God’s word makes it clear that He has inheritance for each one of us. Some of that inheritance will be in Heaven, but some will be here on earth as we partner with Him to see His Kingdom Come. Blessing and promotion come as God gives us territory to possess and steward.
Part of the Isaiah 61 message is about transforming individuals, but it is ultimately about transforming cities, one person at a time.
“They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Isaiah 61:4
As we steward our cities by loving the people in those cities, we will fulfill the Isa. 61 mandate to “restore the places long devastated”.
How do we “own” our cities so we can began to see the kind of fruit that Isaiah mentions? I believe a parable found in Luke 19: 11-27 carries some keys that will open up the path to inheriting cities for us.
In this parable a king gave ten of his servants ten minas and gave them instructions to “put this money to work” while he was away. When he returned home he called for the servants to see what they had gained with his money.
The first servant reveals that his money had earned “ten more” and the master was very pleased with this. Then he said this, “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.” Luke 19:17b
The parable goes on to share that the second servant earned “five more” with his mina, and the master then gave him charge of five cities.
The third servant took his mina and hid it away in a cloth. He admits to the master that he was afraid of him, believing him to be a hard man who would “take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow”. (Luke 19:21b)
The master was quite upset with him, and took from him the mina he had given him and gave it to the servant who had ten minas.
Below are some keys we can glean from this interesting parable that will set us up to be people that God can trust to manage His cities:
1. The pathway to owning cities begins with being faithful and trustworthy to steward the small things He has give to us. We are often looking for something glamorous or prestigious as our role to play, but God tests our hearts and motives by our willingness to steward well the small things He gives us to do when no one is watching, and no one is there to applaud our efforts.
2. The increase we see from faithfulness in stewarding is exponential. In the Kingdom the returns we experience from managing well are way above and beyond the normal returns we might expect to experience. God deals with us generously, blessing us with more than we deserve.
3. Our belief about God will greatly influence how we steward. Just like the servant who believed his master to be a hard man, we will not steward or manage well what he has given us if we do not believe He is good. Believing He will require of us something we cannot do reveals orphan thinking that in the end will cause us to forfeit inheriting what could have been ours.
God delights in giving us things to manage and He watches over the development process in each one of us as we grow in our ability to steward and manage well. As we seek to “own” our cities well, it is important to remember what is important to His heart as we seek to love our cities back to Him.
I want to be like the faithful servant who earned the most with what His master gave him. I want to be one who renews ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. In doing these things I believe we will own our cities well.