When we recognize God’s calling in our lives, we may either be joyful that He has given us a divine task and make moves as soon as we can. Or we may be stricken with fear, procrastinate on the visions that He has given us and not even pursue them.
If you are the latter, this article is for you. Maybe you have been divinely called to start a business, a ministry, or be a missionary. You may be wondering why God is calling someone like you to bring such a vision to life.
It is normal to think that way. But the bad thing is that you may let your fears take over and not even obey the voice of the Lord. Let me tell you right now that being hindered by our fears is dangerous to our faith and will cost us our eternal promises.
A grand example of this is the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, Jesus paints a metaphor of the Kingdom of God and how to serve Him with our gifts (or “talents”).
It is likened to a master going out of town and leaving his servants with his money while he is gone. He gives one man five talents, another man two talents, and the third man only one talent—he gave to each servant according to their ability (v. 15).
When the master comes back, he asked his servants to give an account of how they used their money. The first two servants who received their talents invested into the bank and received even more than what they were given.
The master was pleased with both of them and gave them their reward for being so faithful. But the servant who was given only one talent was “afraid” and hid his talent in the earth until the master came back. The master was extremely disappointed in this because he had a lazy and fearful servant who chose not to invest his one talent.
The master then took away his one talent and gave it to the servant who already had ten talents. Note verse 29: “To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away (NLT).” The master then orders that the lazy servant be taken away from him and thrown into “outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (v. 30).
Such an awakening passage! The message Jesus wants to get across is that we, as His servants, must invest in the “talents,” or gifts, that He has given us and use them well. God wants us to use our gifts in a way that brings Him glory, tells lost souls about Him, and brings others joy while awakening them. Even if we think our talents are “small” or “useless,” there is no such thing.
God has given us all unique gifts and they can all be used to bring lost souls to Him. Never underestimate what God has given you! He takes even the smallest things and uses them for His glory. Hey, God used a ROCK to demonstrate His power (Numbers 20:1-13)!
In the parable, the master tells the servant with one talent that if he’d invested it in the bank, the master could have gotten some interest (v. 27). In the same way, our gifts—even if they seem “small” or “useless”—can always be used to glorify God!
There are so many parallels to real life that I noticed while reading this parable. The master is God. We are the servants. The talents are our gifts (think of God giving us our gifts just as the master gives the servants “talents”).
When the master leaves and goes on his trip and leaves the servants to use their talents, it’s parallel to how God sends us in the world, leaving us to use the gifts that He has given, until He comes back.
When we meet with the Lord on Judgment Day, we will have to give an account of how we used our gifts. Did we use them to please God and plant seeds of salvation in others? Did we use our gifts to please only the world because we were afraid to live out loud for Christ? Did we even use our gifts at all? What account will we give? Will we be like the servants who have deposited their talents so they could get abundant blessings? Or will we be the lazy and fearful servant who buries our gift and hides it from the world?
If we have not used our gifts to truly serve Christ, then we have not done our purpose as His children. This parable reveals a genuine believer from a false believer and it makes it clear that genuine believers will have a desire to serve Christ.
In this parable, we can see that fear can hold us back from being our greatest. The first thing we should know about fear is that it is a spirit. It is an evil spirit that comes from the enemy and not from God. The enemy puts fear into the hearts of God’s children, trying to hold them back from doing what God called them to do and from being who He called them to be. When we let our fears dictate our lives, we let the enemy have dominion over us.
But God reminds us that he has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). God also tells us that those who fear are not made perfect in love, for perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). So what does this have to do with fear holding us back? Maybe we don’t know what it feels like to truly love or perhaps we don’t love others and God strongly enough to be obedient to His will.
What are you afraid of? When it comes to living out your calling, what is it that you fear? Rejection? Failure? Not being good enough? Criticism? Do you fear that people will judge you? I personally have fear of all of these. But I’ve learned to not let those fears hinder me. I don’t want the enemy to defeat me with my fears. But I remember that God is BIGGER than all of my fears and He will always deliver me from them.
It is normal to have fear because we are human. While experiencing fear is not a sin, we sin when we let fear control us and keep us from doing the will of God. Start speaking the word of God over your life every single day. “Greater is He in me than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). We have already overcome the enemy in Jesus name!
We must evaluate our “why” when it comes to obeying God. Do we obey God because we truly love our Savior and will go outside our comfort zones to please Him? Or do we obey Him halfheartedly only because it is the right thing to do?
If we truly love someone we would do anything to see them happy, no matter what the cost may be. These kind of sacrificial deeds—and sacrificial love—never go unnoticed and will always be rewarded! We must ask ourselves: do we love God enough to go outside of our comfort zones to obey Him, or are we too wrapped up in fear to even live for Him?
Also important to note that if we sit on our ideas for too long, God will take away our calling and give our task to someone else. He will give to someone who is more willing and obedient to the Lord just like the master did near the end of the parable. Don’t let that happen to you! Don’t be so led by fear that you don’t do the will of God. The will of God must be done—it is written—and He will find anyone else who is more willing to act out in love if you aren’t.
Remember, without love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2-3). What are good deeds without genuine love? What is serving God and others without love? We may be gifted leaders, prophets (or prophetesses), or teachers but if we don’t use our gifts with the love that Christ has for us, our actions are vain. They are just surface level and we may do those things just to say that we did them.
Ask God for a heart like His. Spend more and more time with Him every day. Pray to Him. Praise Him! Unplug from the world and from your smart phone and plug into the Word. Ask Jesus what you have to do to be more like Him. Repent and ask God to search your heart and take away anything that does not look like Him and ask Him to make your heart and spirit new (Psalm 51:10, 139:23-24).
God will then expose you of your intentions and your heart by taking you through experiences that teach you about yourself. For example, if you have a very low tolerance to other people’s imperfections, God will put you in a situation that exposes that part of you. If you need to be more selfless and think about others more, God will show you that as well if you ask. God will show you the things that offend Him so you will know what areas you need to improve in order to be more like Him.
If we don’t know God, we don’t know LOVE (1 John 4:8). If the love of God is not in our hearts how are we serving Him? How are we pleasing Him as children of God? Perhaps we need to reevaluate where we are in our relationship with God. Spend some time in the Holy Spirit.
I challenge you to do that right after reading this article. Yes, I challenge you! We become the people we hang around. Try hanging with Jesus if you desire to become more like Him. Jesus will transform your heart in a way that will make it more like His….a selfless, sacrificial love. A love that will help you overcome your fears, serve God and live the life He called you to live.
I want to leave you with these verses:
- Psalm 27:1 “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”
- Psalm 118:6 “The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
- 1 Chronicles 28:20: “David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
- 1 Peter 3:13-14 “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.”
- Hebrews 6:12 “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”
- Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”