Worries withhold worship.
That’s not a good thing. We’re called to worship.
“But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way” (John 4:23 NLT).
One way we worship is by investing our God-given talents, skills, and gifts.
As the “Parable of the Talents” suggests, we are to use well what we have been given. Jesus shares this story in Luke 19:11-27. A master gives ten servants a sum of money. The master soon returns, calling upon three servants to report on the money he told them to invest.
One servant earns ten times as much, causing him to be blessed by his master even more. Another servant earns five times as much, causing him to be blessed even more. And then, there’s the last servant. He’s afraid of the master, so he hides his talents and earns nothing more than what the master initially provides. As a result, he loses everything he has.
So, yeah, we worship Jesus by being productive with the resources He has placed in our hands. Notice how worry can get in the way. The third servant is so worried about the master’s response that he refuses to invest his talents. He can’t worship because he’s afraid.
Turns out, Jesus is the master. You and I are the servants. And we have each been given talents, skills, and gifts to invest for the Kingdom of God. Our Master is on a trip [in Heaven], but He will soon return. How are you taking care of the talents He has entrusted into your hands?
I believe we serve a productive God—a God who desires His children to give their absolute best in whatever He’s called them to do.
But sometimes, we do too much in an effort to do enough.
“As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.’ But the Lord said to her, ‘My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her’” (Luke 10:38-42 NLT).
Martha is so worried about her responsibilities that she misses an opportunity to worship Jesus.
I find it strange that these two examples from scripture are complete opposites. One of them is about a servant who doesn’t do enough. The other is about a girl who does too much. Yet both the servant and the girl seem convinced they’re doing what’s right. But in both instances, worries are withholding worship.
Are you the servant or the girl? What’s withholding your worship to the Father?
If you’re the servant, you’re worried about messing up. Fear is holding you back from God’s plan for your life. Maybe you’ll be late for work. Maybe you’ll mess up an assignment. You refuse to serve at church because you’re afraid of putting yourself out there. So you do nothing. Your worries withhold your worship.
If you’re the girl, you’re worried about not doing enough. Perfectionism is preventing you from experiencing God’s perfect peace and freedom. Your family is suffering because you’re spending too much time at work. It takes you an hour to complete a job that should take ten minutes. Why? Because you’re more focused on what you can do for Jesus than what He does for you. So you think too much and get nothing done. And if you do get something done, it’s likely with the wrong heart. Your worries withhold your worship.
Either way, you’re not reaching your fullest potential in Christ. Either way, worries withhold worship.
How much more could you worship Jesus if you didn’t worry?
Isaiah Pauley will be a senior at Wahama High School this fall. His blogs and videos can be found at www.crosswordsblog.weebly.com