“Dad,” asked our oldest son, “when are you going to tell your agent to sell some shares so you can pay your bills?” He was right. Nothing will happen as long as I sit on that one talent and wait for it to duplicate (Matthew 25:24-30).

“Wait, shouldn’t the Lord give me a signal when it would be most beneficial,” I queried? When does it become beneficial? Is it when I no longer can pay my bills? Is it when I lose my home? Is it when we close the church for lack of finances or membership? When do we start investing so things turn in our favor? When do we stop depending on others to do our jobs?

What is God’s message to us? It is this. Unless we give the Lord something to work with, nothing will happen. And He does accept the smallest things and turns them into great results. He took Moses’ staff and turned it into a weapon to defeat mighty Pharaoh and part the Red Sea. He took insignificant Gideon and three hundred scared musicians to rout thousands of Midianites. He sent frightened Jonah to Nineveh and the city repented. Jesus took the lunch of a boy and fed five thousand. He promised that if we invest our efforts, he would do more than just multiply them (Matthew 25:1-23).

In our part of the world, Christians have been hoarding their talents in their comfortable ecclesiastical environments. Christians have let the world shut them up in their churches. The most successful preacher in the Old Testament had this advice, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again” (Ecclesiastes 11:1). Jesus ordered His followers, “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). If they kick you out in one place then go to another (Matthew 10:14). Christians are the seed the Lord sows in the world (Mark 4:1-20). Isaiah was told, “My word that goes out from my mouth: will not return to me void, but will accomplish what I have intended and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

God has made an investment in us and He cannot complete it without us. We must give Him something to work with.