Much is made about the need to be stewards of the gifts that God has given us. Most talk is generated about the issues of stewarding time and money. Secondary talk is often given to the aspect of spiritual gifts and the need to be using them appropriately. How little it is though that we talk about the stewardship of the tools that God has given us for spiritual warfare!
With vain exasperation too few will proclaim, “I cannot do it on my own any more. Lord I need you.” Even of those few who utter these words, less say them with true meaning and assurance. Instead, questions arise to God’s will, God’s work, and the motives behind both with little regard that the Lord has indeed provided tools for the success and sanctification of the Christian. Our problem is the inability to be good stewards of these precious gifts.
For the sake of ease, it seems beneficial to be able to divide these up into three categories developed around God’s Word.
God’s Spoken Word
In Genesis one can be overcome with awe at just how powerful the spoken Word of God is. It was by the power of God’s word that creation took place. He took nothing and made something, beginning with heaven and earth. Yet His power did not stop there. The Lord labored on to create life, first through the animals of the land, sea, and sky. He concluded by creating man and woman.
It was God’s spoken Word that gave us physical life. It is because of His word, work, and will that we can roam around and enjoy the beauty of His creation, the joys of fellowship, and the satisfaction of family. The giving of life to man by God’s spoken word is a wondrous event.
The Lord did not conclude with physical life though. To those who would call upon His name, the Lord has granted eternal life. The physical life is temporary with a beginning and an end. Its joys are accompanied by pain. It is restrained by the saturation of sin in this world. But eternal life for the Christian provides an everlasting joy free from sin and in the presence of grace. With Christ on the throne, our ambitions, motivations, and desires are rightly aligned with Him.
Indeed, everyone has eternal life (every person will spend eternity somewhere). However, it is only the Christian who can have true joy about the permanency of eternal life. Thus, the first tool of the Christian life to be a steward of is the life granted to us by God’s spoken Word.
God’s Incarnate Word
Second to God’s spoken word is God’s incarnate Word. Eternal life in heaven is granted because of the temporary arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth. Jesus Christ is the incarnate Word of God (Revelation 19:13). Without the incarnate Word, the life given at the spoken word would have no lasting meaning, no lasting value, and no lasting legacy.
As a result, it is God’s incarnate Word that is the second tool of the Christian life. Too often the life, death, burial, and resurrection are taken for granted. With little thought of the true importance of who Jesus Christ is (God) people, whether believer or unbeliever, labor in vain. Some do so openly rejecting the truth that God has provided while others do it under a false notions of holiness and self-deceit. Like Paul we proclaim Christ crucified and when we do so, it is done completely and unadulterated being sure to steward this gift rightly for the glory of God.
God’s Written Word
Finally, God’s written Word deserves special mention to the many tools that God has given for stewardship. It is the written word that enlightens us about the spoken word and the seriousness of our status in order to draw us to God’s incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
If the written word is sufficient for all things as Paul tells Timothy (see 1 Timothy 3:16) then it is both the first and last resource for the Christian life. It alone provides the guidance and wisdom that one needs. There is no need to search elsewhere. There is no need to desire more. Instead, seek the written Word of God as the solution and strength to life’s circumstances and situations.
God has given us what is needed for the Christian life. He has given us armor to face the spiritual battles. He has given us His Word to aid us in whatever we may face. He has given us His Son so that we may enjoy eternal life with Him not apart from Him. Ultimately, He has given us life. Each draws our attention to Him, fixating our gaze on His lovingkindness in order that He may be glorified. The issue though is to be good stewards of such wondrous gifts and use them as God had intended. Without Christ there is no victory with Christ.