourage and motivate Christians in their Christian walk.