I stood at the edge of our front yard and stared across the street at a man while he worked on his car. He peeked up and smiled at me with the kindest eyes. I was instantly drawn to him. Each day, I’d watch out the window and wait for Bob to come outside so I could stand at the edge of my yard and ask him questions. He always had time for me. I was only four years old.
Finally, my mom permitted me to cross the street and talk with Bob. I asked countless questions about his car, the trees, and life. Bob patiently and kindly answered each one as if he enjoyed the company. I have vivid memories of standing next to his car while he was on his back underneath his vehicle.
Bob was my best friend. One day in the boldest four-year-old voice I could muster, I asked, “Got any food?” Bob chuckled, and he and his wife invited me in for sandwiches and cookies. We moved out of that community when I was five years old, but as soon as I was old enough, I’d ride my bike to his house and pay him a visit. But then I grew up, got married, and lost touch with my good friend Bob.
Years later, I attended my father’s final mayoral prayer breakfast before he retired. I was married with little children at home. The event ended, and everyone got up to mingle. I was the last to leave my table because my purse strap was wrapped around the leg of the chair. Instead of wisely and calmly lifting the chair to free my strap, I pulled and stretched and tried to wrestle it loose. Suddenly the strap broke, and my elbow flew back behind me, right into the gut of a dear old man walking by. I nearly took him out. He gasped for breath, and I profusely apologized. He looked up with the sweetest smile and said, “Susie?”
I stepped back and said, “Do I know you?”
He said, “It’s Bob. So good to see you. My wife and I have prayed for you regularly over the years. It’s so wonderful to see how you’re serving the Lord.”
Awestruck, I said, “You’re a Christian, Bob? And you’ve been praying for me?”
I left that encounter absolutely in awe of God. I realized that any fruit that has come out of my life and ministry is partly Bob’s fruit because of his faithfulness. I also learned as an adult that on the other block near my house lived another man who did terrible things to children. Yet, because God drew me to Bob’s kindness, I never encountered the other man.
Bob was a safe place for me.
It got me thinking. The way we steward our lives impacts the strength of our communities. I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt deep angst over where things are going in our world. As an intercessor at heart, I feel things deeply. After watching the news or going to the mall, I find myself fighting for a faith perspective. Lord, help us.
One day while crying out to God for the state of things in our world, God led me to Psalm 37.
God gives us a clear distinction between the wicked and the righteous. And He charges us, repeatedly, not to react to evil, but to respond to His wisdom.
This passage reminds us that the wicked will wither in due time. Though it seems like the wicked prosper, they won’t last forever. The humble and righteous will inherit the land and delight themselves in an abundance of peace. Imagine.
Here are three ways you can steward your life in a way that brings strength to your community.
1. Dwell in the land and feed on God’s faithfulness.
Psalm 37:3 (AMP)
“Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.”
To dwell means settling, abiding, and establishing yourself in the land.
- Be a safe place in your community. Do for the few what you wish you could do for the many.
- Trust that God blesses those who help others and replenishes their storehouses.
- Enjoy your life and invite new people to your table.
2. Delight yourself in the Lord.
Psalm 37:4 (AMP)
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”
To delight means to be happy about, even excited about, being in a relationship with Almighty God.
- Pursue a deeper, more intimate walk with God. You’ll love Him more than you ever dreamed possible.
- Determine to grow in your capacity to know how much God loves you. As you do, your desires will begin to reflect His desires, and He will use you in ways beyond your comprehension!
- Listen for His voice and allow Him to interrupt your day; He may do the miraculous in and through you!
3. Dream with God.
Ephesians 3:20–21 (AMP)
“Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
To dream with God is to confront your self-limiting and God-limiting beliefs and then dare to ask God to do the impossible in and through you.
- Ask God why you’re living and breathing on the planet today. What’s His purpose for you?
- Ask Him who He wants you to help and how.
- Ask Him to give you a redeemed imagination so He can give you new, creative, innovative ways to serve Him.
Scripture says that a city is exalted through the blessings of the upright. Here’s the verse:
Proverbs 11:11 (AMP)
“By the blessing [of the influence] of the upright, the city is exalted, But by the mouth of the wicked, it is torn down.”
Your city is strengthened as you walk closely with Jesus. Delight in Him, dwell with Him, and dream with Him. Don’t lose heart. Take heart. Jesus has overcome the world. And He delights in dwelling with you as you dwell in the land. Your city is strengthened because you are there.
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