Every year since 1968, the U.S. Census Bureau has been keeping statistics on home ownership in the United States. And every year it comes back the same. Between six and seven out of 10 families own a home in this country. Even with the housing crisis of the past, rates have not significantly dropped.
In America we value ownership. Politicians tell us it means something. There is an importance to it because it demonstrates the value of freedom and the opportunity God has given us to produce and excel based on the gifts and hard work He enables us to do. However, with this great quality comes a downside. At some point we began to think that it was all because of our own doing. We began to think that we really did own what we possess. The Bible always re-aligns us when we begin to get off track.
Take a look at these verses that show God’s ownership:
“Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 10:14).
“The land must never be sold on a permanent basis, for the land belongs to me. You are only foreigners and tenant farmers working for me” (Leviticus 25:23).
“Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom” (1 Chronicles 29:11b).
“For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird on the mountains, and all the animals of the field are mine … for all the world is mine and everything in it” (Psalms 50:10-12).
“You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price” (1 Corinthians 6:19b-20a).
We do not own anything. When God created the world He never gave up control. He only gave up the stewardship of it. God decided to entrust what He owned to people to manage.
This truth has great implications for us. If we really do not own anything, but we are stewards or managers, then we can look at the “things” in our lives very differently. God has promised to provide for the needs of those who belong to Him (Philippians 4:19). If God has promised to meet every need then we can work hard, with honesty and dependence on Him, to do just that. We can stop worrying and fretting over the things that God has said are His responsibility – we can cease acting like owners and begin to live like managers.
The next time you are faced with a spending decision, say this to God: “Father, this is your money and it is not mine. What do you want me to do with it?” If you sincerely want to do God’s will, He will show you.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at wwwOneMaster.org.