God has a way of doing things that totally FLOORS me sometimes. Ok, so here I am confessing to my money mistakes to my parents, my friends, and of course God. Then, I write about it in hopes that others will learn from my mistakes...and what is my Pastor's message on this past Sunday? Yep, you guessed it, tithing.
My Pastor is in the middle of a series called "Miracles". The first Sunday he taught on was just the simple fact that God is still in the miracle business. If you'd like to listen to the messages, here is a link http://providence229.com/listen.html
This message on tithing was unlike any I've heard before. Josh started out with the story of the 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish that fed around 20,000 people. He said he loves miracles that involve food. LOL His key points for this miracle and for our finances are:
It has to be blessed before it multiplies. If they would have passed the food out before Jesus blessed it, it wouldn't have worked. When we tithe 10% of our first fruits, God blesses it.
It has to be given away before it can multiply. If the disciples would have eaten first and not passed the food out to the people, it wouldn't have worked either.
We are bad about thinking the more give, the less we have. That's not God's economy. He doesn't work like that. Josh said, "God's Kingdom goes against our natural mind, He thinks of multiplication, we think of adding and subtracting."
Malachi 3:10 is the only Scripture known where God actually challenges us to test Him. Yes, it's about tithing and giving our first fruits. "Bring the whole tithe into the store house, that there may be food in my house. "Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the flood gates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."
We were issued a 90 Day Challenge. Tithe 10% for 90 days and if God doesn't bless you, they'll give us our money back. It's going in a separate account. This is not a ploy so they can raise money. Josh said we are actually in great shape financially. He said, "We aren't in need. This is how much we believe, we don't want something FROM you, we want to do something FOR you."
So, back to the Scripture posted above... correction is good for us. I think it's dangerous to ignore it. This is how God works. I confess to what I'm struggling with, people know it, but my Pastor had that message planned for months, I'm sure. When he started on the tithing part, one of my best friends that sits behind me in church hit my back. I knew she was saying, "This is for you." After church, one of the deacon's wives came up to me and said, "I almost started laughing when I realized what the message was about. I read your post this week. That's God for ya."
I am not ignoring this correction. I signed up for the 90 Day Tithe Challenge yesterday. Am I scared? You better believe I am! I live on a part time job and child support. But I trust God WAY more than I'm afraid. He has never let me down.
The email I got back from my Pastor's wife after signing up for the challenge said something awesome...
"Tithing isn't about getting God to love you. it's about showing God that you love Him."
We can't just trust God in a couple of areas of our lives and try to remain in control of other areas. It doesn't work that way. We need to be fully surrendered to His will and ways. Then, when we are corrected because we made a mistake, we need to follow through with it. Learn the lesson and move forward.
Have you ever had this type of correction in your life? I'd love to hear about it. Also, if you need prayer, let me know. I'll be glad to pray for you... especially if you are doing something that scares you to death.