Enthusiasm Outshines Ability by guest blogger, Alisa Hope Wagner

My six year old son started playing soccer. He doesn’t quite know what he’s doing and the rules are a bit confusing to him, but he has stellar passion and enthusiasm for the game. His smile stays fixed on his face; and when he or his team mate makes a good play, he cheers and hollers. His passion spreads to the other team mates and his coach. They all get excited over seemingly simple moves. This passion -- placed in him by a family that continuously exposes his significance -- gives him power and strength to play hard and overcome his limitations and lack of skill.
When I see my son play, I think of the servant who was given five talents (Matthew 25.14-30). He was given more than the other two servants according to his abilities. I always believed that the servant was given more talents because he was more skilled; however, I know that skill does not necessarily ensure a person’s productivity. When you read the end of the parable, you find that the Master does not become upset because of the one-talent servant’s lack of ability; rather, it was the servant’s laziness that angered the Master.
When I researched the word ability, I discovered that it means something very different. The Greek word for ability is dynamis, which means power. It is the same word used to illustrate the power that surged through Jesus’ body when the woman from the crowd touched his clothes and was healed (Mark 5.30). Dynamis has little to do with a person’s skill-set but has everything to do with the power residing in the person. That power comes from the Holy Spirit who lives in Christians once we have the covering of Jesus’ righteousness. 
We as Christians all have the power of the Holy Spirit residing in us, but it stays untapped until our passion for Christ unleashes it. When our actions follow our passion, we can accomplish anything that God has for us. We don’t have to be skilled or smart. In fact, God says that he uses foolish things to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1.27). We just have to want to be used by the Holy Spirit, want to do more for the Kingdom of God, want to be endowed with more responsibility. We need to WANT more of Him!
The coach put my son in the game not because he’s a skilled player, but because my son wants to play. His passion usurps his ability. I believe if we all fully understood the significance that God places on us, we too would be passionate about His plan for our lives. And instead of being content with just one or two talents, we would beseech more from the Master. We might not have the amazing abilities that others have; but what we lack in ability, we make up for in enthusiasm.
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Corinthians 2.3-5 NIV).
Paul himself was scared to do the things of God, but he did not let that stop him. He relied on the Spirit of God inside of him to accomplish God’s mighty work. Paul’s life is an amazing example of living with the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul might not have been the most eloquent speaker, but he wanted to be used by God. He was passionate about running a good race, and he was obviously a five-talent servant. We all can be five-talent servants if we are passionate for God and His Kingdom.
Alisa Hope Wagner

*Many thanks to Alisa for this inspiring post - Jan. besure to visit Faith Imagined, by Alisa at the link above.


Faith Imagined said...

Thank you, Jan! I had a blast writing this article. God is so good to teach those who are eager to learn about Him. Your devotionals are beautiful and full of His Spirit. I pray many people are transformed by the Holy Spirit through your words and ministry!

Eileen said...

Great devotional and so very true! God is able to turn what we perceive as weaknesses and turn them into strengths. And, I loved learning that bit of info about the Greek word for ability.

Jan said...

Thank you, Alisa - that's my prayer, too!

And thank you for visiting Refreshed by the Word, Eileen. (That's my mom's name, too.)

Stuff could always be worse said...

I love this post! Yes we all the power needed, we just need to tap into it...

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Alisa -

Wow! I LOVED this post. How many times have I felt inadequate to the task before me? Yet, I'm passionate about what I write and know the Lord will fill the gaps in my knowledge.

Susan :)