To be honest with you, over the years this writer has heard a lot of preaching on stewardship, way too much perhaps. Any preaching mentioning “stewardship” has had the emphasis on the giving aspect of handling
God’s money – even to the point that it was supposed to hurt. “Give brothers and sisters, give until it hurts!” But as Christians, (as well as the rest of the world), plunge deeper into the end times, (latter days as some call it), the careful examination of the Scriptures reveals another dimension of stewardship rather than simply and mindlessly emptying our wallets and bank accounts into the collection plate. Just mention the word and the immediate image response is bequeathing an inheritance to a church, ministry or charity. That’s the sum of it.
Actually, in some respects, it has nothing to do with money at all yet millions of believers are bombarded daily from pulpits, from their television screens, and satellite communication systems by the idea that stewardship is all about giving, yes, even “extravagant giving”.
If one thing is for certain, in our nation’s classrooms, elementary through high school, as well as in the nation’s churches, “stewardship or financial management” was never taught as a subject, at least not in this writer’s experience. So, if you permit me, let me share some things that the Lord has taught me over the years about this truly unexplored subject. In so doing, I hope we will see a portion of the root problem of the financial chaos fast approaching our nation and what the Lord would have us do in order to have a “divine course correction 101”.
Stewardship is defined as the entrusting of one’s property and/or investments to the hands of someone else well trusted, in order to protect, manage, multiply and increase for the owner.
Now, here is the number one error committed by most Christians -they treat their money as if it were theirs. Honest. They never consider that it is God’s finances which He has given to them, the measure or amount not really that important to Him. He simply wants to see what you will do with what you have been given.
So many times I hear Christians say, “I’m a steward of God’s money”, yet upon careful analysis or observation, this is not really the case. Did God tell them to make the investment – buy that second car, take that unneeded vacation, buy that house that is now out of both control and budget with expenses, taxes, and insurance? “Well, I didn’t know the economy was going to do this…”
Of course you didn’t know, but God did. Is your house now under the water when you could have sold at a sizable profit just 3-4 years ago? But since you considered it your house and not His, you didn’t bother praying about it much, did you? You might have thought you would hold out for an even larger profit. Unless you were really being led by His Spirit, it seems that greed (mammon) got into the picture somehow.
All right, perhaps you did pray and He said “stay, until I say otherwise or until I let you know when to leave – or not leave. The point is, since you considered it not to be your property, you asked the original owner as to what He wanted to do with it. Do you see where we are going with this? You are not your own, dear Christian friend. Never.
This, Beloved is where so many Christians have missed it financially. They have acted, invested, and managed their money the same as the world system has done. They have never truly realized that their economic stability comes from God’s economy (His way of doing things and obedience to it), and not Mammon (the world’s system and strongholds of wealth). Christians have been behaving and operating with an unfocused, double mind, not knowing and/or choosing to stay focused on the way of the Kingdom. Sadly, most Christians today are reaping the whirlwind.
In serving God, the mature Christian most decide whom shall he serve. To which system will he adhere? Is He going to do things God’s way or mammon’s. Is he his own master or simply an obedient servant of God. Which is it?
“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the others. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Luke 16:13
Once having made that determination, the Christian can proceed with confidence in knowing that as a wise steward of God, Heaven’s angelic hosts are at his disposal to carry out God’s Word in behalf of that faithful servant, who is basically, just simply carrying out Divine Orders from the One who owns it all anyway.