Todays entry has been on my mind since last night's youth service. Pastor Dean (insert mad props for speaking the Lord's heart) taught in Matthew 25. Dean began to read about 3 people and a master lended money to. One got 5 bags of gold, one got 2 bags of gold and another received one bag. The master left and the first two invested their bags and received back twice as much back. The last in fear buried his. When the Master returned the ones that invested were rewarded. He continued to read about the last one who dug up his one bag and brought it to his Master... This is where the Lord stopped my eyes and began to deal with me...
My spirit was willing BUT my flesh wanted to slam my bible closed...
I slammed my bible closed..
Youth service went on - youth were challenged and empowered - and we went home.
We went to bed.
At 12:46 (the second night in a row the Lord has woke me up and dealt with me at this time).. the Holy Spirit gave me this - not just for me but for the church.
"Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you." Matthew 25:24-25
This last man did a few things that the first two did not.
First, he reacted in fear. The metaphor of this parable is that God is Master - He alone gives us the right and perfect gifts, opportunities, "bags of gold"...and He trusts us to use and advance these giftings, opportunities, etc..ultimately to the benefit of others - expanding God's kingdom. However this man - reacted in fear...he said "so I was afraid and went out and hid"..
The Word says "fear not" a lot. In the king James version it says "fear not" 74 times and "don't be afraid" 29 times (just thought you should know how 'exact' a lot is). We fear because we do not trust or because we're uncertain of what's happening like teenage Mary when an angel just showed up and she was able to see it.
My son doesn't fear I won't feed him - I mean look at the kid, he's a big boy - because he trusts us to feed him. He sleeps in our arms because he trusts we will hold him close and won't drop him.
Second, the man - obviously was a logical man. One he did something logical. When we don't take risks it is said to be logical. Second, he said "I knew you were a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed"... Sounds logical right. What farmer harvests on field they didn't sow and maintenance and what farm hand gathers from a land they didn't even plant seed. Logic - right?
Third, he was lazy. He went out and dug a whole and hid it. When something is buried. When a gift or opportunity is put away - it isn't used. We must work, sacrifice, take risks, sweat in prayer, "go", be spent for our gifts to be used. So naturally when a gift isn't used and an opportunity isn't seized it comes down to the person possessing it as LAZY! They don't want to move, they don't want to risk, they don't want to press in, they dont want to take the time to be still and wait in the Lord, they don't want to be challenged or stretched.
Fourth thing is, he went out and hid. Making his own decision with what he was given because he feared and logically wasn't going to risk and was lazy. But he also didn't have FAITH. He had the wrong view of God. He even goes as far as saying "I knew you were a hard man"...
When our knowledge of God sceud and our mind only believes God to be a certain way - we limit Him to give us the ability to do anything in our lives. When we say with certainty that God is this specific way as if our thoughts and ways are higher and when we start to believe that God is not for us but against us - we hide, ashamed the first and everything time we mess up. We react to life with no liberty. Like Adam and Eve when they first sinned after making their choice to eat from the tree...
"Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. God asked, "Why are you hiding?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." Genesis 3:8-10
When we don't believe God can do the impossible - "like harvesting where He hasn't sown and gathering where He hasn't scattered seed"...we begin to use our logic and walk in a life where we strongly believe God has failed us and is not for us.
The Masters response to the servants fear, logic and unbelief...
"His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. "'So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Matthew 25:26-30
I believe this servant wanted to do right by his master but he lacked understanding - to know who his master was and what he required and the importance of what he was suppose to do - he lacked faith to take some risks and not fear.
Eventually, the Master became the very thing the servant only knew Him to be. The first two knew Him to be a rewarder - a giver to the faithful and obedient. God is just but He is first loving and merciful - just as the Word is outline: Creation, the Fall, God seeks out people (Abraham, David, Joesph, etc), Jesus comes and dies for us, grace and the Holy-Spirit is given, God euips and commissions... And THEN one day Jesus will return and be Just to a world that denied Him.
Know your gifts, invest in them for the sake of others, seize God appointed opportunities, do not run and hide from the Lord but rather run to Him in confidence. Remove logic and insert faith. Know His will for your life.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew 7:21