January 07 2012, 6:37 am | Bill Elliff
Today, right now, as you make the next decision regarding what you will do in the next hour—how do you see yourself?
Believe it or not, Paul thought about this a good deal and it drove everything he did. He begins almost every letter with some type of self-description. His statement in Ephesians 3:1-3 is extremely revealing and driving.
"For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly."
Do you see yourself as a prisoner for Christ Jesus?
Paul did. He felt he was gloriously enslaved to the Lord. Christ had captured him and now held him in bondage. A prisoner has no rights, no time of his own, no agenda that belongs to him. If we are proud and stubborn we will not accept this title, but the humble Paul wore it gladly. How would you orient your life today if you really saw yourself as the Lord’s glad prisoner?
Do you see yourself as a "prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of" others?
Paul did. He was enslaved to serve Christ and serve others. His imprisonment to Christ—his full surrender of his rights to Him—was FOR something and someone. It was so that he might be in the right position to get the message to the Gentiles that they too could be saved.
Do you think of yourself as a steward?
Paul did. He felt the heavy weight of the "stewardship of God's grace that was given to me." He had no time to play around, goof off, fail to get the word out to the Gentiles. It was a stewardship entrusted. Do you feel this? You have a stewardship too from God. You may not realize it, and that may be the precise problem why you do not live with urgency and intentionality.
Do you see that you are one who is holding a vital message?
Paul did. He saw it as a mystery that had been revealed to him from no other than God Himself. And it was a word that had to be shared. It was "from God-to me-for you," Paul believed. He was simply the middleman, the conduit and he feared that if he was not faithful, the message would be lost in translation. This drove him.
Do you realize your important part in the economy of God's purposes in this world?
Paul did. He knew he was crucial to the ongoing of Christ's kingdom. If you do not feel this way about yourself, you will settle for less. You will see yourself as just an average person that sits on the sideline, occasionally getting into the game. This is a lie from the enemy, of course, to keep you there. YOU have been given a mystery and a stewardship. You are vital to the furthering of the kingdom. You can be used greatly. It is important to unearth the unique part you play. At the very least (and the very MOST) it is to tell everyone in your sphere of influence about Christ. To get the message to them.
It's not pride to think deeply of yourself and hear God's determination regarding your life. Every humble, powerfully-used, prisoner/steward of Christ needs this upward view and the motivation it brings to daily service.
Order Bill's books here including "The Child of 10,000 Names" and "WhiteWater".