Recognizing God’s ownership
Nobody said it would be easy! Consistently recognising God’s ownership is difficult. It’s way too easy to fall into the trap of making an intellectual assent to God’s ownership without letting that truth filter down into the nitty-gritty of daily life -- especially because our culture suggests an opposing view. Everything around us – the media, even the law – says that what you possess, you and you alone own. Genuinely acknowledging God’s ownership requires nothing less than a total change of perception.
To help you recognize God’s ownership, meditate on this passage for the next thirty days when you first awake and just before going to sleep.
“Everything in the heavens and earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as being in control of everything. Riches and honour come from you alone, and you are the ruler of all mankind; your hand controls power and might, and it is at your discretion that men are made great and given strength” -(1 Chronicles 29:11-12, TLB).
2. Success and Wealth
How many times have we heard stories of individuals pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and becoming proud, self-made men or women of achievement? It’s certainly true that the creation of wealth usually requires great personal effort, but Scripture reveals that God plays the most important role. Consider this:
God Gives Us the Ability to Make Wealth. “He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you, so that in the end it might go well with you. Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:16-18, NIV, emphasis added).
God Controls Our Promotion. Psalm 75:6-7 reads, “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God” (TLB). As much as it may surprise people, their boss is not the one who controls whether they will be promoted. It is the Lord alone who promotes.
God Gives Us Our Success. The life of Joseph is a perfect example of God working behind the scene to accomplish His purpose by elevating a person. “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. . . . his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:2-3).
God teaches us to profit. “Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go’” (Isaiah 48:17).
God Gives Us Our Skills. Exodus 36:1 illustrates this truth: “And every skilful person in whom the Lord has put skill and understanding to know how to perform all the work.” God has given each of us unique skills. People have widely varied abilities, manual skills, intellectual capacities, and sometimes hidden reservoirs of giftedness. It’s not a matter of one person being better than another; it is simply a matter of having received different abilities.
The true story of God’s role in creating an individual’s wealth stands in stark contrast to the assumptions of our culture. Most people believe that they alone are responsible for their job skills, success, promotions, and wealth creation.
A major contributor to wrong attitudes about money is not understanding God’s role. As devotional writer A.W. Tozer once observed, “There is nothing that twists the soul more than to think wrongly about God.”
Those with a biblical understanding, however, approach this with an entirely different frame of reference. For a few minutes, reflect on God’s role. He is the owner of everything you have ever had or ever will have. He gives you your skills, controls success and promotion, opens doors of opportunity for you, and provides you with necessary creativity and abilities.
God entrusts assets for a purpose
The Lord chooses different ways of entrusting people with significant assets: some inherit, others marry into a wealthy family, and still others develop a practice or a business or manage investments well. Regardless of how you have become wealthy, God has allowed this for a special purpose.
God has chosen to entrust you with much. Simply acknowledging this, you should not feel guilty or have a sense of condemnation for what you have been.God has given each person a particular calling in order to accomplish His plan for history. Acts 13:36 confirms this, “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers.”Handling your assets God’s way is a major part of His purpose for you.
This Charting Your Legacy study is designed to help you discover or better understand God’s purpose for you.