Whose are you?

On January 26, 2012 the electronic newsletter from Emergent Village featured an article by Richard Foster on stewardship titled, ‘Priorities and Ownership.’  My blog “Our money and our souls” was a result of that article.  But it is still rattling around in my brain.  He wrote:

God’s ownership of everything also changes the kind of question we ask in giving. Rather than ‘How much of my money should I give to God?’ we learn to ask ‘How much of God’s money should I keep for myself?’ The difference between these two questions is of monumental proportions.

Certainly that quote challenges us in terms of what we return to God as our worship and offering.  That is a quote that challenges me in my stewardship, but it also has challenged me in some other areas of my life as well.

One thing that occurs to me is that this is a much bigger question.   Do I accept God’s ownership of all that I am?   Do I believe that He has a plan for me?  Am I willing to trust that plan and look for His guidance in whatever I encounter?  Will I seek to struggle senselessly or will I look for God to work on something within me through circumstances that I might not choose?  I can take ownership of my life and try to guide it, or I can cede ownership to Him and expect that He will take care of what is His?

To be honest, I find ceding ownership of my life to God difficult sometimes.  I have ideas of what I want, what direction I think would be good for others and me and how I would order the circumstances of my life.  What begins to happen is that my prayer life becomes a litany of my pleadings for God to do things my way or to take on the projects I want. There is an interesting freedom when I understand that I am His and He will direct my life.  Instead of engineering things, I can be free to work on Jesus being formed in me.  It is interesting how much more fruitful that kind of effort is.

In a devotional from My Utmost For His Highest for April 17, Oswald Chambers writes:

“Readiness for God means that we  are prepared to do the smallest thing or the largest thing—it makes no difference.  It means we have no choice in what we want to do, but that whatever God’s plans may be, we are there and ready.  ….  Jesus Christ expects to do with us just as His Father did with Him.  He can pput us wherever He wants, in pleasant duties or in menial ones, because our union with  Him is the same as His union with the Father.”

This means total submission, ceding of ownership and control.  That is mature Christian living.

I think at this stage of life I ought to be beyond that struggle.  It is embarrassing!  Even so, this little tendency to grab the reigns and ownership keeps coming back again and again.  I am grateful for Foster’s reminder.  I hope it speaks to you as well.


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