Stewarding His Story

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I see a lot of inspirational quotes about believing in our own story, and not judging each other’s stories. People’s stories are powerful, it’s true. And I love hearing people talk about their journeys, and being able to encourage them as they struggle to make sense of some of the winding paths within them. Partly this is because I believe in the miraculous grace and unfailing love of God, Who never gives up on us, but partly it’s because I know our stories are about so much more than just us.

Yesterday we finished a powerful series at our church about stewarding the gifts God has given us. It was a great and timely reminder that all we have – including our very lives (1 Corinthians 6:19), we have because God has entrusted us to manage what ultimately belongs to Him. Everything we have and everything we are, if we call Him Lord, is His, and exists to bring Him glory.

I love the way God’s plans work, because when He brings Himself glory through my life, I am unavoidably blessed in the process. He doesn’t reveal Himself through my gift, talents, priorities or even my story without showering me with deep satisfaction and overflowing joy. Sometimes, mysteriously, that joy and satisfaction come through a path laden with tears, but this is God’s incomprehensible and perfect way. I cannot understand or explain it, but it really is true.

As we studied the call to manage what God has entrusted to us in these recent weeks, I was reminded that one of the things we are called to steward for God’s glory is our testimony – our story of how God saved us and is transforming us more and more to look like and live like Jesus. We need to be reminded of this because sometimes we get a little off the tracks and begin to think that our story is our own. We think (I might be speaking only for myself, but I’m pretty sure you might be able to relate) we have some measure of control over the way it goes, or at least some right to give input about the way it should. It’s not that God doesn’t hear the desires of our hearts – sometimes He grants them, indeed. It’s just that, really, it’s not our story. It’s His.

He has invested all of Himself in purchasing our freedom — our right to choose Him and to choose not to live in bondage to the enemy’s deception. He has poured Himself out, literally into us, so that we can carry a treasure in these frail and faulty human lives, and become a visible demonstration to the watching world that He is real. But not only does He want to show the world He is real – through you and I; He wants to show the world that He is Who He says He is.

So my story – and yours, dear Woman of Breakthrough, is about far more than turning out the way we hope it will. It’s about God’s right and His privilege to show Himself good and kind and faithful and loving and merciful through every circumstance we find ourselves facing. It’s about you and I understanding that we have been entrusted with the treasure of His presence, and that the treasure we carry is His inheritance. He is waiting for the maturation of our lives, so that what is collected at the end of our story is something He can greatly rejoice in, as our stories live on to encourage and remind others that God is true, and His Story is still alive.

I wonder if you are living your life, your story, in such a way that you are ever and increasingly aware that it belongs to God? Do you daily seek to line your thoughts and your choices up with His plans, His goals, His dreams for your story? Or are you seeking to live however you desire to, in the pursuit of your own plans? Dear Woman of Breakthrough, God has designed for us lives, stories, which are beyond our wildest ability to imagine (1 Corinthians 2:9; Ephesians 3:20). When you consider your story, do you see this?

I pray today that we will begin to value the treasure we have been entrusted with, recognizing that our stories are part of a much bigger story. The story that has changed the world, for all eternity. The story that has made possible the impossible. The story of a love that is unconquerable. The story of a faith that endures the unimaginable and sees its promised rewards. The story of the God Who created everything to be good, and Who never changed that plan.

His story has such a beautiful ending, and all the twists and turns within it lead ultimately to the greatest treasure of all: the reward of seeing His face and living forever with Him, free from all of the pain and misery we know in this broken world. God promises in His Word that those who are faithful, enduring through temptations and trials, will receive the crown of life. I don’t know about you, but I have chosen to live out God’s story, and resist the temptation to choose another version of the story, because He has entrusted it to me. And because there is nothing I want more than to carry that crown into His presence and lay it at His feet – honoring the One Who gave all of Himself for me.

I live for that moment. And this recent series was a good reminder that living for it breaks down to the choices I make every day as I manage all that He’s placed in my hands – including His Story, for His glory. May you join me in remembering that your life, and your story, are not your own. May you, too, set your heart to live out the greatest story ever told, and embrace the privilege of knowing your journey is a precious chapter in the story of Jesus’ radical act of selfless love toward a world that so desperately craves just such a thing. If you’ve been changed by His love, why not let that love direct your story, for God’s glory?

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 

 

 


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