POST ELECTION RESET
Is there anyone out there that is missing those election commercials?
I didn’t think so.
There was a time in my life when I enjoyed politics, but that time has passed. To me, it has become much like a dental visit- necessary but dreaded. Regardless of how we feel about the outcome, I think most of us are glad to see it over. Well, maybe it’s over?
One of the phrases that we are hearing in the aftermath is the phrase “transfer of power”. I don’t really like that terminology. It was never intended that our country be a nation where power is held by a central leader. It was always intended that the power be held by “we the people” with an elected leader acting as a steward on our behalf.
But in my opinion, the politics of today has become all about power. Unfortunately, it is little about stewardship. And “we the people” suffer.
So maybe a better phrase would be “transfer of stewardship”.
Stewardship is at the core of our political life. (Or at least it should be.)
It is also at the core of every other area of our life.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STEWARDSHIP
God has all the power over every aspect of our lives, but he has granted us stewardship. It is our responsibility to steward the life that He has given us well and according to His will. That includes our mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, and financial health.
While our individual circumstances and resources may vary greatly in each of these areas, our responsibilities are exactly the same. We are expected to steward those resources to the best of our ability and according to God’s express will for our lives.
So how do we do that?
PREREQUISITES OF STEWARDSHIP
First, we have to make sure that we have a right standing with and a connection to God. And that right standing and connection is only available through faith in Jesus as our Savior. There is no back-up or alternate plan.
Unless and until we have taken care of this issue in our lives, it is not possible for any of us to steward our life well and according to God’s will. If you have uncertainties about this in your life, reach out to someone who can help you with understanding and guidance. I promise you will be glad that you did!
Second, we must seek to understand the resources that God has entrusted to us and seek to steward those resources in the way that aligns with God’s desire and direction for our individual life.
OK, that sounds pretty churchy. Isn’t there a three-step process or something simple that we can follow?
I think so and here it is:
STEPS TOWARD STEWARDSHIP
Step 1- Seek direction from the Bible
1. Start with an easy reading plan. Maybe one New Testament chapter a day. Most chapters can be read in less than ten minutes
2. As you read, jot down any verse that particularly stands out to you for whatever reason. Don’t overthink it – just jot it down. You will use this in Step 2.
Step 2- Seek direction through prayer
1. Set aside a few minutes daily to communicate directly with God. Just share with Him what is on your heart and mind for that day and ask His thoughts and direction. Then give Him a little time to share those thoughts and direction with you. I call this a “listening prayer”. I promise you that it can be a game-changer.
2. Remember those verses that you jotted down in Step 1. Recite those verses directly to God and ask what he wants you to understand or do with them. Again, give God a few moments to respond. Maybe he will respond right away or maybe he won’t. Don’t be discouraged. The understanding, insight, and direction will come in time and at the perfect time. That is a promise to those that continue to seek.
Step 3- Seek wise counsel
1. Never before in history have we had more availability and access to wise and godly counsel on whatever topic is on our mind. I call this “general counsel”. It includes sermons, teachings, books, blogs, podcasts, or whatever else.
The Lifeword forum that you are reading this very minute has great content daily from trusted sources. But in my opinion, the greatest source of wise godly counsel is available to each of us through a local church. I honestly believe that God has “anointed and appointed” a specific local church to provide each of us with teaching, guidance, and leadership.
God has provided that blessing to us, but it is up to us to execute stewardship of that blessing by wisely taking advantage of it.
2. Some of the greatest blessings of my life have been the people that God has used to give me wise and godly personal counsel. I can point to specific times where the words of those people helped me to see clearly what I could not see at all on my own. Even as I write this, I get emotional at what might have happened in specific circumstances in my life without their counsel. These people are genuine heroes to me.
It has been my experience that the easiest way to find these people is through the fellowship provided in a local church. I rejected all things church for 32 years of my life. My prayer is that every person reading this today would avoid that mistake.
So there you have it. I believe that these three steps can go a long way toward helping us steward well the life God has given us.
AREAS OF STEWARDSHIP
But before we go, I’d like to share four areas of stewardship where God has given or is currently giving me direction:
There is no replacing time. When it is gone, it is gone. So it is important that we steward it well. I believe that when we face the end of this life, our biggest joys or regrets will center on what we did or didn’t do with our time.
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)
If we were to ever be given an opportunity to look back over our lives with perfect clarity, I believe we would be shocked at the number of opportunities that came our way that we failed to make the most of:
Opportunities given to us to do what the Lord wanted us to do.
Opportunities, big and small, to make a difference.
“Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” (Ephesians 5:16)
Whether we believe it or not, each of us is given influence in the lives of others. Our words, actions, and attitudes have either a good or bad impact. There is no greater compliment than to have someone recognize our positive influence on their life.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
The death of Jesus on the cross made available to us the amazing, undeserved, unlimited grace of God. Grace beyond comprehension. In light of that grace, we are called to extend grace to others. That is often hard for us to do, but it is a key component of our stewardship of God’s grace.
“Make allowance for each other’s faults and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.” (Colossians 3:13)
As we reset our focus from the election to the holiday season, may we give thanks for our many blessings. But may we also understand and execute our responsibility to steward those blessings well and according to God’s will.
“To whom much is given, much will be required.” (Luke 12:48)