The talents we have are God’s gifts to us. What we do with those talents is our gift to God. Paul told us, “Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.”
As believers we don’t just know about God. We not only personally know the Master of the universe. He’s in us. We’re wall-to-wall Jesus filled with His Spirit. And it’s that dynamic union that makes us who we are. Like the energizer bunny we’re filled with power but ours doesn’t come from the copper top it comes from the Creator of everything. What we do we do in and through Him and without Him we can do nothing. If we attempt to build our lives without Him we’re building castles in the sand instead of a fortress on the rock.
John told us, “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”
How do we test our lives? How do we know whether or not we’re allowing God to work in and through us? Are we allowing Him to guide us? Or are we insisting on being the piolet instead of the co-pilot on our brief flight through this world? We can easily test this by asking, “How fruitful am I?” If we’re producing fruit we’re united with Christ. If not what are we doing?
Are we waiting until the time is right? Are we waiting until we’re fully prepared? Are we waiting until we have all the provisions we need to face any eventuality?
The time is always right. God is always ready to act, to be, to do because He is the great “I am” not the will-o-the-wisp “I’m going to be.”
We don’t need to worry about being fast enough, strong enough, or smart enough because God delights in using the ordinary to do the extraordinary. He took a bunch of nobodies from a backwater and turned the world upside down. Or as my favorite band Casting Crowns puts it, “I’m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who saved my soul.”
Our God hasn’t changed. He still delights in using the weak to confound the strong. Just look at the history of faith. You don’t have to look very deep, Jacob, Joseph, David, Paul to see the obvious God deliberately “chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these nobodies to expose the hollow pretensions of the somebodies.”
Therefore being a weak and foolish nobody isn’t a disqualification. In fact it might be why He chose us to do what He’s called us to do. What has He called us to do? Maybe we should ask Him? And then allow Him the space and the time to tell us. In prayer as in life we need to listen more than we need to speak or as James put it, “let every man be swift to hear and slow to speak.” If we listen to Him and let Him lead us we can be assured He will show us where we should go and what we should do.
Often when I say to people, “The Lord told me to do so this or that, to go here or to stay there” they look at me as if I have two heads. Many have looked at me that way and said, “Do you mean God talks to you?” In such cases I always look at them the same way and ask, “Do you mean God doesn’t talk to you?”
God is always there. He’s always guiding us. If we don’t hear Him the odds are we aren’t listening.
Are we waiting until we have all the resources? Do we think we need to wait until we have enough money? Do we think we need to wait until we have enough time, or skill, or opportunity? I can tell you when all that will occur, never.
When God called Moses from the burning bush and told him he was going to go to Pharaoh and lead the chosen people to freedom Moses protested saying he wasn’t strong enough, smart enough, and that he didn’t have a silver tongue. Did all that fear dressed up as humility impress God? No it made God angry. So let’s do our best not to make God angry. Let’s leave the objections that we aren’t the ones He called to do what He has told us to do and come to the realization that where God guides God provides. If He calls us to walk upon the water we can walk upon the water. Let’s quit looking at the wind and the waves and step out of the boat.
Dr. Owens teaches History, Political Science, Global Studies, and Religion. He is the Historian of the Future @ http://drrobertowens.com © 2019 Contact Dr. Owens firstname.lastname@example.org Follow Dr. Robert Owens on Facebook or Twitter @ Drrobertowens or visit Dr. Owens Amazon Page / Edited by Dr. Rosalie Owens
God is always there.
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