Jesus is our provider for every area of our lives. We are currently looking at key principles to receiving from the Lord in our finances: 1) We must recognize God is our source; 2) We must know it is God’s will to prosper us and to provide for our needs; 3) We receive from the Lord by grace through faith; and 4) When we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, He will take care of everything else. Let’s continue by looking at being a good steward.
5) Be a good steward of what God gives you. Because we live in the natural world, it is easy to see or think that our income and people are the source of our supply. But it is God who supplies because He is the owner. A steward is someone who manages the property of another. God owns everything. He gave everything He made to Adam and Eve to take charge of it. When Adam and Eve sinned against God and they were kicked out of the garden, they were not allowed to take anything with them. (1Timothy 6:7). In the Old Testament we see that Joseph was a good steward and was promoted to second in the land of Egypt (see Genesis 39-41). See the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30 which discusses what a good steward is.
“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? No servant 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.” Luke 16:10 – 13 (NKJV)
Pastor Robert Morris in His CD series “The Blessed Life” explains that mammon is the spirit of the world or the worlds system that rests on money. Mammon can’t give security but it wants to rule. Mammon is the spirit of the anti-Christ as it rules through not being able to buy and sell as seen in the last days and the mark of the beast.
The world system of commerce is Babylon. Don’t trade in Babylon because you are paying tribute to the enemy according to John Kloos of “For Such a Day as This” ministry. This is how Satan collects the wealth from the kings of the world. God’s Kingdom is set up where His sons and daughters multiply in it. Nothing happens here on earth until it happens in the spiritual realm first. When we ask our King for His authority and permission to go and do what we need or want to do we are in a Kingdom structure. We partner with Christ so it multiplies. We need to use wealth and influence but not under the Babylon/world system. Don’t align with the enemy. We are to reign in the enemy’s place.
The financial system of this world is extremely unstable i.e. Inflation, recession, depression, etc. But if you’re a believer, you don’t have to depend on the world’s economy. You can get in on God’s financial system which is a stable and prosperous economy with heaven as its template and resource and live in it here on earth (Deuteronomy 11:21). Jesus said that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17) and told us to pray that the Kingdom would come and the will of the Father be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10). There is no lack in heaven. It is overflowing with abundance all the time!
Money doesn’t help people – Jesus does! If money can fix your problems then it isn’t a problem. If money can’t fix it, then God can. Money isn’t the answer – God is! You may get more money but that will be gone unless you learn how to enter into God’s cycle of supernatural provision which we will discuss in the section about sowing and reaping under giving. Your answer is found in the person of Jesus Christ who reveals God’s love and grace by His finished work on the cross.
Money itself isn’t evil but is neutral. Money is a tool and answers all things (Ecclesiastes 10:19). According to 1 Timothy 6:10, the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. God is not opposed to wealth and being rich, but He reminds us not to forget Him when we become wealthy or to set money up as an idol (Deuteronomy 8:11-18; Proverbs 10:22; Matthew 19:23, 24).
All money has a spirit on it either mammon’s or God’s. You get God’s Spirit on your money by tithing the first 10% of your income to the House of God (the local church you attend) then He redeems the rest out from under the spirit of the world or mammon and He blesses it. The quickest way to break the spirit and stronghold of mammon in your life is to tithe to God. God reserves the tithe for Himself (Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 26:1-3; Romans 11:16)!
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 3:10, 11 (NKJV)
Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase; so, your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9, 10 (NKJV)
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him, and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Genesis 14:19 – 20 (NKJV)
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise, the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:17-20 (NKJV)
So, we can see that tithing began with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as seen in the book of Genesis, many years before the law was given to the children of Israel by Moses. God is the creator of everything and owns everything. We are simply stewarding what we have been entrusted with. We bring the tithe (one-tenth of our income) and first fruits to the storehouse, which is the church where we are being fed the Word of God. God didn’t institute the tithe to bring us under the law, but to get blessings to us as His children.
When you tithe to the Lord, you put yourself in a position for increase and blessings from Him. We are not under the Old Covenant Law and under the curse like the children of Israel when they broke His covenant. God’s heart has always been to bless His children (Deuteronomy 28:1-14). Even though we are under grace through Jesus Christ, He came to fulfill the law (see Matthew 5:17, 18) and He is now our High Priest who receives our tithes (see Hebrews chapters 5 – 7). Jesus Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 6: 17 – 20). In Matthew 23:23, Jesus tells us that we should tithe and not leave the other things (justice and the love of God) undone.
God says the tithe belongs to Him, and when we give it back to Him, He is able to bless us with increase as the seed of Abraham. Tithing God’s way doesn’t make sense but it works! You can’t afford not to tithe! He looks to see what you will do with the tithe before He will bless you with more money. You can do good or evil with money. It can be used for the kingdom of God to save people’s souls which are true riches. We don’t tithe out of obligation, duty or thinking it is a law of God. We tithe because we have a revelation of who God is and His goodness!
Since God holds you accountable for what He has entrusted to you, being a good steward also means not getting into debt and getting out of debt as the Lord applies it to you. Ask Him how you should allocate your finances. Set up a spending and saving budget. Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” is a good program to learn the tools you need. He suggests paying off the smallest bill first then taking that monthly payment and applying it to the next bill’s current monthly payment creating a snowball effect until all are paid off. You must stop using your credit cards and don’t borrow money to meet your needs. Start trusting God for your finances.
It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes. Psalm 118:8 – 9 (NKJV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7 – 8 (NKJV)
Read about a woman in 2 Kings 4:1-7 who got out of debt when she obeyed and trusted God’s Word through the prophet Elisha. Do you need to get out of debt or learn how to manage your money? Do you have questions about what job offer to accept or how to manage your time? Ask God for wisdom (Proverbs 4:5-9; James 1:5)!
In 2 Chronicles 1:12, Solomon asked God for wisdom and the Lord added riches, wealth and honor to him. Jesus is made wisdom for us (1 Corinthians 1:30; Colossians 2:2 – 3). He will lead you and guide you and make your way prosperous. When you depend on the Lord’s wisdom to succeed, you will see whatever you do prosper (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3).
We should be asking God for wisdom in how to use the money we receive as well as give. Money and wealth brings influence in cultures and governments and with it we can change them for Jesus Christ. We should build the Kingdom by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. We need money to rescue others out of poverty and bondage and to preach the Gospel worldwide, etc.
Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun. For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it. Ecclesiastes 7:11, 12 (NKJV)
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. Proverbs 13:22 (NKJV)
Being a good steward doesn’t just apply to financial matters. It also means to be a good steward of everything God has given you even your gifts and talents!
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:10, 11 (NKJV)
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Proverbs 3:27 (NKJV)
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10 (NKJV)
Next week we will look at the principle of sowing and reaping.
Morris, Robert. (2015). The Blessed Life Audio CD Series. Fort Worth, Texas: Gateway Church