40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 27 – Stewardship

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17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.  (Deuteronomy 8:17 -20)

Theme:  If not You, then Who?

Yesterday, we briefly compared two approaches in the way we handle resources.  One approach views the resources we possess as the product of our work, abilities, heritage or luck (the “owner” approach).  The second approach views the resources we possess as God given resources for us to manage (the “steward” approach).  We are going to spend more time on this comparison today because of the relevance to our theme and because there is a dominant materialistic world view that is very prevalent in our culture. By staying on this topic, we will also be building on the excellent comments posted yesterday.   

The dominant world view glorifies socio-economic power based on the amassing of resources and glorifies the individuals who have the most resources.  The Biblical view recognizes the socio-economic power that comes from resources and acknowledges God as the source.  This Biblical view is clearly illustrated in our passage for today – “remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth”. 

The following table provides a summary of some key distinctions between an owner and a steward.

 OwnerSteward
Relationship to ResourcesOwnsManages
Direction/Rule SettingSets directionSeeks and follows direction
Task executionProvides supportExecutes as directed
Reward DeterminationDetermines rewardEnjoys reward

Based on the table, we can see why many seek to assume the role of owner of their lives.  It gives them/us a sense of power, control, autonomy and independence.  The truth is that this “sense” is fool’s gold because where our lives are concerned God is the real owner. As believers, we should be thrilled with the reality of God’s ownership and committed to being good stewards because God is a loving and perfect owner.

Please read the passage above carefully and answer the questions below.

Questions:

  • Make this personal.  When are you most temped to try to take the reins from God?
  • How have you dealt with these temptations?

7 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 27 – Stewardship

  1. I am sometimes tempted to take the reins from God when I am facing a difficult or challenging situation. Unfortunately, sometimes my first reaction or response is to try and figure out a solution by my own doing. When I seek God in those situations, His Holy Spirit provides guidance, and peace. My prayer is that I more intentionally let “Jesus take the wheel”.

    • I am most tempted to take the reins from God when it comes to trying to map out what the future will look like for me. This includes my occupation, family, finances, etc.

      Constant and intentional time with God and his word have helped me with this temptation. It has never truly gone away and it probably won’t. It is God who constantly saves me from being a slave to myself and this life.

      It is his revelation and guidance that, convicts me of unhealthy habits and ways of thinking, contrary to him. He also renews and comforts.

      Proverbs 16:9 came to my mind while writing this and I hope it may be a great refresher for you all as well.

  2.  How have you dealt with these temptations?
    Reflection on where God has taken me from and cultivating an attitude of thanksgiving to God for his provision in the past and the present.

  3. I am tempted to take the reins from God when I want a fast response. Using the wording from the question, ‘ take the reins from God’, makes my folly even clearer to me.
    I think of the times when I have done that and the outcome which stops me. I have also learnt to purposefully pray, to be patient and to listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

  4. Though I am afraid to do so, I am most tempted to take the reins from God when things don’t seem to be working out well, in my view, or when he seems to be “too slow.”

    At such times, I remind myself that He knows best and that my life is in His hands. Additionally, I cringe in awe at God’s response to Job as He “puts him in his place” by interrogating him mostly rhetorically and even occasionally responding sarcastically as He answered him out of the storm. (Job chapters 38, 39, 40, 41). I remind myself of Job’s response to the Lord: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2) Who am I to want to take the reins from such an AWESOME God?

  5. I guess when I worry about my future financially and health wise etc.
    I then have to be reminded of God promises.

  6. When i am facing pressing and difficult challenges, i am tempted to move ahead of God and work it out myself. this does not result in God’s outcome evidenced by the absence of His peace in the situation. This may be immediate or after a long period but i am eventually reminded of God’s faithfulness and repent so when the test comes again i will learn to still my anxiety and be better equipped to hear clearly from God and surrender my will to His will. When i do this no matter the outcome i can rest in Him in perfect peace as my mind is stayed on Hm.

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