Spirit-Filled Living

Legacy and Stewardship

Our journey into God’s view of finances began when our family was very young. Steve and I had been blessed with three children in our first three years of marriage. Steve was working two jobs to provide for us, but we still felt the pressure of being a family with a single wage earner. We needed to find another way.  Our answer was to turn to God through prayer and Scripture.

Here is a brief summary of what we learned and how we applied it.

Provision

Matt 6:25-34 Do not to worry about what to eat or wear because if God shows His love by providing for the birds in the sky and the grass in the field He will do the same for us.

Matt 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (daily needs) will be given to you as well.”

1 Thess 5:18 “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Matt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Malachi 3:10 “’ Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’”

As we sought to know God more and align our lives with His teachings, life’s circumstances would shine a light on our blind spots. When we thought we were living as God wanted and putting Him first in our lives we received a bill that was higher than expected. The stress in our home rose dramatically and we realized that we trusted more in money than in God. At that point, even though we couldn’t afford it, we decided to tithe in order to bring this area of our lives under God’s headship. It was difficult, but as we honored God in our finances, the promises from Matthew 6 became reality in our lives. We each started receiving calls to do small jobs that supplemented our income. Anytime we had a need that we still could not meet God would send someone to help. Friends and acquaintances would show up at our house with food, gently-used clothes for the kids, or whatever kind of help that we needed at that time. Several times God surprised us by multiplying our food. He did this twice while we had company! We never asked friends or family for help. God just provided.

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Stewardship

Deut 28:2 “All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the LORD your God.

Steve found better paying work and we were a bit more stable financially. I came across Deuteronomy 28:2 and giggled with delight at the thought of being overtaken by the Lord’s blessings. I asked the Lord if He really did things like that. The room felt energized and expectant like He was holding this Scripture out to me to experience for myself. I accepted.

Within days we were offered furniture and appliances for which we had no need and we politely declined. Later, we met some friends in need of the very items that had just been offered to us. We thought it a happy coincidence and hooked up our groups of friends. This started a two and a half year stretch where this same scenario played out repeatedly, sometimes multiple times a week, with different people. We found new homes for TVs, cabinets, bedroom sets, a washer and dryer, kitchen appliances, a dining set, and some baby furniture. We knew to say yes to anything that was offered to us, because God would soon send the person who needed it. We designated a portion of our garage as the official spot for “God’s Provisions and Blessings”. There was a constant flow and it mirrored the lesson that God wanted us learn, to have open hands through which God’s provisions can flow. We thanked God for allowing us to take part in blessing so many people, but had to ask for it to stop when some new life challenges were added to our lives. God honored our request and it all stopped just as suddenly as it began.

 

Legacy

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.” –Woodrow Wilson

Proverbs 13:21 “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.”

The idea of leaving a legacy took root in our hearts and grew. The Lord showed us that money well placed has the ability to change family trees for generations. A small seed rightly placed can grow to become a mighty blessing for a whole people. This is true on a global scale. At once, we realized we needed to be out of debt and have resources to fund the vision that God had placed in our hearts. We continued our tithes and offerings, and took a financial course where we learned how to systematically pay off our debts, plan for future expenses and emergencies, and save 10% of what we make for ourselves. We cut out unnecessary expenses and began living more simply. Before purchasing new items, we began looking for creative alternatives. Doing so made us more receptive to hearing the heart of God regarding the placement of our finances.

Would you like to be a steward of God’s provisions?

God is looking for sons and daughters who are passionate for Him, rather than seeking to increase our own power, possessions, or status. He asks us to gladly seek His will and obey His voice in every area of our lives – including managing our finances and other resources. God invites us to be stewards of wealth rather than owners of it. Everything we have is a gift from His Hand. God doesn’t need our money, but He invites us to use our resources to co-labor with Him to bring His Kingdom into the lives of people.

You may already be one of these people. Maybe you are just starting out. Maybe you have been living this lifestyle for some time now and can offer valuable insights to the rest of us. Wherever you are on the journey, you are helping to expand the Kingdom of God. Thank you!

 

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