Are you a one-talent man? If so, apply here. Are you a ten-talent stud? If so, pay attention.

“What advice would you give me as young man wanting to be fully used by God?”

I get this question a lot, and my answer is always the same.

Pursue Him; don’t pursue usefulness to Him.

God is not looking for gifted people to use. He is looking for people who know that “apart from Him they can do nothing”. This is good news for the myriad who are convinced they are “one talent people” who have been denied the intellect of Lewis, the passion of Piper, the daring of Driscoll, or the platform of Tebow. God is not looking for great men. He is and always has been looking for faithful men. Not men who say they love Him, who want to be used by Him, who want to “do something great for God”. He is looking for those who know He is sufficient in all things.

Men who know that stutterers and sticks are enough for God to deliver nations.

Men who know that slings and stones in the hands of servants of the King slay giants.

Not men who talk about what God + nothing can do, but men who know that 10 talents – God can do nothing.

Solomon reminds us that “many a man proclaims his own loyalty, but who can find a trustworthy man?” (Prov 20:6) He isn’t looking for people who give Him lip service, He is looking for men who fill their lips and hearts with HIS word.

It is the bane of gifted “type A’s” to charge ahead full of good intentions and passion without great dependence and constant prayer.

It is the bad of all of us to consider our apparent lack of gifts or resources to be a hindrance to an all sufficient God. Our God loves the impossible and He majors in using the impoverished to do impossible things.

I have purposed to base my ministry on the truth of 2 Chronicles 16:9, believing God is not looking for the strongly gifted, but the strongly surrendered to support.

The question that haunts me every day is this: “If I were an all-sufficient God concerned with advancing my glory for the good of all, would I support Todd Wagner as a vessel for my purposes?” My ministry rises and falls with God’s thoughts on that question.

I’m more grateful for grace than I am for my gifts. How about you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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5 thoughts on “Are you a one-talent man? If so, apply here. Are you a ten-talent stud? If so, pay attention.

  1. “Not men who talk about what God + nothing can do, but men who know that 10 talents – God can do nothing.” That’s really good buddy! blessed by that

  2. That is great advice, esp. From someone who is about to graduate college, and feels pressured by certain people to hurry up and go into full~time ministry since I have no amazing apparent job prospects (which shudnt be the reason that one pursues full time vocational ministry, I would think)

    I do have a question regarding this post and the idea of stewardship, like the parable of the men with the talents, and they were judged based on what they did with what they were given by their owner when he returned. So, I guess what do you (or anybody who’se reading, really) think the balance is between dependence, waiting for clarity, prayer, etc. And being proactive and not passive in using/stewarding our gifts/resources for God’s Kingdom?


  3. Jonathan…thanks for your post. In-actuality I don’t think there is any need to balance dependence and pro-activity as the two are not mutually exclusive. We ought always be pro-active in seeking Him, which is really saying we ought to be pro-active in our dependance.

    As far as “using/stewarding”, there is definitely a need to reject passivity there. I say go for it in any way that is consistent with Scripture and fires you up. The key is “while going for it”, you do it by faith (see Hebrews 11:6) and with absolute conviction that if the Lord doesn’t “build the house, they labor in vain who build it”. (Ps 127)

    So build on friend, even as you depend completely on Him as you do it.

  4. I believe in predestination, that GOD knows who will and will not turn to him and be saved through His Grace. (It brings me to my knees to know that God has given me his Grace and that I get to be with him for eternity) I do have one question about it though. If God ultimately knows who is going to heaven and who is not, why does He even create those people He knows will not make it to Heaven? Couldn’t you say that He is just setting them up for an eternity of hell and seperation from Him? What is Watermarks view on this?

  5. David…great question. A few suggestions I would have for you…first, check out a message I did on Malachi 1 many years ago…the link is below and I think it will be helpful:

    Second, we have a great Apologetics ministry here at Watermark that is ready and available to answer these kinds of questions, and they love to do so. If you are still in need of answers after listening, I’d highly encourage you to email them at