In last week's post about tithing I explained to you guys how poverty was literally drowning us and how that led us to what tithing was and why we should do it.
This week I am going to describe to you all the little and BIG blessings God has poured out to us as a result of being obedient and tithing.
THE DEVOURER DEFEATED
As explained in Malachi 3, the curse is the devourer that comes to "destroy the yield of your soil," (Malachi 3:11). Now obviously most of us in America do not make our money as farmers, but back then this was the number one way the people made a living. Translate it into TODAY and what we find is that whatever way in which we make money a devourer will eat up our finances as a curse if we do not fulfill the command to tithe. It could be that one month your car breaks down, costing you hundreds of dollars. Then the next month your truck will break down costing you thousands of doallars. Then maybe something in your home could break down...whatever it is things just keep going wrong with your finances. If we do fulfill the command to tithe, Almighty God will then prevent the devourer from eating up our finances so that we can enjoy abundance.
The problems with our finances had a lot to do with this devourer, and we noticed almost immediately that we stopped having instances in which things were constantly going wrong as soon as we started tithing. And then when something DID break (because that will never stop happening while we are in this fallen world), we were much better prepared for it.
Now I understand that there are many who believe that we no longer need to tithe because supposedly the "old" testament was done away with (even though Jesus did ALL the commandments in the Torah and taught others to do the same AND said to follow His example), or because the tithe was supposedly only meant for the "governmental system" God had set up back then and is now no longer in effect today because there is no temple, etc.
Whatever the belief you have on tithes let me ask you these questions:
- If the the answer is because you don't want to give it to a man whom you think is corrupt then do you not realize how childish and immature this kind of thinking is (I am not condemning anyone here because I have done this very same thing. I just want to get you to think for a minute)?
Basically what you are saying to God is "My brother can't do anything good with the money I give him for YOU Lord." It is like a child giving his earthly father excuses as to why he didn't do what his father instructed him to do and blaming it on his brother. This is called blame displacement and it does not give us any reason to sin against God. By coming up with this excuse you now are held accountable for your sin AND your brother's. But by doing what God says to do IN SPITE OF your brother, now your brother's blood will be on his own head and you will not be to blame for his sins along with him.
- If it is because you are always poor and "never" have enough to give to God, let me just encourage you by saying I CAN TOTALLY RELATE! We were also in a spot where we genuinely could't afford to tithe because the numbers showed that if we did, we wouldn't have enough to pay for our bills. But we stepped out in faith and did it anyway and it turned out to be the BEST thing we have ever done. Not only did we have enough to pay our bills, we then had more left over!!!
Let me challenge you and say that you can't afford NOT to tithe. If you want to step out of poverty or being broke all the time, then give to God what is rightfully His and He will bless you! Consider the poor widow who gave out of her poverty (Mark 12:41-44). If she can do it, SO CAN YOU! As I already mentioned in the last post, we were constantly dealing with poverty. If you stay with me and continue reading I will describe to you the little miracles we received along the way AFTER tithing in faith and are now (in comparison to many of our peers) quite wealthy and living very comfortably.Question #2: Have you actually given tithing a chance for 6 months to a year to see if God will actually keep His promises?
- There is something about the wealthy I have found that they have in common I think is VERY interesting: THEY ALL GIVE GENEROUSLY! Consider O'prah, Trump, and Rober Kiyosaki. Every single one of them give waaaaaay more than 10% to people. Granted, even though some of them do not give to God and are maybe, ehem, less than righteous, they are still greatly blessed with riches. Whether or not they give out of their riches is not really for us to decide, but between them and God. As for ourselves however, we can certainly glean from their one good example to give to those less fortunate than themselves, and see how it will bless us as well.
- As I said above, we had to step out in faith and give to God 10% of our earnings BELIEVING that He would take care of us. When we first started tithing we knew it would most definitely hurt us if God didn't help us out because we DID NOT have enough money coming in to both tithe AND pay our bills. In a way we gave to God with our eyes closed that very first month because we were so afraid we wouldn't be able to pay our bills.
So what happened the first month we gave money? I honestly cannot even begin to explain it to you the miracles, but we somehow had the money we needed to pay ALL our bills. The only thing I can think of is that God literally put money into our bank account so we could pay because I had been very diligent in calculating exactly how much we had prior to tithing and how much we had after and the numbers DO NOT match up. We simply had more than we should have.
So our finances slowly started to iron out and God began to give us wisdom on how to manage our finances responsibly. I remember one day surfing the internet and coming across this guy named Dave Ramsey. If you don't know about him, he is GIFTED in training people how to manage their finances, and it shows not only through the wisdom he speaks using God's Word, but also through his own finances.
Another thing that began to happen was people just randomly started giving us what we needed, without our ever expressing anything about our needs. At the time we only had our first born who was barely over a year old and a month after we started tithing I noticed that she was growing out of her clothes (again). We simply didn't have the money to buy more clothes, not even from the thrift store. Feeling a little panicky at first I remembered what God had promised me and chose to ask for clothes for Ariela and simply wait, hoping she would be able to wear her clothes long enough before they would tear. To my utter amazement a friend of ours stopped by that same week for no reason with a container FULL of clothes for Ariela. I was completely amazed! This had never happened to us before!
Since those humble beginnings of tithing and receiving those small miracles on a regular basis, we were able to get out of debt, paying off over $16,000 dollars in student loans in less than a year and paying for both our cars in full!
But the single greatest blessing we have received came when we moved to Washington State and we bought our first home that is actually a duplex! This means that we have not only lived in the home, we have also been able to make a small income off of the other half of the duplex. And I am not overexagerating when I tell you that the duplex has saved us on more than one occasion (actually it was God who saved us by giving us the duplex, but you catch my drift). There were several times we found ourselves in a situation where neither the mister or myself had jobs, but because of the duplex we were able to come out of every single one of those circumstances ahead.
Now, here we are, after 7 years of living in the duplex and we are getting ready to sell it for twice as much as we bought it for (more on that to come). If you don't think that is a blessing, then I don't know what is?
Stay tuned next week when I will explain to you based on scripture what is the difference between a tithe and an offering and where are the appropriate places to tithe, including who we started tithing to and who we tithe to now.