The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?” He said, “A staff.” Exodus 4:2
Many people attribute lack of motivation as one of the reasons why people get laid-back when they should be taking actions to improve their lot or those of others they have some form of responsibility towards. With the right motivation, every person would work hard to achieve results. However, the fear or feeling of not having what it takes to accomplish set tasks is a motivation killer that have turned many people from moving forward. God has deposited talents on every one of us and He is willing to give the required empowerment if only we can believe and look up to Him.
Moses was a man who stood to defend an oppressed Jew in Exodus 2:11-14, he also defended the daughters of Jethro, the Priest of Median, when some shepherds drove them away from fetching water (Exodus 2:16-17). However, when God sent him to meet Pharaoh to seek the release of the Israelites that were in captivity, Moses saw the task as very daunting and asked God “who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11). Many times when we see challenges that are before us, our immediate reaction is to see our lack of preparedness or lack of resources to handle such challenges. When Elijah asked the widow of Zarephath for water, she did not hesitate but went right away to fetch the water but while on her way and Elijah asked her for a morsel of bread, she saw a challenge – what she had left could only be enough for a meal for her son and herself, with no hope for the next meal. However, she believed Elijah when he said “Do not be afraid…” and made a meal for him first then multiplicity became her experience (1 Kings 17:10-16). The Jews saw giants as obstacles that would truncate God’s promise to them and rebelled against Him but Joshua and Caleb saw the giants as another stepping stone to achieving God’s promise (Numbers 13:27-14:9).
It is a great error for believers to merely look at the tools and resources they have without seeking to know where God is leading us to and believing on His ability to take us there, with even the tools He has given to us. Moses saw a mere shepherd staff that he was holding but God showed him that with God that staff was more that Pharaoh’s armies. God has given an armour that we should wear at all times to overcome all the devices of the enemy against us. In Ephesians 6:10-13 he says “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm”
With the full armour of God upon us, we have no reason to fear as we go through the various situations that life brings before us. The lazy servant’s reason for not putting to use the talent his master deposited with him was that he was afraid because he knew that the master was “a harsh man, reaping where you (he) did not sow, and gathering where you (he) did not scatter seed” (Matthew 25:24-25). What reasons are we having today for not going about God’s business and being profitable with His Kingdom work? God has deposited talents with every one of us and He expects us to work hard with these talents to take care of ourselves, our families and prosper His work. Apostle Paul writes in 1 Thessalonian 4:10-12, “we hear that some of you are living in idleness, mere busybodies, not doing any work. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living”. Believers are not to be idle talkers and gossips but workers of the Gospel, using that which is in their hands to touch lives positively. Apostle Peter writes “The end of all things is near; therefore be serious and discipline yourselves for the sake of your prayers. Above all, maintain constant love for one another, for love covers a multitude of sins. Be hospitable to one another without complaining” (1 Peter 4:7-9).
Beloved, let us take another look at that talent God has given to us, which is in our hands. Let us not look at it as ordinary but launch into the deep with it believing God’s promises to provide for our needs. “The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10).
Have a fruitful week as you make full and good use of the opportunities God has blessed you with.
Your brother, Vicar & Archdeacon
S. Igein Isemede