Stewardship and Necessity
Stewardship and Necessity
“For if I preach the Good News, I have nothing to boast about; for necessity is laid on me; but woe is to me, if I don’t preach the Good News. For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward. But if not of my own will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me. What then is my reward? That, when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News”
1 Corinthians 9:16-18
The Life of Christ within produces an unction and a singularity of purpose that transcends even the most noble of intentions of carnal man. His influence presses us to make known the Father. The stronger His grip on the reins of our heart the more we will know the reward of stewardship. The radical call to the average Christian in the early church required a complete offering unto HIM, an offering so complete that it left the unmistakable imprint of His Stewardship on them.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service”
The Call presented by the apostolic ministrations of that day was the fruit of those who knew that “necessity” had been “laid” upon them. It was not a career choice or a casual commitment to a denomination or sect; it was the inherent power of the Son bringing forth expressions by the compelling power of the Love of God. In making known His motive in serving God Paul declared :
“But if not of my own will,
I have a stewardship entrusted to me.”
The temper and truth of “stewardship” is revealed in the “necessity” to speak the truth as it is in Christ. This stewardship cannot align itself with anything other than pure service unto Christ Himself. It cannot fit or accommodate itself to a mixture of flesh and spirit. Truth, to be truth, must be fueled by the unction and fire of God. Paul was driven by a “necessity” to make Christ known, free from the contamination of money and prestige which is sadly too prevalent in our day.
“That, when I preach the Good News, I may present the Good News of Christ without charge, so as not to abuse my authority in the Good News”
Many of the well-known professional ministries of our day know little or nothing of the power and impact of this call to “stewardship”. There is an indelible “mark” placed upon those in whom this sanctifying power is at work.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:12-14 (ESV)
The fervor and purpose as presented in the scriptures above is to be the “normal Christian life”. As Watchman Nee commented: the “average Christian life is not the normal Christian life”. We tend to consider the radical life presented here as an anomaly rather than the norm. May God stir our hearts afresh with the power of His Holy Spirit and breathe into our hearts the true call of “stewardship”. May He bring forth a generation whose sole purpose in life is to make known the “good news of the (true) Gospel of God” without charge, without compromise, and free from any mixture of self.
Stewardship and Our Response
It is crucial in this hour to be a voice that is a clear and consistent expression of His heart, His purposes, and most importantly, His Person. It is the privilege of all who bear His Name.
“Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak…”
May we hold one another up in the burden of His Spirit that He would make each of us “ministers a flame of fire” (Hebrews 1:7), to present Him to His Church first, and then to the world.
“Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy,
and for thy truth’s sake”
Related Post: Go Ye Therefore