Stewardship is a key principle in what God does in a person’s life. From the beginning of creation where God makes man steward over all of creation, to the New Testament where the believer is tasked with giving proper care over their talents, skills, time, and resources, stewardship is a theme of the Bible as God calls us to use appropriately that which He has blessed us with. Yesterday, I continued in the preaching of Colossians handling specifically Colossians 1:24-29, and the theme of stewardship appeared there as well. Stewardship is the task of managing, protecting, and caring for something that is placed under one’s purview. But in this passage it is not talking about man’s stewardship, it is specifically talking about God’s stewardship and how it relates to our ministry or calling. Colossians 1:25 says, “of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known.” I’m not sure if I had never thought about God “stewarding” something before, but Paul is very clear here. Our calling/ministry is what it is because of God’s stewardship (management) of our life and His Kingdom. A steward takes what he is managing and looks at all of the factors and variables and uses those resources to get the best outcome. God is doing that with our lives, with our calling!
The point here is this…our calling is not ours. If it does not go the way we think it should or it is too uncomfortable, then we don’t get to say no or “I’m not going to go there.” We are under God’s stewardship and He determines what is best for us and His Kingdom. This is why Paul was able to declare that he rejoiced in his sufferings (Col 1:24), because his calling wasn’t his.
The next time God calls you to something, and you think you have better plans, remember that you belong to the Lord and that in all His wisdom He determined what you should do. And the next time suffering comes your way (because it will), don’t run from it thinking that you should be exempt from it. That would be like saying that you should be excused from God’s calling on your life. Our life is not ours. We are mercifully and graciously being used by God to accomplish His will. What an awesome thought that is!