Recently God made a distinction in this area for me.
I went straight from my parents home, to my married home, and have always been a home maker, so I have not really ever earned my own money. I had student jobs, but haven’t been the bread-earner. So, my provision has been coming from my husbands earnings.
A while ago however, God said to me,”Your husband is not your provider.” I realized that for Him to say that, means that I look to Neal for my provision, and not directly to God. See, I was looking to God as being the original provider, who put everything in motion so that we can earn a living, but not as my direct source of provision, there is a difference.
Real surrender in the area of finances would mean trusting God to provide for me, asking Him to lead me to the place of work He desires me to be, if He leads me to open a business, then listen to Him for direction and decision making. When I earn money, realize that it all belongs to Him, give Him back the tenth, then steward it wisely, and ask Him for direction on how to spend it. When I have excessive need, trust God for provision, or a means in which to earn it. It also means to live within my means, that’s just good stewardship. Stewardship means, it belongs to someone else, and I am managing it for the owner. Seeing it any other way is theft, or at the very least, presumption.
He revealed a new level to me on the age old scripture in Matt 6:24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Money isn’t evil, it is just the currency we live with. But compromising with God because of money is going against God’s will. Or wanting more than I need. Or deciding for myself what to do with
my God’s money, means that for that moment, I am loyal to mammon, not God. That is like my employee deciding that the office would look better with new furniture and going right on ahead to order and pay for it, without checking with me if that is indeed what I would like to do with my money.
There are many things that are obviously good stewardship, like paying bills, paying rent (or mortgage), buying food, because we cannot advance God’s Kingdom if we aren’t adequately fed and sheltered.
I have started doing a simple thing to train my mind into living under God’s provision and not my own, I’ve started to thank God all throughout the day for His provision for whatever it is that I am using at that moment. Just to begin to shift the focus from myself, to God as the provider.
Another thing, it is good practice anyway, to ask God about things all day long. That is relationship. So if I start out asking God how to spend every cent for a while, may seem excessive or extreme, and maybe it is, but it can’t hurt can it? It can only do good.
We all love the scripture that speaks of God being able to trust us in little, will then entrust a lot to us. But we usually direct that to ourselves. God can really only apply that, when we are His stewards, when we are truly just the vessel, the pipe for the finances to go through, to accomplish God’s will on Earth. In that, God won’t let you starve. Believe me, God receives the glory when His children are well cared for. But He can’t for our own good, give candy to a diabetic child. If your money will turn you into a materialist, He won’t give you much of it. It really depends on me, how well I am provided for.