I hope to inspire and encourage others through my own life experiences and my faith ...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Challenge Part V: The Ultimate Challenge (at least for me!)

Grant Cochrane

"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!"
Malachi 3:10

As I sat here today paying bills, getting frustrated because there wasn't quite enough this pay period to cover what needed to be covered I found myself wishing there was more. I wished that things could be easier and that finances wouldn't be such a struggle. Then I felt that old familiar tug reminding me of what He has been prompting me to do for the last couple of months- up my giving!  But how on earth can I up my giving when I am already short?!

Let's back it up a bit ... In Malachi God commands us to tithe, or bring our first ten percent, to Him ... Now, I want to know who of you readers gives a full ten percent?  Seriously, if you do it I want to hear from you!  Last year I was convicted to challenge our family to tithe every month for the year and so we did it.  We did not do a full ten percent because that seemed really scary but we did what we could in order to still be able to pay our other bills.  God did AMAZING things in our life financially.  He really came through for us in times of desperate need and every bill that we had last year was paid. 

However, this year He has really put it on my heart to bring forth our entire first ten percent... yikes!  When you look at it as He gets $1 and we get to keep $9, it seems easy.  Giving Him $10 and we keep $90, thats cool. But when you get into bigger numbers and start to look over all your monthly bills, family needs, etc. it can appear more and more daunting. So back to my present situation ... I find myself facing this scary request by God to up what I am already doing ... He is pushing me to do the full ten percent ... [deep breath]. 

Why do we have to even tithe? What do we actually get out of it? If we don't give our ten percent tithe are we cursed? Well, we aren't cursed but we don't get that extra blessing that He promises in Malachi 3:10. When we honor Him by giving Him our first fruits we are allowing Him to take control of our lives. When we give, God has the final word over all we have- all is blessed when His hand is on it.   When we do what He asks we experience the ultimate abundence of life through Him.  If the root is healthy so are the braches. I don't know about you but I want His blessings over everything in my life!  Ultimate abundance in my life sounds pretty appealing right now!

How many of you are scared about giving financially?  Do you give little bits here and there or do you give until it hurts?  I know that I do not give until it hurts.  I'm scared!  I am talking myself into this challenge as I type.  We (I) need to step out in faith and not let our (my) human mind talk us out of things He has called us (me) to do.  It is all about obedience.  When He presents you with a "you want me to do what?!" moment, embrace it!  We might not be able to see how it is all going work out but our God is not one who sets us up for failure.  With God ANYTHING is possible! 

Challenge: So!  I challenge you with what I am challenging myself to do ... give.  Give your entire first ten percent and see what happens.  Let's start by setting a three month time period.  Malachi 3:10 is the ONLY place in the Bible where God tells us to test Him ... so test Him.  Let's step out in faith together and see what happens in our lives when we let go of our control and let Him take over our finances!  It will be scary but I know He won't leave a single one of us out in the rain.  I am SO anxious to hear how this challenge plays out in your life- and if you already give that first ten percent and want to share how God has blessed you through that, please share your story with me!  Stay in touch over the next three months and after that time let's discuss together what we have experienced through this time.

Prayer:  LORD, I want to be obedient to you in all areas of my life.  I want to embrace your challenges rather than hide from them.  I know you have my best interest at heart and that you want to see me living abundantly through you.  Please give me the strength to answer this call.  Please convinct me when I get scared and start to back away.  LORD, I pray that you multiply my tithe so that it may reach many for your greater good .  Protect me, my family, our finances and guide us daily so that we make choices that honor you.  Thank you for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon me.  Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post! Tithing is and can be scary for us because we have bills and things that we must pay, but if God did not give us a job then we won't have the things we do have. So we have to tithe, I know for myself I struggled with it, I always kept saying I give what I have but that was not enough God wanted what was His. And like His word says test Him well I did I gave my 10th to Him and I saw the blessings of His hand on my giving. But also remember He tells us also to give in offerings as well. Great challenge and I am pray those who read this do it to heart. Thanks for sharing your story as you sit and pay the bills, I will be praying for you that God increase your hand as you give to Him. In the mighty name of Jesus, Lord God you said we are to give to you and Lord it's not always easy for us to do this but Lord as we step out on faith we are going to give you what is yours, help us to give to you in the mighty name of Jesus and Lord as we give increase our hands the more so. I believe and stand on your word trusting that you are going to turn it around of us all. AMEN