BIBLE MEDITATION: “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” 1 Corinthians 4:1 (KJV)
DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: When you are serving faithfully and trying to obediently do what God has asked you to do, the devil hates it! He'll do everything he can to dissuade you to stop. Often he attacks your mind with allegations, such as, "Why are you doing this? No one appreciates you anyway! Here you are, working, striving, sweating, and slugging it out while other people are having a good time. If no one else cares, why should you care? Come on - you've done enough!"
If you're not really committed to staying in place and doing what God asked you to do, those allegations from the devil may pull you off the bench where God called you to serve. This makes me think again of First Corinthians 4:1, where Paul says, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God." The word "ministers" in this verse referred to the slaves or servants who were placed into the bottom galleys of huge ships. A huge oar was placed in the hands of these slaves, and they began to row and row and row - literally becoming the engines that moved those ships through the sea. If you had been allowed to peek into the bottom galley of those huge ships of New Testament times, you'd have seen that these prisoners were all chained to a post near their respective benches. There was a good reason for this heavy chain.
Because their work was so difficult and their destiny was sealed in the bottom of that ship, these men's minds would wander to more beautiful, restful places where palm trees overlooked sandy seashores or tall pines swayed in refreshing mountain breezes. Had the "under-rowers" not been chained to their posts, they may have attempted to escape from their bench to find a more restful lifestyle somewhere else. Therefore, chains kept the men where they belonged - right in the bottom of the boat, tied to their post with oar in hand, compelled to effectively do their job.
Likewise, you must know that as you seek to do God's will for your life, you'll have to take on all kinds of assaults and challenges that inevitably accompany obedience. And let me warn you, there will be times when your flesh tries to find a way to jump ship and get out from underneath the pressure of obeying God! Your flesh would love to be "led" somewhere else where faith isn't required and the crucifixion of flesh doesn't seem so necessary.
You see, it's easy to start obeying God. Initiating a project is fun and exciting, and it's always the easiest part. The difficult part is sticking with that project and seeing it through all the way to the end. The real test comes when the excitement is gone and the reality of hard work and commitment begins to dawn on you. That's always the golden moment when the flesh is tempted to forget you ever heard from God and to start looking for a way out!
If you are not really committed to go all the way in fulfilling your God-assigned task, you probably won't do it. Therefore, you must be absolutely committed to do what God has called you to do, "chaining yourself " to your decision to obey so you cannot flee in hard times. If God has called you, don't jump ship! He needs you in the bottom of the boat in order to keep the Body of Christ moving forward toward maturity. You are very important!
ACTION POINT: When you said yes to the will of God, you surrendered to Him, agreeing to pick up the "oar" He has placed before you. For you, that oar may be a ministry God has given you or a position serving in the local church or a certain business. Perhaps God has instructed you to give money regularly to a ministry. Whatever responsibility God has set before you, it's time for you to grab hold of that oar! Like the under-rowers who rowed in order to move those big ships, you must begin a lifelong occupation of "rowing" to advance the cause God has put on your heart. From now on, your lifelong slogan needs to be "Row, row, row your boat!"
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