Have you ever noticed that one of the first words toddlers often learn is, “Mine!” Sharing is something children must be taught, but a sense of ownership comes naturally.
Culturally, there may be differing concepts regarding whether certain things are owned individually or corporately, or in regards to whether they can be owned at all. For example, when Europeans came to America, they had very different concepts of land ownership than Native Americans had. Europeans owned land. Native Americans considered land to be something that could not be owned by any one person or group.
Although it may manifest itself differently in various cultures or individuals, there is an innate concept of ownership ingrained in human nature and these ownership rights are reflected in national laws. For example, if there were no rights of ownership, there would be no need to prosecute thieves who steal the possessions of others. If there were no innate rights of ownership over original creations and inventions, there would be no need for extensive copyright, trademark and patent laws to protect them. We understand and guard our rights of ownership.
God also understands and guards His rights of ownership. As Creator, He has ownership rights over His Creation. That includes you and me. The Psalms tell us,
The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; (Psa. 24:1 NIV)
But when faced with the reality that God has rights of ownership over “our” possessions, “our” time, even “our” selves, we often react like two year olds and scream out, “Mine!” We question His right to ask THAT of us or pretend He won’t know the difference if we ignore Him:
Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?”
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay!
Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”?
Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”? (Is. 29:15-16 NIV)
God Almighty knows full well which of us is Creator and which the creation. He knows full well that we belong to Him, unruly creatures though we may be.
“Can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.” (Jer. 18:6b NIV)
He knows His rights, but He also knows His Creation. Who knows our needs better than He? Our Creator knows us intimately and cares for us deeply:
As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (Psa. 103:13-14 NIV)
What is your attitude toward your Creator? Have you been angry with Him over something He has asked of you? Have you been stubbornly clinging to what really belongs to Him? Maybe it is time you had a heart-to-heart discussion with Him about ownership rights.