• Karen M. Peeler

Passionate Stewardship

Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for you feet; stay on the safe path. Don't get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27

"Stewarding a word from the Lord requires an intentional, faithful pursuit, seeking His voice above all others. Words are not meant to entertain or be released in front of the crowd for self-gratification. God’s gifted are prepared in secret to carry heaven on earth not positioned to perform (Acts 8). Temptation is offered from the hands of the deceiver and confirmed through sin soothers clinging to the world. Stand alert! Aligning with man seeking affirmation over heaven's alignment; breeds hypocrisy.”

I stand grateful for the awakening in this hour but with awareness comes great responsibility. Weekly I meet people in the market place who are stirred to step outside the norm. It's amazing to me how Holy Spirit speaks in daily life as we interact with those around us. I love the gathering of believers but seeing God's glory shift the atmosphere in a local Starbucks leaves me standing in awe of Him.

And having a front row seat to how He works through us I am reminded words bring life or death (Proverbs 18:21). Walking in the anointing poured from heaven is not a casual call. Last week Holy Spirit spoke a reminder to my heart. Assignments from the Father are purposed to advance His kingdom not earthly agendas (Romans 12:1).

God's ways confirm the Gospel, leading the fallen and forgiven closer to the cross, they do not perpetuate comfort and closeness to the world (Luke 9:1-2). But it is easy to find myself wrapped in the security of acceptable and miss out on His voice.

"When we, as a body of believers, embrace comfort and develop habits of defining God by human expectation, heaven is boxed and we miss out on the Father's endless depth."

Whispers from the Lord must be stewarded instead of rushed or hushed. How do we steward His voice? Ears tuned to the Father’s voice in the secret place and study of His word bathed in righteous accountability, empower us to lay down our bundle of wood and pick up His cross.

We exchange worldly desires for His desires during intimate conversations (Romans 12:2).

Obedience tests our willingness to surrender (Matthew 6:6). Last year my entire life was shaken and today I stand undone before heaven. God taught me more in six months devoted to protected prayer than I had learned my entire lifetime. I am grateful for awakening. And I wonder in this season how many others walk with hunger, exchanging worldly desires for intimacy with Him?

If no one ever knew, would His presence be enough to sustain and affirm? God elevates some to be seen in His time and for His purpose. I could name hundreds who are known by millions, I am not saying this is a negative but it is not our eternal goal.

Man cannot fill the void crying out for truth. The world counterfeits and limits the Glory by replacing God's love with stages built by human hands. Opportunity and divine connection in heaven's economy are an outflow of divine relationship pushing us toward our part in God's purpose. Sometimes this is stages and spotlights but they are for advancement of the kingdom not to build our empire here below.

Earth's economy places the power to reach the world under human control and advanced through our strength alone. We no longer ask for God's will before we begin, only His protection of what we have built.

Co-laboring with Christ is lived out as we walk in response to His will, not our own (John 14:31). Praying over a word, and waiting on God to respond builds His kingdom within us and through us. Obedience transforms us to follow the example of Christ not culture. Jesus did nothing apart from the Father and we are accountable to this same pursuit.

What if we laid it all down at the feet of the Father and started a conversation like this: "Show me what is yours Lord. Reveal anything I designed outside your will. Empty me and refill me with your desires alone."

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23

From the Garden of Eden to the cross of Calvary, He did all for His children. He invites us in, transferring heavens heart, and empowering us to shine in a world full of darkness. The prize, earthly relationships aligned to advance the kingdom and manifest His will on earth.

Acts 9 tells us of the answer to prayer Saul received through a disciple listening and responding to God.

“The Lord said, “Go over to Straight Street, to the house of Judas. When you get there, ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul. He is praying to me right now. I have shown him a vision of a man named Ananias coming in and laying hands on him so he can see again.”

Acts 9:11-12, NLT

While scripture tells us Ananias recognized the voice of God, he had a few questions before accepting the invitation to GO. Saul was a local celebrity but not for righteous reasons. His persecution of Christians was clearly common knowledge and struck fear in the hearts of believers.

“But Lord,” exclaimed Ananias, “I’ve heard many people talk about the terrible things this man has done to the believers in Jerusalem! And he is authorized by the leading priests to arrest everyone who calls upon your name.”(Acts 9:13-14, NLT)

Ananias accepted the Father’s invitation and from an outflow of relationship He walked in obedience. Intimately connected to heaven Ananias surrendered. He pushed past human reasoning and embraced the unknown. God imparted knowledge, and ordered the steps of man (Psalm 37:23).

"Ananias gave and Saul received but both actions birthed from an overflow of communion with the Father."

I realize God can speak through whomever He chooses. I am not creating limitations but I am making a point. God desires to be in communion with His children and through connection He calls us to live life in response to His voice and treat others from an outflow of His heart. Honoring others above self.

Jesus did nothing apart from the Father’s will. He gave birth to life in the secret place. His interactions were clothed in heavenly purpose. Jesus did not react and then cover the consequences in prayer. He prayed and responded to the voice of the Father. Jesus was a walking answer to prayer.

If you said YES to Jesus then you are a vessel continuously prepared for His use. When we steward gifts, callings and connections we are transformed into walking answers to prayer. Our life becomes confirmation of the transforming power of Grace. We compliment each other and refuse to compete.

Holy Spirit equips, partnering us with heaven. Soaked in His Glory our steps are ordered for awakening.

"A heart positioned to receive from Him hears every seed applying to the vessel before it is released in the house."

And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching. Titus 2:7, NLT

Releasing the Word carries the responsibility to live the Word. Who we reflect defines for the world who we follow (John 14:15).

Whether we acknowledge it or not we choose, passionate stewardship in the secret place, grounded in His word or sin soothing comfort, limited by human norms, accepted by the world.

I cannot find the heart of God praying selfish prayers, covered in careless release without personal application (1 John 5:14). Coming to the cross carrying a list of my desires leaves no room for His.

"Releasing the Word carries the responsibility to live the Word. Who we reflect defines for the world who we follow."

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10, ESV

"Signs and wonders will follow, and confirm the Gospel, but the world and believers will turn looking back at our life as tangible proof of the

saving power of the cross. I want those around me to know by my overflow, I've been in the presence of God."

Dear God give us the Grace to say no to the ways of the world and with joy embrace the journey. Strengthen us to live life responding to your voice and producing good and faithful fruit through the power of Holy Spirit. Open our eyes to see the people around us as doors of opportunity to teach what you have taught. May we overflow with love and speak words of wisdom planting eternal seeds destined to advance your kingdom on earth. Transform us into vessels prepared for your use. In Jesus mighty and precious name, Amen.

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