When the creation was new God handed the rule of it to: us. Human beings. We are God’s high stewards, benevolent leaders to bless and protect and promote the earth and all the lower creatures so that the world continues to be beautiful, fruitful, clean, and strong. Like a silver crown of beauty that declares our calling to be God’s agents in this realm, stewardship is a legacy we pass on automatically from generation to generation. But . . .
Adam and Eve – the first stewards – failed. The serpent comes along to destroy humans, to tempt them to sin, to rupture their perfect relationship with God, to rob them of their immortality, and: to steal their crown, their job. The devil’s strategy succeeds, and sin and brokenness enter the world. But what satan found out was that he couldn’t take over their job. He might knock the crown off their heads, but he couldn’t pick it up. It’s stuck on the ground, and tug as he might, he has no authority to take up the glorious crown of stewardship bestowed only on human beings. When satan says to Jesus in Luke 4:5,6 that he owns the world and can give its glory to whomever he wants, it is a lie, just wishful thinking. The creation and everything in it belongs, and has always belonged, to God. We did not lose our positions as high stewards when we sinned, but now the enemy manipulates us, distorts our minds, twists our emotions, attacks our bodies, and steals our souls through sin. But our silver crowns are there for us to retrieve at any time, to put on and fulfill our human calling to work in this creation according to our natural talents. Uniquely gifted, each of us has something to contribute to God’s world, with our careers, with volunteer work, with parenting. Every job we do, every bit of love and service we perform, every shared wisdom we pass on to the next generation is us fulfilling our calling, being high stewards, wearing that crown that the devil can’t touch.
Silver-crowned stewards have done much good in this world. People who worked, and learned, and discovered the intricate yet ordered beauty of the creation; who have given us food, and shelter, and clothes and science and fine arts and manufacturing and agriculture and medicine and communications and so much more, building communities with millions of stores of knowledge and accomplishment. Our human work is important, yet it keeps us in a holding pattern until we receive: our double crown.
When Jesus Christ came as the God-Man, there was about to be a seismic shift in how humans work. satan knew he must topple this new human prototype, this Person Who comes to remake the office of high steward and take it back. The devil is arrogant; he did it once to Adam and Eve, he thinks he can do it again. But try as he might, the evil one has no power over Jesus Christ. The devil tempts Jesus, but Jesus won’t sin. The devil tries – multiple times – to kill Jesus, but every time Jesus walks away saying, “My time has not yet come.” Even in the torture of Christ’s imprisonment, trial, and crucifixion, when satan thought he was winning, he was losing, because even in the worst torment the devil threw at the Son of God, Jesus Christ never sinned. And in that one act of self-sacrifice, Jesus Christ disarmed the devil’s greatest weapon against humanity: sin. Then Jesus Christ rises from the dead in glorious power and restores for every human being the full potential of immortality: eternal life. Therefore, if we believe in Jesus Christ, we are not merely high stewards any more; we are the children of God.
“See what love the Father has for us, that we should be called the children of God, AND SO WE ARE!” ~ 1 John 3:1.
Result: all the potential God created in you and me to be His high stewards is upgraded and fully resourced in us, not only to take dominion over the earth, and multiply and fill it, but also to preach the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Our vocation is expanded, but so is our power to do it. Though Christ, we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, Who comes and dwells in our hearts, bringing extraordinary spiritual gifts empowering us to do our calling.
So if you have been struggling, pick up your crown and dust it off. It has never left you, it is always right at your feet. Turn it over in your hands. Run your fingers over its beautiful surface. If you look carefully at it, you will see it was made with an open rim around the top, made to receive a topper, made to be a double crown. The silver crown of stewardship leaves room for a golden crown, a royal crown, of sonship, of daughtership. Is your double crown already there? Stewardship and royal child of God? If not, ask Christ into your heart today. If so, as a child of God, your vocation is already upgraded and resourced with Holy Spirit power, and you are unstoppable.