There are three stages of stewardship found in Matthew 25, when Jesus teaches the parable of the talents. First, God gives you a certain amount of money to steward, or manage, for Him. Second, God checks your faith as He “settles your account.” In other words, did you have enough faith to sow and believe that He would multiply your seed sown (2 Cor. 9:10)? Third, if you pass the test and show Him some faith, trust, and obedience, He promotes you in the realm of finances.
Here are the three stages:
1. God gives you seed according to your ability to handle Kingdom resources (Matt. 25:14-15)
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
2. God tests you with a few things first and increases you by how faithful He finds you in “little” (verses 16-19)
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
3. When God finds you faithful with the resources He gives you, He changes your status, and you go from faithful to ruler (verse 20-23)
20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
When you become ruler over the finances God gives you, you no longer need to be tested. You enter into the joy of the Lord, where the resources of God are at your disposal. You move from supply to surplus — from God supplying your needs to God putting into your hands money far beyond that which you need.