STEWARDSHIP AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
by Gary Carpenter
Luke 19:12-26 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, andreaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
A common fear of the potential Gospel Entrepreneur is that he will make mistakes in his "trading" and will wind up losing the Lord's pound. Yet in the Lord's teaching, He only mentions the man who gained the most, the man who gained less, and the man who gained nothing because he refused to trade the pound.
At first I could not understand why the Lord did not give us an example of how He would react if one of His servants lost the pound through mistakes in trading. After all, looking only at this parable, it seems that these servants were left on their own after the Lord departed to the far country. Surely there was the possibility of loss, knowing that these were mere mortal men who are prone to make mistakes. But the Lord never mentions the possibility of losing the original pound, neither in this account nor in Matthew's. (Mat 25:14-30)
My thinking went, "Doesn't the Lord know that we are fallible men, prone to mistakes and error? Why doesn't He mention the possibility of losing the pound?" Then I understood why the Holy Spirit chose the sequence of the revelations He has taught me this past year. First came the revelations in the series called, "The Serving Son."
To quickly summarize that series, the Serving Son left his Father's house on his mission with a pure heart and in the will of God. He quickly found that there was an enemy who would fiercely oppose him through direct attacks and all manner of deception.
The Serving Son's motives were pure, to serve the Father by accomplishing his mission, but he found he was no match for the enemy in his own strength. Wave after wave of attacks were launched against the Serving Son. Deception after deception came through false friends and false prophets. Finally, the Serving Son (though still doing his best) was bedraggled, hungry, worn out and "off course."
It was at this point that the Father sent a supernatural Helper, the Holy Spirit! This Helper could not be deceived, could not be tempted, could not be overcome in battle. The key to victory over the enemy ... every time, was for the Serving Son to fully cooperate with the Helper whom the Father had sent. He learned to devote his energy and time completely to learning how to cooperate with, flow with, and to work with the Holy Spirit. As long as the Serving Son did everything in concert with the Helper, he was victorious over the enemy ... every time!
Victory for the Serving Son came as he became "one" with the Helper in thought, in purpose, and in method. This required that the Serving Son spend the vast majority of his time in communion with the Helper. Every time the Serving Son received the complete counsel of the Helper, and acted in perfect obedience to that counsel, victory over the enemy was swift, sure, and complete in every battle ... without fail!
Going back to Luke's account of stewarding the pound, it "appears" that these ten servants were "on their own" after their Master departed to the far country. But we know that is not the case. Our Master has not left us as orphans who must find our own way through a fallen world. No, Jesus said:
John 14:16-18 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless [Greek: orphanos = orphans]: I will come to you.
"I will come to you." How? By means of the Spirit of Truth, the Helper whom the Father has sent. The Holy Spirit brings us the very "mind of Christ" for every decision we must make. For the Gospel Entrepreneur, the problem has been, we have attempted to overcome mammon with the wisdom of man, rather than pay the price in communion with the Holy Spirit to receive the instructions that come from the mind of our Master, Jesus Christ Himself!
Gospel Entrepreneur ... YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You are to co-labor with the Helper whom the Father has sent. While I was in prayer during August of 1998, the Holy Spirit said to me:
"Instructions that are not heard cannot be acted on. Many hear not the voice of Him Who speaks from heaven for they have not learned to sit and hear My counsel. Again I say, it is I Who brings the mind of Christ to every believer. I bring His mind in a precise way for those who will sit and listen to My counsel of detailed instructions."
"Every instruction that they receive from Me ... it will not add to their burdens. It will free them from their burdens for the instructions that come from the mind of Christ are intended to loose Me and My power in the lives of every believer. His instructions do not come in such a fashion that I would stand idle while men should work. His instructions come that men can rest in the freedom which belongs to the sons of the Living God while the Spirit performs all things according to My power that is resident within Myself."
"This is the help that the Father and the Son have sent to their serving sons. NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT SAYETH THE LORD!"
Without this cooperation between ourselves and the Holy Spirit, we are most certainly fallible and the potential exists for us to "lose the Lord's pound." But for those who pay the price of communion with the Holy Spirit? For those who wait upon the Lord until they have received the full counsel of Jesus Christ from the Holy Spirit? There is no failure, no loss of the pound, for them.
1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
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