“And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ … And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” — Luke 19:17, 24-26
In the Gospels, Jesus tells the parable of the talents as well as the parable of the minas (text above). Both of them have the same premise: three servants are all entrusted with differing amounts of resources. Two of the three produce a great return, but one of them does absolutely nothing with what he’s been given except in fear, bury it.
Many of us have heard this story or are at least familiar with it, but can you imagine what it’s like to be one of those servants? After being given the talents, I would want to know what the instruction is. At least some next practical steps, right? Yet none are given! Okay, so I’ve been given these resources, so what now? You ever ask yourself that question, “What now?“
I often ask myself that question when I’m in a new season or in transition. What do I do now? What should I do now? Yet I believe the answer sometimes is to just use what you already have. Now it takes faith to just go for it. Often times I find that I spiritualize my fear of the unknown as “waiting on God”. I want to know what’s ahead and what I need to do, because ultimately I want to be the one in control. Knowing myself, I know for sure that once I get the step-by-step directions, I would not look to God anymore. Too often I want a step-by-step direction manual from God, whereas God wants my step-by-step dependence in Him. It’s a partnership He longs for. It’s intimacy. It’s moving forward together. And that’s trust… a mutual trust. Where we trust Him, and He trusts us with what He gives.
Too often I want a step-by-step direction manual from God, whereas God wants my step-by-step dependence in Him. Click To Tweet
So this means a call to being good and faithful stewards of all that He gives. Yet the truth about stewardship is that, I can’t steward that which I’ve never surrendered to God. Whether it be time, money, relationships, or talents, unless I’ve given the ownership of it to God, those things will continue to own me. If you look at the parables, those resources don’t actually belong to the servants, but yet they’ve been entrusted with them. Just because something is in my possession, doesn’t mean they are mine. It’s all His. This holds true in every area. For example, God doesn’t just want 10 percent of our finances because it’s already 100 percent His! We give and tithe then out of trust, out of generosity, out of obedience, and sometimes out of sacrifice. That’s the call of being a servant. That’s the call of being a disciple.
To be a disciple then requires risk. If I never fail, my faith is more calculated than it is risk-filled. I want to be more risk-taking than calculating. If I never fail, then I am playing it too safe and am not being stretched. This does not mean strategy and planning are unimportant, but too often we only step out in faith if we know things are going to work out for our benefit. By being a follower of Christ, I’ve given up my right to demand or dictate how God should lead and where He should lead me. I am called to just obey and move in faith. Pastor Bill Johnson says, “If you live cautiously, your friends will call you wise, but you just won’t move many mountains.” I want my faith to be so big, that I fail big. Again and again. Ultimately it’s faith that pleases God, not results. We’ve married faith to results, and in doing so, made it about success. But God will judge us not by our successes, but our faithfulness. Sometimes faithfulness is just stepping out full of faith! It’s faith to dream. Faith to dare. Faith to fail. Faith to try again and even fail again. But that’s faith!
Yet nothing kills faith quite like fear. It was fear that led the servant to bury the talent. Fear can cripple us in a variety of ways, such comparison and insecurity. Comparison and insecurity will always keep you from stepping into the fullness of what God has. Insecurity says, “Who am I to be given this much?”. The fear in insecurity is that I am afraid that I will fail. That I will be found out that I am indeed not good enough and not worthy. Comparison says, “Who are they that they’ve been given that much?” The fear in comparison is that I am afraid that I will never be like them. Comparison will only breed a critical spirit, jealousy, and entitlement. All of these things work together to keep us paralyzed. Yet have faith that God trusts you. Yes, you! No can be you but you. No one brings to the table what you can bring, no matter what your capacity is and no matter how much you’ve been given, your value as a child of God never changes. When you find out who God created you to be, you will never wish to be someone else.
Reading this familiar parable, it makes me wish there was a servant who risked, but failed. What would happen to such a servant, right? Let’s say the one who was given 10, ends up losing 8 because of a business venture gone wrong or something similar. Does he get punished? Does he get a pat on the back for at least trying? I would want to know because that might well be me. But the only way I can know the answer to that is to actually risk in faith myself and then see. So what now? I would say go with what you have and the dreams that God has placed within you. (If He has given you specific words or instruction, obviously obey!) But for others of us who are in this place of seeing what we’ve been given, yet not knowing what to do, why not go for it? Because when you’ve been faithful with little, He will entrust you with cities. Amen!
Would you join me in taking those steps of faith? Even those leaps of faith? Of intentionally creating gaps only God can fill? Let’s do it!
Revival or bust…