George Walker - Being a Faithful Steward - Fermanagh, Ireland Convention - 1955

I have been meditating on the words Jesus spoke to His disciples. It is not that we would forget them but that this human nature of ours does not take so kindly to the words Jesus spoke. If we would let our human nature take control, we would gradually drift away from those words. I like to examine my own heart and see if the truths that Jesus spoke so many years ago still appeal to me today. Have they the same affect, the same power over me today? Although we grow older, we still need a lot of the same kind of food we needed as babies. We hardly ever get away from liking the same kind of food we had as children. I would never like to get away from an appetite for the spiritual food.


Luke 14, this is the chapter that tells us the principles of discipleship, the conditions we fulfill to be disciples. Those apostles, they first became disciples. The word ‘disciple’ just means, “I am listening to a teacher.” Then they went on to be apostles. All that became true disciples were married to the bride. It tells us about Jesus being invited to the house of one of the rulers of the Pharisees. He must have made quite a feast and brought in some of his friends. The Pharisees’ ideas and teaching were opposite to those of Jesus, but there were some very good Pharisees. Some were better than their creed, some not as good as their creed.


Where would you get a better man than Paul? “I served God in all good conscience... I was persecuting the church of God but I was doing it zealously.” There was also the Pharisee Nicodemus. He came and identified himself with Jesus after Jesus’ death. Some Pharisees showed a good deal of the right thing.


It is a wonderful thing to have Jesus come in and have a meal with you. Jesus was just a carpenter so it meant much for that ruler to bring Him into the house. Jesus was so honest, and when He came into any company, He was very observant. He was so honest and He spoke about what He saw even when that may have been embarrassing. The first thing that happened in that house was that he saw the man with dropsy and he healed him. The second thing he noticed was that they were all struggling to see who would get the chief seat. We have not much evidence that Jesus had any cut and dried sermons to speak to people. When you find Jesus speaking, it says, “He opened His mouth.” He was Truth. If you and I have truth in our hearts, it will not be hard for us to speak the truth. If you have the thing inside you, you only need to give it opportunity and it comes out.


Jesus told them, “When you are invited to any feast or wedding, don’t rush to get the chief seat. It is wiser to take the low seat first and if the man in charge tells you to take a higher seat, you take it.” After He spoke this, He stated a great truth. “For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” That is one of God’s great, eternal laws. As we sow, so shall we reap. Everyone that exalts himself shall be brought down. It begins with that thought. When you read through the Bible, you will see people that exalted themselves. You read the end of Absalom and of Adonijah who both thought, “I am the man for it.” Adonijah starts planning and scheming and he got this poor fellow Joab to take his side. Joab was jealous and God brought that out before his end.


There is nothing hidden but what it will come out; you can pretend, but it will come out; there is nothing secret, but it will be revealed. That is the awful danger of giving place to anything contrary to His will. If you see someone who has been your enemy, suffer, and you rejoice, you had better not, for God sees your heart. The thing that is inside us is bound to come out. Sometimes Joab was more right than David but it worked round till he took the wrong side. He made Adonijah king, got them all on his side, and made a big feast, but look how it ended.

God had made another man king, even Solomon. Solomon said of Adonijah, “Let him come down and show himself a man.” How could you show yourself a man if you are not a man? He had not the qualifications of a man; he was wire-pulling, getting this one and that one on his side. He got Solomon’s mother to plead for him. People with the right thing in them, they don’t need to seek the office, the office seeks the man. Those seeking place, they are the ones who won’t get it. It will go to the ones with a consciousness in themselves of their own unfitness. Is that not true of every man that God honoured?


In the world in late years, we have seen men exalt themselves. We have sometimes been foolish enough to be a little envious of those who have exalted themselves. God sees about the bringing down. It is not your business or mine. God moves, He is not in a hurry, and He gives them time to make manifest what they are. Hezekiah was one of the best kings of Judah. After God had done so much for him, Hezekiah exalted himself. He didn’t render unto God. A show-off is a terrible thing. We all desire to show off. Have you ever watched a peacock showing off its feathers? Poor Hezekiah showed off to the Babylonians. If we have ever lived in countries where there are little snakes (none in  where this Convention was taking place), we would know we could get snake’s poison into our veins and it is death. We should be just as anxious not to get poison into our minds and get exalted. “Pride goeth before destruction, and before honour is humility.”


If we believe this Bible, I can tell what my future will be. If I am exalted and filled with pride, ahead of me is dishonour. A haughty spirit goes before a fall. If I know myself well enough, I can tell what is ahead of me. Humility leads to honour. “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” There is nothing that is going to benefit you and me unless it comes from God. If I had power to give you favour, it would only be a curse to you if God would not sign it.


Jesus was very wise. When they would have made Him a king, He got away and hid Himself. He would not let people fuss over Him. Sometimes God humbles us and sometimes He expects us to humble ourselves. I would rather stand before the world and say, “If there have been failures amongst us, it is not because God’s way and truth are not right; it is because of myself.” It is because I have two natures and I let the human control me too much.


Jesus spoke about these people and He says, “They don’t want the honour that comes from God. They don’t come to the light because their deeds are not wrought in God.” How much of my deeds have been wrought in God? How much have I been controlled by the love and fear of God? He measures every inmost thought. When you make a feast, you call in people that could not give you anything. What recompense at the resurrection will this bring to me? Jesus taught that you can be doing things now and you will get nothing back but you will be recompensed at the judgement where the best thing to hear will be, “Well done. I watched your every battle, your every choice. Well done.” “You made straight paths for their feet and you didn’t turn anyone away.”


It would be a wonderful thing to meet someone over there who could say, “You helped me to be here.” There will be the resurrection of the just. When Paul preached at Athens about the resurrection, they mocked him. Paul lived all his life keeping that before him. We will answer for the deeds done in the body.


At the end of this chapter it speaks about the discipleship. Verse 25, “Hating father, mother, sister, brother and his own life .... taking up their cross and following Me.” They look hard words. How am I going to hate those near to me? Jesus never meant us to hate anyone, even our worst enemy. It was an expression that means, “Unless you love Me more than you love them....” You cannot have dual loyalty. God did not make this human heart of ours that two could have a place in it. Someone has to be on top. One of the things that there is to break up a human marriage is not to put things in their right place. Love solves all problems, even human problems. We need to be keeping Him first. Your own nature can be worse than that of your friends. “Don’t go back and say goodbye to your friends at all.” “No man putting his hand to the plough and turning back is fit for the kingdom of God.” Some try to interpret this as someone going out to preach and for some reason or other, being not able to continue. There is nothing to be ashamed of in that. But when you are thinking of your friends behind you, you are not ploughing a straight score (furrow). You have got to keep the one thing before you.


“He that forsaketh not all that he hath, cannot be My disciple.” You have not to say, “It belongs to me.” “Salt is good but if the salt hath lost its savour wherewith shall it be salted.” You might be like salt. The reason why there could be trouble amongst God’s children it is the lack of salt. Salt shows you are dying to self.


When we think about being stewards, there is not much difference between steward and servant. He is one to whom the owner of the place has committed all. In the tenth chapter, we read about the unjust steward. “Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations.” Within the last year or two, I have read these verses many a time. There are things that are only human and earthly and we can use them that we might make friends in Heaven. People that use their home, the material things they have, they will have friends when these things fail and they go into the next world.  Use it now and you will be making friends that will receive you.


“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much, and he that is unjust in the least, is unjust also in much.” “If you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, how shall ye be faithful in that which is your own.” All these are things which look much to the world are least, and if I am not faithful in using them, who would give you the true riches? When we went out to preach we knew this truth, that I have got to fulfill certain conditions. I have to give away all I have, all material things, and then He will give us the true riches. I am only a steward. Suppose I could get a lot of power over people because I had a lot of money to give, and supposing I had lost it, then I would not be any more use. If you and I get power over others because of Christ being in us, because of qualities in us, that will last for all eternity.


In the twelfth chapter, it speaks of attempts in another sense. Verse 40, “Be ye also ready... who is that faithful and wise steward whom his lord shall make ruler of his household to give them their portion of meat in due season... blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.” Chapter 18 speaks of how we are judged by what we do, how we use the material things and chapter 12 deals with how we use the spiritual things. The Lord does not ask us to worry about His business. He is taking care of it. That is His business.


We hear some say, “What will we do when all the older ones are gone?” We are only responsible for the present. ‘Servant’ suggests a bond-servant or a slave. There may be one he trusts more than another, a trusted slave. The boss tells him, “Go down and tell those other slaves I want them to work in this field today.” Suppose they turn on him and say, “We will not do it.” He does not need to worry. The only worry he has is, “I went down there and told them exactly what the master told me. I told them in the way you told me to tell them.” I am concerned that I tell my other fellow slaves exactly as God asks me to tell them. I tell it in the tones my Master wants me to tell it, with grace. One way that will help us to have grace is to keep in our mind our own weakness and what we are ourselves. I won’t talk rough to my Brothers and Sisters when I know what I am myself.


Every priest that offered the sin offering had to offer for himself. The priest did not get as much out of the sin offering as when it was a free-will offering. The priest would not say, “Why are you here with a sin offering? You are always making some mistake.” Do you know what would hinder the priest from saying that? He would remind himself, “Only yesterday I had to offer one for myself.” If we keep in mind, “I am just a servant,” it will save us from a great deal of worry. If a man had a servant or steward and he is putting on airs as if he owned the place, he would give him a shake-down.


That is what God has to give us sometimes. Our Father owns it and our Father’s business is never going to go bankrupt. God’s business is so strong, God’s way is so sure it can live and survive in spite of the wounds it receives from some of us on earth. The only thing that would convince me otherwise is if someone would tell me God has left His throne. As long as God is on the throne and we realise, “I am only a servant, a slave, a steward,” I can consult my Master, I am just concerned about a part He has asked me to do.


“Blessed is that servant when his master returns he shall find him so doing.” When He finds him on the job He will set him over the whole. It will mean more responsibility. But there is the possibility that that servant will say, “My Lord delays his coming.” It might seem that this is getting to be a long time and, “I am getting very tired of it.” Many can do things and do them well for a while, but it is the length that is going to count. It may be that people don’t appreciate the strain it is on a servant of God. Moses said, “If it is always going to be like this, with these people grumbling, it will kill me.” Elijah said, “Let me die. I can stand it no longer.”


You might be helping someone to get this bad thought in their mind. Instead of feeding them, the steward begins to beat them. The Lord will come when he is not expecting it. He will cut him off and give him his portion. Then, the one who had the greatest responsibility will have the greatest defeat. But we do not need to be defeated. Paul didn’t get like that. Peter and John didn’t get like that. There is no reason why we cannot get the victory and be what He wants us to be.


These chapters warn me against any exalted thoughts about myself. They warn me about doing things to get a present reward and warn me against anything that would hinder me from keeping Jesus first. I want to be honest in material things committed to me here in the harvest field because if I keep it for myself, I will not get the true riches of being a faithful, true servant.