Lives on Loan:
The Importance of Christian Stewardship
In Psalm 42:2, the writer cries out from deep within himself for God...
In Pursuit of...
by LT COL Terry Austin
Have you ever wanted
something so badly that it consumed your thoughts, your time, and your energy? One particular instance comes to mind immediately. When I entered Free Will Baptist Bible College in the fall of 1979, I determined that I did not have time for dating. I went to Bible college to learn God’s Word. Dating was a nonproductive activity, and I had no time for it.
But then I met Mona Jean, my wife of more than 30 years. After I met her, my days became longer, my workload became lighter, and my mind became sharper because I discovered that I had time for her! Consequently, I began to pursue her. (And I had to do a lot of convincing to get her to pay attention to me.)
In Psalm 42:1, we find a picture of a deer panting for water. The picture is not just a thirsty animal; it is the picture of a really thirsty animal searching for water to survive. Without water, the very life of the animal would be gone, and it would perish. Like the deer, there are things in our lives we must pursue. We have needs like food and water, a place to live, a reliable vehicle to drive, and other tangible and necessary things for us to survive.
In the next verse, Psalm 42:2, the writer cries out from deep within himself for God. He proclaimed that, like the thirsty deer looking for water to survive, his soul thirsts for God, and he longs to appear before Him. He is anxious and set on seeing God. I believe the writer is pursuing the most important thing in life. It is to know God and not fear appearing before Him, because He has done what God asked him to do. The writer has sought and found the will of God for himself.
Doing God’s will is not always popular. Consider Daniel. He chose to do God’s will instead of the earthly king and was thrown into the lion’s den (Daniel 6:16). Jesus confronted His parents (Luke 2:49) about the importance of doing His Father’s business, and the apostle Paul confronted his friends who did not understand that he had to do God’s will, regardless of the outcome (Acts 21:13-14). The words of Psalm 42:3 assure us that doing God’s will may cause pain or persecution.
As I think about stewardship, I cannot help but think about my greatest treasure—my life. It begins there and permeates to everything I have. Like Job, my family is God’s; my possessions are God’s, and my life is God’s to use. I desire to do God’s will and be a good and faithful steward of the things with which He has entrusted me.
Have you ever pursued the will of God, and people thought you had lost your mind or turned your back on God? Maybe you gave something away because someone else needed it more, or you tithed when finances were tight. Perhaps you pursued the will of God without the support of your local church or pastor. Regardless of whether people understand you or not, allow me to encourage you to pursue and do the will of God for your life. His approval is the only one that matters.
About the writer: LT COL Terry Austin is a Free Will Baptist Chaplain currently assigned to North Carolina. He has represented Free Will Baptists through Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. To learn more about Free Will Baptist chaplains, visit www.homemissions.net.