Truth is most people don't know where to begin when it comes to becoming a good financial "steward". We aren't taught personal finances in school, we haven't discovered how to stay out of debt and still have things we enjoy, and we don't understand the psychology behind why we overspend. Even though financial stewardship can seem like a daunting task, becoming a 'Steward for God' can be a very exciting thing! The more we serve God with what we have, the more He can entrust us with - but we have to understand first none of "our" finances are actually ours, all the MONEY on this planet belongs to God... we get the management responsibilities to simply tell it where to go! "The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty." Haggai 2:8
A STEWARD FOR GOD
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:19-21
How are we to live by faith and not by sight when our rent is due, and the car needs gas, and the kids need milk in the morning? Doesn't God know that it takes CASH to do anything in this world? YES! Yes, He does. The only thing is... it doesn't take your cash. It takes His cash!
IT IS ALL HIS!
How do you go about not "laying" anything up? Don't have anything to begin with! I don't have a checking account, I don't have a house, I don't have a car. Now don't get me wrong, there are multiple checking accounts in my name, multiple cars, and perhaps someday multiple houses... but NONE of them are mine, and ALL of them belong to God the Father. I am merely a Steward to Him, and I have received an inheritance from the Lord most High.
I go to bed penniless every night, and I wake up penniless every morning. My portfolio is the Lords, and the Lords alone. He built it, He created it. "Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it" Psalm 127:1 He is free to make withdraws whenever is necessary, and I am free to not be persecuted by the constraints that money and added maintenance can bring. It is all His, and He is awesome. I am merely His Steward.
steward: ˈst(y)oōərd: noun
1 a person who looks after the passengers on a ship, aircraft, or train and brings them meals. • a person responsible for supplies of food to a college, club, or other institution.
2 a person employed to manage another's property, esp. a large house or estate. • a person whose responsibility it is to take care of something : farmers pride themselves on being stewards of the countryside.
I used to ask people, "What would you do if you won a million dollars?" Most people would say, "Invest, get out of debt, buy a house, retire." Only a select few would say, "Nothing." The interesting thing is that "Pray, and do whatever the Lord asks" only comes out of the hearts of those that understand that the money they metaphorically won wouldn't belong to them no matter how they received it.
I can see sitting by the beach someday watching my children play in the sand and surf with their father. I can see writing manuscript after manuscript on God and His blessings, but most importantly I can see having all of this in absolute freedom. These are the rewards for taking care of the 'Masters' business and not my own.
In America we have a hard time understanding 'Stewardship', because we don't understand how Kingdom principles work. In a Kingdom, there is one ruler, and all subjects are placed under his authority. In a Kingdom, the people are provided for and taken care of. In turn, the King as a good and kind ruler, takes care to see that his people are fed, housed, clothed, and prepared to do what is necessary to keep the Kingdom operating successfully.
NO ROOM TO COVET THE KING
As the Body of Christ we have One Ruler, One King. We are taken care of completely. You MUST recognize that in order to lay hold of what God has for you, He is a jealous God (Deut. 5:9) and will not give all into your hands as long as you continue to take claim to something that does not belong to you. We must not covet what rightfully belongs to the King. There is no place in a Kingdom for someone who wants to overthrow the King and take his riches. Especially, if that King is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords who freely gives to us! (Rev 19:16)
"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:32
How much freedom is in 'Stewardship'? Imagine having everything you could possibly need or want and your only responsibility is to do what the Master asks of you! How amazing is that! You mean I can have everything and the only thing I have to do is what God instructs me to do???
But what if God asks me to do something, I don't want to do, or can't do?
"For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matt. 11:30
"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him." Hebrews 11:6
"...since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Col 3:24
"In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory." Eph 1:11
You don't need ANY money to operate in this world, what you need is an inheritance. Money, cars, houses, clothes, food, relationships, recognize that the only way to receive it is if you receive an inheritance from the One who created it all!
God the Father wants to give to you all things to benefit from, and make sure His Kingdom operates orderly. He is the God of Order and wants to give you your inheritance as if you were heir to the throne. Hey wait... YOU ARE!
"It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all." Romans 4:13-16
A prayer for today,
Father God thank you for Your Son Jesus who died on the cross, that we could be entered into this Sonship, that we could partake in this inheritance. Thank you for Your Son and His obedience and death to the cross and His blood that was shed on Calvary, that we can become stewards for You of everything that You would have for us. Apart from You, we are nothing, and yet with You we are EVERYTHING! The sacrifice that You made makes us whole, and today we say "Thank you, for taking away all of our cares and worries and for showing me today that as long as I see that everything that is entrusted to me is Yours... I know now that I can still be provided for, while not laying up! My treasure is in HEAVEN! Everything here, belongs to YOU!
God bless you today, as you are free to succeed, understanding none of it is ours anyway!
Jessica Heilman is the Founder of Wholehearted Ministries and is also mom to The Cookie Boys. Jessica has been a student of Psychology, Philosophy and Theology for nearly 25 years. Jessica founded WHM in 2008 while in Bible College. Jessica and her husband Jeff have been married 21 years. Jeff and Jessica live in the Silicon Valley with their seven children and their dog Kennedy.