Walking in God’s Favor: Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 NIV
There are no short cuts to Level 4 Stewardship; a life of sustainable increase and significance. We must be willing to go through the process. Gospel music icon James Cleveland wrote a song that says ” Please be patient with me. God is not through with me yet.” Level 4 Stewardship is a lifelong journey, not a destination. We must be in it, to win it.
After raising four successful children of our own, Ardella and I understand the power of patience and prayer when you have teenagers and toddlers in your home. When your authority is challenged, your sanity is questioned, and your energy level is depleted, it takes patience to love the blessings of parenthood.
I believe God, the Source of all power, is working in our lives even when we can’t see it or don’t believe it. One of my favorite biblical leaders is Joseph. Reading his life story is absolutely incredible. Joseph’s own brothers put him in a pit to die, then decided it was smarter to sell him into slavery for money. He served 14 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He was falsely accused of sexual harassment by his boss’s wife. His partners in prison forgot their promises they made to help him when they were released from prison.
With all this history, at the young age of 32, Joseph became one of the most powerful and wealthiest leaders in Egypt; second only to Pharaoh. Joseph shows us the power of patience when you have purpose in your life. Inside of Joseph ‘s heart, the seeds of greatness were planted when he was only 17 years old. He didn’t know when or how long it would take to mature. So when the storms of life came upon Joseph, he kept his confidence in the Source of All Power working on his behalf.
Growth is often a painful and scary process. When the Creator calls us to Level 4 Stewardship, we sometimes feel uneasy and uncomfortable with ourselves. Like Joseph, we can trust in the Source of All Power in our lives. Our Creator will do whatever is best for our good and what will ultimately give Him glory. Like Joseph, we can ultimately say, “What others meant for evil, God meant for good.”
Remember when the Creator calls you to Level 4 Stewardship, He has already equipped you to handle going thorough the process. The process is not graded on the speed of your growth as much as is it on how strong you become. God will use your entire lifetime to prepare you for eternity. As you travel this spiritual discovery of Level 4 stewardship, keep in mind, masterpieces takes time.
Prayer of Blessing: Creator God, thank You for having patience with us.
Michael Vance is a senior account executive with Hundley Batts & Associates and the co-founder of stewardshipofwealth.com. Ardella Vance is a gifted educator and a Master Guide in the Pathfinders Club, a global organization empowered to teach life and leadership skills to young people. The Vance’s have been married well over 25 years and share their lives with four adult children and four grandchildren. They currently reside in Huntsville, Alabama and blog weekly from their financial workbook ” The Stewardship of Wealth“.