What does Stewardship mean?
The definition I find in the dictionary is: the job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property.
the office, duties, and obligations of a steward. 2 : the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care stewardship of natural resources
As a Christ-following woman, wife, and mother the word entrusted really speaks to my heart. Everything that we have has been entrusted to us from the Lord. Our bodies, our health, our relationships, our physical things. Our husbands and children. All of it has been given to us as a gift.
The enemy uses all these things against us when God wants them to be for us. Any weakness that the enemy can get his sneaky grip on he will, so we need to strengthen our stewardship of these things.
I think it is so easy to take all of these things for granted because they have either just always been there or there has never been a problem with them. Our bodies for example. If you were born with a healthy body that has no physical ailments you forget what a gift it is. Until you break a leg, or receive a scary diagnosis. Our closest relationships. When we do life day in and day out it is easy to take the people that matter most to us for granted. Until we lose someone or a relationship is fractured and the dynamic of our relationship changes in a significant way.
Our finances are taken for granted until something happens where we aren’t earning what we used to or we have to stop working for some reason.
God always provides for His children in exactly the way we need. And I have really been convicted to sharpen up in who and what I have been entrusted with. I hope this series will allow you to do the same.
We Belong to the Lord
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.
We belong to God. He is our creator and sustainer. We are to be good caretakers of everything He has given us to manage.
1 Peter 4: 10-11 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Our actions as believers hold eternal weight. We are to extend the love, grace, and truth God has given us to others.
We should be doing everything in our power to be destroying sin in our lives and pursue holiness. Remembering the two greatest commandments to love God with everything we have and to love others.
A church leader is a manager of God’s household, so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered; he must not be a heavy drinker, violent, or dishonest with money.
8 Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just. He must live a devout and disciplined life.
We are the best examples of the Christian walk when we live our lives beyond reproach when there is no question of our motives or actions. I think we can take so much from these verese in Titus. Are we all Church leaders? No, but I believe every Jesus follower is a leader to someone. This is not about legalism. God gives us the freedom to choose and he convicts believers in different ways and believers struggle with different sins but what is our heart posture?
I pray that we have a heart posture of leaning into Holy Spirits’ direction. I pray we respond quickly to convictions and I pray that we do our best to live beyond reproach and the best way we can do that is to carefully care for what we have been entrusted to, while continuing to seek knowledge and wisdom in how we are to best care for those things.
When we live in such a way where we are always considering what we have been entrusted with and how we are stewarding those things it’s a constant reminder to live on the well-lit path. It means we are sensitive to the Lord’s leading and conviction.
We have the power to take control of the thoughts that come into our minds and decide if they serve us or not. If they are from the Lord or from somewhere else. If they are helping us in our entrustment and stewardship or they are simply garbage and they need to go.
2 Corinthians 5:10
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
Take every thought captive. Walk with me through the imagery of that for a moment.
Thought: I’m such an impatient mother
Captive: I struggle with impatience but I am a good mom, trying her best to raise her children in the Lord. God can help me with this.
Thought: I’m always so tired and have nothing left for my spouse at the end of the day.
Captive: My husband is a gift to me. Being tired is just a feeling. Our marriage is important so I am going to make a few extra minutes available to focus on him before I go to sleep.
Thought: I’m such a bad friend, I’m too busy to make time for friendships.
Captive: I’m in a busy season of life but I know I can make a priority of what is important to me. I’m going to schedule a coffee date with Susie next week.
We are never going to get things perfect 100 percent of the time but we can strive for it and aim for excellence instead of wallowing in negative thoughts that don’t serve us or our families and don’t honor and glorify God in our actions.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
The Bible tells us that we need to be constantly renewing our minds. A bad thought can fester and lead us to places of inactivity or poor choices. Our actions must start with our thoughts first. In everything we do we must ask ourselves does this bring God glory?
Every day is a continual submission to the Lord’s will. How are you glorifying God if you are wallowing in the fact that you are overweight or so tired, or that your marriage isn’t in a good place, or that you are a bad mom? Remember our enemy is constantly trying to take us down. Stand firm in the Lord and don’t allow that to happen. The Bible tells us if we resist him, he will flee.
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
We are to do everything to the glory of God. EVERYTHING.
1 Corinthians 10:31
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
If God cares about how we eat, or how we drink these basic necessities of everyday life, how much more does he care about the big decisions we make. The conduct in which we live our lives in public and in private matters.
When we are saved we are no longer slaves to our sin. God gives us the power to overcome but so often we are simply being disobedient.
I am going to share a personal struggle with you, one I am still very much in. God has brought me a long way but I still have a lot of work and obedience to do in this area of my life. I would say my biggest sin struggle is gluttony. I don’t like delaying any sort of gratification or satisfaction. I struggle the most with self-control and discipline. Whether that’s with food, responsibilities, or desires of the flesh. I am a selfish person. I love my freedom and I do not like being told what to do. So this effects every area of my life from food to finances.
God first started convicting me about gluttony when it came to to materialism. And now years later I have less stuff but I still always struggle with wanting to improve my home. I live in an old home now and I see all these ways I could renovate and make it more functional and beautiful and maybe there will be a season in my life where that will be OK but right now it is not it. IN the work God has called me to do and in the bank account He has given me currently those are selfish desires. I have a beautiful mortgage-free home and it would not be good stewardship to spend our family’s money on those types of things right now but I still regularly struggle with the thought of how much I hate my (strong durable and ugly countertops) I’m not seeing them as a blessing when that’s what they are.
I have been overweight ever since I had my first baby 11 years ago. I have gone through seasons of losing weight and being healthy only to go back to gluttonous eating patterns and not stewarding my health well. I blame it on my kids or my schedule and avoid naming it for what it is. Life is too short, I should enjoy the chocolate cake. Of course, nothing is wrong with sweets in moderation but gluttony means I struggle with moderation.
I have recently been on a journey with God to overcome this sin. And part of that is bringing this sin to light, so maybe that is why I am sharing this with you today. I have been the most consistent in my life recently than I have been in the last 11 years. Doing things that steward every part of my life well.
The fruit I have seen in my life as I battle this sin and ask for God’s strength to develop discipline and self control is nothing short of supernatural. God has made me full. God has dropped money into my bank account. God has woken me up early to commit to my early-rising routine. None of these things are from me but I have submitted to Him in this area of my life and my obedience to Him is being rewarded with this supernatural strength I cannot explain.
I resisted this sin for a long time in my life. But I have given it to Him and it has been mind-blowing to see how He is helping me overcome.
So I want you to think of the biggest area in your life that you struggle in. Think of the root sin that is causing it and submit it to the Lord and ask Him for help. He will help you steward it well. He just needs your willingness to be obedient.
Whether that’s weight and eating habits, or finances, or your work ethic or your attitude towards your husband and children. It could be laziness or anger or anxiety. I don’t know what it is for you but I do know He is a loving and mighty God who wants the best for His children. The enemy and the world is so easy to allow us to be victims. But we are not we are conquerers in Christ and it’s about time we show up like it.