Stewardship is at the heart of each and every one of us. God created us to rule, have dominion, or be managers over all He created. By forming us in His image we are given the ability to reason and make decisions toward that end. God designed us to lead, entrusting to us the world He fashioned.
The problem of sin distorted this perfect order. Instead of leaving us satisfied to enjoy and manage all that God provides, it instilled a desire to be lord over all. It elevated us into God's rightful place, leaving us dissatisfied with our role as steward. Rather than viewing all things as God's which He entrusts to us, the mindset shifted to seeing what we have as our own possessions. As a result we began to trust more fully in ourselves and our own abilities, in place of seeing God as provider and sustainer of all that we have.
Consequently, one of the greatest challenges we face is the shift required in our thinking and living to once more see and place God in His rightful place. Often this is not too difficult to do when we walk outside and see the world around us. We know that God created it all, even we ourselves. The challenge comes in allowing Him to be Lord and King in our lives. As Nehemiah 9:6 remind us, “You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you."
The stewardship of our resources and monies are often the hardest area to live out the first part of that verse, "You are the Lord, you alone". It is hard to let go of being in control, because we wrestle with what will happen when we do so. Will we have enough? What happens in difficult times? These questions and so many more crowd our mind as we wrestle with giving. However, it is in giving that they are answered. We begin to see that He will provide, find contentment, and discover peace, because we have lives that are rightly ordered.
Returning to the Lord a portion of our income enables us to live as God intended. Each year as we embark upon this journey, we are called to give thanks for the opportunity to evaluate once more our role as stewards of God's creation. We get the chance to explore our hearts, our resources, and the way in which we live to see who is lord. I pray that as we do so, we continue to grow in our ability to allow Him to be Lord and to find freedom as we do so.