As we prepare ourselves today to present our pledges toward our Extraordinary Challenge I am reminded of a similar challenge King David of Israel faced in his day. It occurred to David that while he was living in a luxurious palace, God’s people were still worshiping in what was essentially a big tent. So he decided to build a temple—a place of worship befitting the greatness of the God that he loved and served. It was an extraordinary building with an extraordinary price tag. King David knew that if he was to be successful it would require sacrifice on everybody’s part. David knew that there is no success without sacrifice. King David led the way in giving towards the construction of the temple (1 Chronicles 29).
The big question when it comes to stewardship is: Can God trust me? Stewardship starts with a sacrifice within our abilities (v. 2). You and I may not have the wealth of a king, but everyone has the ability to give something. Can God trust you to give out of that which you have? The only way God can evaluate or test my trustworthiness is by how I manage what He has given me at the present time (v. 17). It is easy to say, “God, if you’d give me a million dollars, I’d give half of it to church.” But if you don’t give generously and sacrificially to God now, chances are you wouldn’t if you had a million dollars. It’s not how much we have of the world’s resources that dictates our generosity towards God, but how much God has of us. The real test of our stewardship is determined by what we are doing with what we do have—our time, our talents, our resources. Can God trust you with what you already have?
From our perspective, we struggle with this question, “Can I trust God?” Remember: God is your source. When we embrace this fundamental truth of Christian Stewardship it enables us to give beyond our ability.
With the Extraordinary Challenge, we are trusting God for the ability to make good on a pledge for money we do not have in our possession at the moment (v. 12). Seeing God as our source enables us to give beyond
our current ability (v. 3). God blessed David because he had previously proven himself to be trustworthy with what God had given him.
If you prove yourself to be trustworthy with what you already have, you can expect God to give you more for future living and giving (2 Corinthians 9:6–11).