For Such a Time as This: Stewarding our Relationship with God
In this blog series I am announcing the upcoming launch of the Steward Manifesto. Four writing teams comprised of twenty people have been working for over a year creating a document that we pray will be “a call to our brothers and sisters to reclaim our calling to be stewards of our identity, an identity that is being attacked, confused, and distorted.”
My prayer is that you will engage with this document as we prepare to finalize it on September 9th as part of our annual Steward Summit. You are also warmly invited to attend the Summit and be present for this historic moment (Register Here).
We opened the document laying the theological foundation based on our four created relationships: with God, with self, with others, and with creation. The first main section of the Steward Manifesto focuses on stewarding our relationship with God. The section opens with these words:
We were created to be faithful stewards, starting with our relationship with God. We do not own this relationship but steward it on behalf of the One who created us for this relationship. The purpose for our lives and meaning of our existence is discovered solely in a deepening, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. We experience the love and grace He has in His heart towards every single unique creation within our collective humanity. When we embrace our call to steward our relationship with God, we can experience true intimacy with Him. When we do not, we allow distractions to steal the joy of this intimacy and lure us into a two-kingdom life where we try to serve two masters.
We go on to name the lies that tempt us to approach our relationship with God from an ownership perspective. The lies include believing that things in this world can bring us more pleasure, happiness and peace than knowing God intimately, that we can know God more intimately by going through the motions of daily devotions apart from true confession and repentance, and that our worth is tied to our job and our performance rather than being found solely in our identity in Christ discovered through deeper intimacy with him.
Having named the lies, we proclaim the truths in Scripture about God’s deep desire for intimacy with us. We proclaim that knowing God more deeply must be the greatest, highest, and most passionate desire of a follower of Jesus, that only in such a relationship can we find our true identity, and that it is God’s intent that we find the healing, reconciliation, encouragement,and hope we so desperately seek in this deepening relationship with him.
Finally, we challenge the body of Christ to reject the lies, embrace these truths, and steward this precious relationship. The challenges include a call to steward this relationship by becoming so surrendered to Christ that his sweet aroma will flow from us and will draw all people to him. We call God’s people to name the things that distract and pull us away from the intimacy God desires for us and surrender them back to God, and to preach and teach against our works-focused culture and proclaim the truth that abiding in Christ is our highest calling and God’s greatest desire for our life.
Our prayer is that God may use these statements to help God’s people reclaim and experience in dynamic new ways the richness and transformational power of deeper, more intimate relationships with him.
How about you? How is God calling you to come closer? To walk into deeper waters? To trust him more? To make your growing intimacy with him the most important part of your life?
Steward your relationship with God today and watch him work in and through you in ways that impact everything else in your life. As Matthew reminds us, “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (6:33).