No Early Retirement

Numbers have fascinated me for quite some time now, especially if they happen to appear in sequence or a repetitive fashion. On February 12, 2022, at 11:22 p.m., “Occupy Till I Come” was deposited into my spirit. Early retirement is typically associated with one’s vocation or profession; however, according to God’s word, there’s no such thing in a spiritual sense.

In the 19th chapter of Luke, we are introduced to Zacchaeus, a man of short stature, who was the chief tax collector in Jericho. He was viewed as persona non grata by his fellow Jews because he was a Roman Empire tax collector. Those serving in these positions typically enriched themselves by running less than an honorable business. When collecting the taxes, some of them would either add more than the exacted amount or pocket some of the funds after wringing it out of the residents. This elevated the term self-enrichment to a whole new level even if it was 1.5 millennia ago.

The shady connotation surrounding tax collectors could well explain why Zacchaeus, despite being short, climbed into a sycamore tree to see Jesus as he passed by. The Lord ultimately proclaimed salvation had come to Zacchaeus’s house, so all is well that ends well. (Luke 19:1-10)

“Occupy Till I Come.”

To continue with what was deposited into my spirit late in the evening of February 12, 2022, let’s revisit the Biblical account commencing in verse 11 of Luke 19,

“And as they heard these things, he (Jesus) added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.

And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.

And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:

For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:

Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.” (Luke 19:11-27 – KJV)

This passage of scripture is typically referred to as the Parable of the Minas or Parable of the Talents.

Two Parables With A Different Background.

— In the Luke 19:11-27 account, Jesus spoke the parable as he neared Jerusalem because most Jews thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear in the form of a political ruler instead of a spiritual one.

-- Luke 19:12 reinforces that the nobleman (Jesus) went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.

— Jesus also teaches about the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. He does so in the context of explaining what the Kingdom of Heaven is like and setting the stage for His ultimate crucifixion, ascension, and second return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It’s during this time that each person will be rewarded for what they’ve done with their talents.

During Old Testament times, talent was the unit of measurement for weighing the various precious metals such as gold and silver. In The New Testament, a talent referred to a specific value of money or a coin which was the equivalent of about 6,000 denarii. A denarius was a day’s wage for a common laborer. (Matthew 20:2) For those of you who enjoy a mathematical challenge, you could calculate what one talent would be worth in today’s market.

The word occupy as in “Occupy Till I (Jesus) Come” means to invest with the absolute intent of increase.

The Greek word is pragmateuoma (pronounced prag-mat-yoo’-om-ahee), Strong’s G4231, and means to be occupied in anything, to carry on a business, to carry on the business of a banker or a trader.

I deem this is especially applicable in the Luke 19 wording since it parallels Zacchaeus and his vocation as a tax collector. Jesus would often use the things of everyday life to portray important spiritual lessons and principles.

Where are we to invest or trade in? It’s the kingdom of God of which there is a multitude of places to plant, water, cultivate, weed, and harvest.

Back to my reference of early retirement if that’s even possible for most people these days in light of a continuing worldwide pandemic, these double parables are speaking of being spiritually productive until Jesus calls us home to be with Him.

There are natural, earthly, physical businessmen and women. What these combined verses are addressing is the charge to all of us to be dutiful and diligent spiritual business people. Any spiritual thing God has blessed us with or called us to can and should be multiplied for His kingdom’s purposes. How does it get multiplied? By using it!

Matthew 25:18 mentions the third servant who dug a hole in his backyard and buried it. The outcome of this wasn’t really pleasant as only the first two servants were rewarded for their efforts.

What About All Those Two’s Paired With That Eleven?

Since I received this spiritual reminder at 11:22 p.m. on February 12, 2022, that’s 6 two’s and one eleven.

In Biblical symbolism, the number two represents a repetitive situation; witness (as in the testimony of two witnesses in Deuteronomy 19:15 and 2 Corinthians 13:1); division; separation; association or agreement; reward or increase; double-mindedness; or second heaven.

Eleven represents judgment; disorder; incompleteness; and imperfections.

What’s intriguing about these numbers and their meanings is how it relates to The Parable of the Talents. In this parable, Jesus speaks of the reward or increase (one of the meanings of the number two) and there will be judgment (represented by the number eleven) how we used the talents that have been issued to us on judgment day after He returns.

The Negative Twins.

Doubt and discouragement can sometimes knock on the doors of our hearts as the negative twins. For the past couple of years, there have seemed like times when they’ve broken down the doors and rushed in like a flood.

Closing the doors to these two, if applicable, and opening the ones for faith and hope, we can return to the Father’s kingdom business.

On April 5, 2021, I published a prophetic blog post about the Parable of the Talents. Here’s the link:

The Woman, The Wishing Well, & 1932

Prophetic Insights For Daily Living:

#1. What are some of the practical, spiritual ways that you are spending your talents for the kingdom of God?

#2. How does this week’s prophetic blog post speak to you or stir your spirit?

#3. We know some dear Christian friends who have come alongside a man they befriended decades ago when both of them were public school teachers. Fast forward to now, and the man is all alone and very limited in a physical capacity. Our friends make it a point and have carved time from their overflowing weekly schedule to help this man with his needs, take him out to lunch, round up his supplies, and show him unconditional love.

#4. A ministry of encouragement is vital every day and can be exercised by a phone call, card in the mail, email, text message, or be creative!

#5. Seek God concerning the continued increase of your spiritual talents. Unlike having physical currency in the bank these days which is not bearing much interest at all, exercising our talents is collecting much heavenly increase.

#6. If you’re unsure of how you can fulfill Jesus’s teaching in these two parables, enlist the assistance of a trusted spiritual advisor or Christian friends. Christianity is a team sport, and teamwork makes the dream work.

#7. In the hustle, bustle, confusing, demanding world in which we find ourselves, may we all continue to value our Lord Jesus Christ, His kingdom, and what it is that He has entrusted to us to steward. When the battles heat up, what we value most can become tarnished like old, antique coins. While they might be worth some physical currency these days, the real prize is the spiritual type. Let’s keep our gaze fixed upon that.

This week’s prophetic blog post is not intended to lay a guilt trip on anyone at all. Its sole purpose is a word of encouragement for all of us to “Occupy Till I (Jesus) Return” and a hefty reminder that there’s no early retirement!

Drill deep into the word of God and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. Both of these will serve as a guaranteed spiritual road map to help make you a profitable servant.

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:23-24)

Sheila Eismann, Prophetic Seer, Blogger, Author & Teacher, publishes her weekly blog posts endeavoring to encourage others through God’s word. Her writings include teaching and instructions on how to apply prophetic insights for daily living.

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Photo via Pixabay.

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