“It will cost a hundred talents” is what I heard the Lord say to my spirit. I looked at myself, “Um Lord, I don’t have a hundred talents.” I’m not sure that I even have ten according to Matthew 25. I think I might have an odd number like 3 or 5 talents, possibly even squared. He began to unpack such an unusual word in my spirit. The cost to accomplish God’s will in my life was every talent, skill, ability, effort, time, money, and thing I had in my arsenal. I laugh even thinking about it. It requires complete honesty, total effort, and causes nothing to remain hidden otherwise I will never get there.
In a society where every voice is so very vocal I believe Jesus’ is the last to be heard. It is the weightiest voice in the world yet is as soft and gentle as a dove, a feather, and a lamb. Jesus is a perfect gentleman and sometimes his voice is an open door held open for us to walk through. It is remarkable to me that the voices of politicians, celebrities, different spiritual traditions, and even ourselves can trump the voice of the Lord. In our generation we hear every day, “Be sexy. Be skinnier. Be more masculine. Your race holds you down. No one will forgive you. Be tolerant. There are no jobs. Life sucks.” We are told what to wear, eat, think, and the lifestyle we are to pursue. We are told how to engage in an authentic relationship with Jesus that perhaps doesn’t fit our pattern of being in the world. In this setting Jesus’ voice is the last one heard.
There is more to engaging in a relationship with Jesus than what we’ve been told. It costs every last dime, penny, and cent to pursue him. It is the grandest adventure in the world. It will take you to Bali, the Amazon, and return you with nothing to your name than a pair of muddy hiking boots. The Kingdom of God was built off of a call to follow Jesus and following that man is never tame. He is the great Lion who is ready for danger at every turn. Have you ever followed a lion? I haven’t. I bet it would be dangerous, exhilarating, and probably cause me to have a heart attack if he every started coming back at me. I like Jesus. He was the Lion of Judah running around in human flesh. We follow a man-lion-God who is associated with wind. How quixotic is that! Yet we are called to be like him, go where he went, do what he did, and most of all follow the Lion.
I don’t always like giving my all to Jesus. I like my specialty coffees, good food, anonymity, and friendships I have developed. I don’t always feel like giving up peace and comfort to go run after a lion. As I run after the Lion of Judah I think thoughts like, “Where are we going? Why can’t I get in a car? Why is the grass so high? I’m getting thirsty!” I am not used to living in such a way. After a while though it starts to feel good and I get used to it. It is not so bad being part of the family of Christ, going where he went, and doing what he did. It is easy doing what Jesus wants for my life. I don’t really miss the coffee houses or the friends I developed. I don’t really need as much as I thought. I will pay the 100 talents because it is all I have. I will give because it is better to be sure that I gave it all. Then after I have spent a lifetime giving every last drop of my life I will sit down at a table in heaven look Jesus in the eye and say, “I paid that 100 talents. Where is my reward?”
- Revelation 5:5 Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”
- Hosea 11: They will follow the Lord; he will roar like a lion. When he roars, his children will come trembling from the west.
- 1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
- Luke 9:23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”