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Fearing the Much

“The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. –Luke 12:47-48

I used to not like these verses so much. In fact, there was a time when I would heard them almost as a threat and I would be scared I wasn’t living up to the standard.

“To whom much is given, much is required…”

That kind of fear is never going to lead to faith. It leads to seeking safety and easy answers. We have to deal with it. We have to come into the true safety of His love and grace to launch out into deeper waters and explore what he has for us, and that’s the catch. That hunger requires more.

We can’t stay in the shadows. We can’t stay in the bondages. We can’t stay in the unforgiveness and bad attitudes. Those fears compete for affection so we make the decision to let them go. Trying to keep our comfort zones and minimize our risk gets tossed aside when we catch a glimpse of His greatness and glory.

And every taste, every step–all of it makes us hungry for more.

The logical thing to do is to stay ignorant (so that you don’t risk receiving many blows–read the verse again), but when you’re in love, logic doesn’t win out. You’re inspired to conquer the world and give the best. You get to know one side of your beloved and it makes you desperate to find out more.

The Spirit of God brings us into clarity of vision and purpose and even groans in us (Romans 8:26) as we cry out for more. All the while, we are going deeper and deeper, being given more and more, and it’s His delight and joy to give us His heart and His Kingdom.

As with anyone who has ever been in love, things can cool off. The passion has to be maintained, stirred, and kindled. Some after being given so much, decide that something else will make them happy or that they deserve to be “like everyone else” so they chase after other lovers.

I’m not going to even address this mindset except to say that I refuse. I’ve been given so much and I’m not afraid anymore. I want to use what I’ve been given because He loves me and I love Him. I want to honor what He has done in my life, the amazing testimonies of His faithfulness.

I’m not backing down and I will finish strong. Even a couple years ago, this was one of my biggest fears. I don’t say I’ll finish strong because I’m being prideful and arrogant. I say that because I know He is able to preserve me and He will be faithful to complete the work He started. I choose to remain and abide in Him and I won’t let go.

How about you? Have these verses ever scared you? Do you have confidence in your ability to finish well?


This is included in Peter Pollock’s One Word Blog Carnival where this time the topic is Much.

28 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Jason. He’s every bit worth the risk.

    • Yes! Thank you, Anne.

  2. Yup! I agree too. Thanks for t\hosting Jason.

    • Thank you.

  3. Jason, I think we all have something to give. Many make excuses that they do not have much, but in reality have an abundance. As you mentioned, it is a mindset, and it needs to change. We all have something to give and bring honor and glory to God’s name. If we have breath, we can give glory to God. If we have breath we can share the gospel with the lost. God Bless.
    Juan Cruz jr recently posted..Transformation is unlike the Incredible HulkMy Profile

    • That is a huge key, Juan. We often times underestimate what we already have and it causes us to live in dishonor. We have so much because He’s so gracious (even before we knew Him). Great thoughts. Thank you so much.

  4. “…when you’re in love, logic doesn’t win out.” Amen! Love compels us to do unimaginable things. And, when I am afraid, it’s a sure sign I need to dwell more deeply in the love God has for me. Nice to meet you here at the carnival.
    Nancy Franson recently posted..She Didn’t Give MuchMy Profile

    • Great summation, Nancy! And very nice to meet you too. :)

  5. Amen!
    I have been given so much… it is more than I can contain within me. I must give. I must strive. I must do. There is no helping it.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..Turning Need into Overflowing ‘Much’My Profile

    • Freely we have received, now freely we give. We live from the overflow. I think I have an idea where your post may be headed today. :) Thank you Dusty!

  6. I really needed to hear this right now. Just this morning I was feeling overwhelmed by the tasks that lay ahead, wondering if I could do it, knowing I really didn’t have a choice.

    I asked God to speak to me and He brought me this word through you.

    Thank you for reminding me I have a responsibility to serve Him, but He has given me His life and a place in heaven in return!

    I can’t focus on anything but Him. I don’t want to get distracted by other lovers. I want to finish strong and in Christ I can!
    TC Avey recently posted..How a Cup of Coffee Taught Me to ObeyMy Profile

    • In all sincerity, TC, your comment humbled me. I am still amazed that sharing my heart and whatever God gives me touches and encourages others. It’s such a beautiful thing to know Him and share this life with so many others who are hungry for more as well. Thank you so much.

  7. “but when you’re in love, logic doesn’t win out. You’re inspired to conquer the world and give the best. You get to know one side of your beloved and it makes you desperate to find out more.”

    Something leaped on the inside of me when I read this. I have limitations in my experience with this in the natural, but know that this is very true of our spiritual existence.
    What more could we hope to obtain outside of the much that He has provided. What more could we desire if we have truly experienced His perfect love for us.

    It’s true, we shouldn’t fear the much; we should embrace it. If our perspective were to change we would probably find ourselves desiring the much and much more from Him. If much is given, we have the much that is required.

    Seriously great post, it has spoken “much” to me. :-)

    • I didn’t say it this way in the post, but I was really thinking, “God sets us up.” As we get to know Him, the Spirit cries and we cry, “more!” He gives us more and we can’t get enough. The longer we abide in fellowship, the deeper we go and the cycle repeats. We just know that it’s always for our benefit (even if it doesn’t look like it at a given moment). He’s never leading us to a place to abandon or destroy us, but He continually gives us life and life to the full. Thank you, Philip!

  8. I certainly don’t have confidence in my ability…however…with God ALL things are possible!

    Good word Jason, needed it….thanks!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..Themes of Life -- PoetryMy Profile

    • Our ability won’t carry us to the end, but our ability submitted to His heart has limitless reserves! Thank you, Jay.

  9. Great post, Jason! Thank you. I agree with Jay. I don’t have confidence in my ability but I have all the confidence in God and his Amazing Grace! Blessings to you on your faith journey!
    Mari-Anna Stalnacke recently posted..As Much Grace As NeededMy Profile

    • Yes! It is some powerful grace. Thanks Mari-Anna.

  10. Well taught. I quote this verse as much as any other in the Bible. It is our responsibility to seek Him and His will. You really explained that as well as I’ve heard.
    floyd recently posted..FAMILY HISTORYMy Profile

    • Wow, thanks so much, Floyd. I appreciate that!

  11. Interesting how you equate safety with shadows and the bondage of unforgiveness and bitterness. The ruler of this world has decieved us into believing that those things are “safe” and lashing out at others keeps them from getting too close which will protect us from getting hurt. And that ignorance is bliss. But it’s all a lie. True safety is found not in ignorance, but it knowledge of the on true God and in the deep waters of his love. Great post, Jason.
    Frank recently posted..Homeless JesusMy Profile

    • Wonderfully stated, Frank! Thanks so much.

  12. Actually, I don’t think I was afraid of that Luke 12 servant overlooking parable. However, just the phrase,”much is given, much is required”, has at times prodded me to pay attention and not somehow become side-focused [not that it's never happened; ain't perfect]. But continue to grow in Him until I live with Him in His world… that’s very much on my heart.

    Good sharing and observation.
    Joanne Norton recently posted..SO MUCH, TOO MUCH, NOT MUCHMy Profile

    • I believe that’s what is supposed to happen--the word is a comfort but it is also a prodding force to get us back in alignment when we need it. Either way it’s all an expression of His love for us. Thanks Joanne.

  13. Your post is a good reminder to keep focused on the Word and His will. Honestly I do not fear God in the afraid mode, just in the awe mode. I don’t expect to be beated with few or any stripes either. :-)
    Hazel Moon recently posted..Little is Much When God is in itMy Profile

    • You raise an interesting point because I don’t believe that either. I wasn’t afraid of God so much as not measuring up (if that makes sense). The only way to measure up though is to submit to grace. He gives us the opportunity to abide in His love and we get the choice to stay there or not. Thanks for your thoughts, Hazel!

  14. The Shema came to mind when I read what the blog carnival topic was. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with… and with all your strength.” The Hebrew word for strength in this context is Me’od which means, “Muchness”.

    Love the Lord your God with all your muchness- which is so fascinating to me, because in my mind, it either goes toward materialism, because we have much -OR- it goes to humanism, implying that we ARE much. We have responsibility based on what God has invested in or or given us and for a bunch of uber-blessed Americans, we are much.

    Anyway, I love your take on the topic! Sorry I rambled :)
    Jake recently posted..Gomer, Israel, the Church… Same Diff, Right?My Profile

    • No, you weren’t rambling, Jake. I really like where you’re going with that. And I had forgotten about Muchness being a name for God. That gives further depth to what I was trying to say. Thanks so much, Jake.