Mature Class Study, teacher Josh Olmsted.
One servant hid the talent his master gave him to use because he was afraid. Fear impacts the outcome of what we do.
Matthew 25:24-26 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
The other two servants received five and two talents but they did something with those talents. Fear is false evidence that appears real to a person. Fear can be made up or build up in our minds. There are fears about safety and other things. As Christians if we let the fear exceed, outcomes aren’t going to be what we expected with faith. Do we operate under fear or under faith? God gives us talents according to our abilities. The servant with one talent could have done something with his. Because his fear was so strong, he hid it. He wanted to get rid of his fear and didn’t have faith to overcome it. There are many types of fear: fear for our family, of dying, of losing a job, of falling, of driving. With a fear of driving, you actually become a very defensive driver. You can almost become a dangerous driver because fear overtakes you and doesn’t allow you to know what’s going on around you. A more relaxed reaction is better than hard reactions that may actually cause accidents. How we handle fears and react drives what the outcome is.
Storms create high waves. Fear creates emotional waves in our life that we need to overcome. When the disciples were in the ship and a bad storm came, they were afraid until Jesus came. They made an exaggerated statement in asking if Jesus didn’t care that they perished. Of course God cared and God was there. Jesus rebuked the storm and calmed it so they were able to have faith again. We see fear is like a storm. Faith is the calm we have to get to where faith exceeds fear. We’re not able to function or be effective the way we need to unless we deal with our fears. Many times we run from our fears or hide them like the talents. You take the thing that’s agitating you and bury or hide it so it isn’t obvious what you’re doing. Fear is like a storm we need to overcome with the Lord’s help to have the calm. Faith calms the storm.
James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Josh went to school to fly airplanes and got his license. He flew planes confidently when he was young. After he was married and had a family, he developed a fear and became more cautious about flying. Once when he flew cross country, his navigation radios weren’t working. His flight instructor said he’d have to follow the rules to be cleared by light signals for clearance to take off from the airport. Without a navigation radio, all he heard was the engine noise. Fear started to work on Josh but he did the right things to overcome his fears on the flight. Spiritually we can develop fears of doing certain things because of circumstances we experience that hinder faith. Fear creates a disruption in our mind and in making effective decisions. If we’re scared, we’re really not effective in our thinking. Fear is a dangerous place to live in because you make many mistakes. There’s a difference between arrogance and faith that we can call confidence. We could think that x, y, or z can happen and these fears in our mind prevent us from doing what we need to do or cause us to do things we shouldn’t. If God has something for us to do, we have to overcome any fears with faith. Fear drove Saul to do something he shouldn’t have. Saul was in the midst of facing the Philistines and his people were scared so they were leaving him. But he had instructions from Samuel to wait for 7 days. Fear drove him to make the bad decision and take things into his own hands. When he did that, he did something he knew he shouldn’t have. Saul asked, What hast thou done? Saul feared and made excuses to justify his actions. Ultimately Samuel said Saul knew to do better than he did. Many times when we justify our actions, we try to justify it from a righteous standpoint.
I Samuel 13:8-13 And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And…as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him…And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
What do we do ultimately needs to come down to love driving our faith. Our love for God needs to be so strong so it calms our fears. Many times it’s a difficult place for us to reach and but God is willing to work with us. We can’t be driven by fear or let fear move us to make poor decisions. We need faith and love to guide our actions – to live under a state of faith, not of fear. God called to Moses from out of the burning bush. He told him to go back to Egypt and God was going to use him to lead the people out of bondage. Moses gave excuses and said he wasn’t the right guy because they kicked him out the last time he was there. He said he wasn’t a good public speaker but God gave him signs to show the people. It showed God’s loving kindness and how he works with us if we have a right heart towards him and desire to do his will. If we’re living under a state of fear, we have to get to a place where we’re living under faith. Faith not only helps us but living under faith is when we can start helping others. In the example of the Good Samaritan, the religious people didn’t help the injured man because they feared being unclean and not being able to participate in God’s activities. The Good Samaritan saw past the fear of the law and had the heart of God because he wanted to be able to help the person.
Exodus 3:4 And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I.
It takes prayer and experience to overcome our fears. Working through things and being able to stop and think, so we recognize when fear is trying to get us to do something. It causes us to freeze, to go closer to God, and have faith that helps us through fear. There’s an allegorical story with a character of a king who is a type of Christ. In the last battle at the end of the world, the enemies were deceiving the people to fall into fear, into bondage, and to die. One saw through the enemies’ lies so his desire to have victory was stronger than his fear. Our desire to please God must exceed fear so we aren’t overcome by our fears. Giving into fear makes it more difficult to overcome. The results are completely opposite when we get to a place that faith and love exceed the fear. It will allow us to live a life of faith that helps us overcome our battles and to have a closer relationship to God. We can’t do this by ourselves and it’s not just a mindset but we need God’s help. We have to be willing to invest in praying, reading, and obeying. Taking these steps helps us overcome fear.