can think of no better way to define what stewardship really is than with this phrase—keeping the heart of God at the heart of living. Stewardship is all about carrying out the wishes of the Owner. The Owner is God, and we are merely the caretakers of His property. Psalm 24:1 states it clearly, “The earth is the LORD’s and all it contains, the world and all who live in it”. I think this encompasses everything we will ever get our hands on in this lifetime.
As I have said, this concept of stewardship is critically important yet so often misunderstood. Even those who intellectually acknowledge that God owns everything do not functionally live as though He does. Let me illustrate my point by asking you to choose which one of the three questions below is the question we should be asking in regard to our material possessions:
1. What do I want to do with all my wealth?
2. What do I want to do with God’s wealth?
3. What does God want me to do with His wealth?
No doubt you chose number 3 as the proper question. In about thirty years of asking this question, every believer chooses number 3. Intellectually, everyone is able to get this part of it. But practically speaking, we live as though number 2 is the right question. We are more than happy to acknowledge that it all belongs to God, but when it comes to making decisions about what to do with what we oversee, we seldom, if ever, seek direction from the Owner.
Let me offer a few simple questions that should demonstrate just how true this is.
• When you bought your last car, did you ask God if this is the car He wanted you to buy with His money?
• When your money manager proposed an investment portfolio for you, did you go to the Lord and ask Him if these were the places He wanted His money invested?
• The last time you went shopping for clothes, did you ask your Father if these were the clothes He wanted you to wear?
Or, here is a question that will certainly apply to us all.
• Did we check with God to see if He wanted us to overindulge His dwelling place with that last meal?
I hope you see my point. We are all routinely guilty of intellectually acknowledging that God owns everything, while we live, spend, and invest like it is all our own. The cornerstone of stewardship is full acknowledgment and consistent practice of allowing God to direct what He wants done with what He has entrusted us to manage.
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