“walk…as wise people – making the most of the time” Ephesians 5:15-16
Everything that occurs in the world happens at exactly the right time – the time of God’s choosing. Just as God chose the specific time for Jesus to come to earth, He also specifically chose the time in which to place each of us on this earth. If God orders the chronology of our birth, we should not be surprised that His calling on our lives in also ordered by His divine agenda.
The tag line I have used on my emails for years is the quote: “the certainty of death gives the gospel its urgency.” It is impossible to be a Kingdom-focused follower of Christ and not recognize the brevity of time on earth for those who have not yet heard the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.
Since my first day at Mobberly, I began praying for wisdom and balance. God had set my feet on a platform that I did not deserve. The strength of this church practically ensured God’s continued blessings. One friend had even declared to me that if I just didn’t mess it up, I could retire at Mobberly. Just the thought of planting my life in one community through the ministry of one church for the next 3 decades was enough to make me daydream and wonder. And yet, that’s the very complacency I refused to settle for knowing God had brought me to this place as a steward for Him. If I could not “make the most of the time” not only would I be coasting, but also I would be stealing from God. I truly believed that souls were hanging in the balance, the discipleship of the Mobberly family was in jeopardy, and my own obedience was at stake.
Stewardship is Lordship in action. The Apostle Paul calls giving a grace because it is a manifestation of the grace of God in the heart – an evidence of His transforming, or sanctifying, work. Just as the giving of God’s people is chiefly for the lifting up of the Word of God, the management of all our resources is a reflection of His Lordship in our lives. If Christ is my Lord, I am a steward of what He entrusts to me. If Christ is the Lord of Mobberly, we are managers of the resources and responsibility lying before us. Most of us have heard of the “big 3” – time, talent, and treasure. I would also include technology. Every blessing that God bestows on us carries with it its own expectations. Just as God’s promises are prods not pillows, so God’s blessings are burdens not beds upon which to luxuriate. Stewardship, then, is the litmus test of our love and sincerity. This is a deeply challenging thought for every follower of Christ, that our likeness to Christ is registered in our readiness and desire to steward for His work and for His glory, the salvation of lost souls.
God has not brought me to this stage solely to continue a great legacy nor to cite a comprehensive takeover. The course God has crafted for me to travel required complete submission to Jesus as my Lord, to the Spirit as my Guide, and to God for His glory. Jesus’ reminder looms ever before me: to whom much is given, much is required. Wayne Cordeiro has pointed out that, “a leader’s role is not to maintain. It is to gain altitude!” Balance and wisdom would become bigger than I had imagined.
With every one of us in leadership, a vital balance of making changes is critical. The only possible way to discover success is in accordance with the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Walking by the Spirit translates into making time-sensitive decisions.
Once you make the initial decision to step off that ledge and trust Christ. Every other decision on the journey finds direction and determination and destiny from that original springboard. “God has a game plan for each of us, and He is waiting to pour that game plan into us the moment we are honestly ready.”