A little over 29 years ago, I entered into an exciting relationship with Jesus Christ. So much of my life changed almost instantaneously.
Indeed the term born again applied to me. New friends and family, new goals, aspirations, a new world view, the ability to begin understanding
Scripture, new desires. I wanted to attend church. What happened? I met Jesus, and all things were made new.
I vividly remember those early days, learning new truths and meeting new people. The Holy Spirit was revealing areas of my life that needed to change. Whenever my pastor preached on a topic, I was all in. Hearing his voice as he went line upon line in Scripture, coupled with the Holy Spirit speaking to me inwardly, brought many changes to my life.
Then one day, the biblical truth and concept of tithing were brought to my attention. It was the same pastor and Bible. I had the same Holy Spirit confirming the truth in my heart. Yet this time, the excitement was not present. I was young and fresh out of the navy. I had a new wife, a baby, and bills to pay. Did I mention bills to pay?
Yes, there was a desire to obey God. It was not that I disagreed with the Biblical command to tithe. Honestly, I didn't see any way my little family could obey. I knew I needed to tithe each week as the offering was received. The Lord was kind and gracious, yet always reminded me that He expected me to obey. Each week I would calculate what 10% of the tithe of my income would be, yet I did not put it in the offering.
I was keeping a running tab on how much I owed God. This went on for about three or four months. It began to weigh upon me. I knew I needed to obey, but what about my bills?
Around this time frame, we received a small tax refund. It was about $500. It wasn't much, but that $500 was a huge blessing to us then. But it also represented the exact amount I owed God. I was left with two choices. We could use the money for our family and continue to disobey with the tithe, or use that money, to pay my tithe in full. It was quite an emotional moment since we needed the money. But what I needed more was to be right with my Heavenly Father. With tears running down my cheeks that day, I committed our family to tithe faithfully from that moment forward.
We made that decision nearly 29 years ago. Was it easy at first? NO, but God gave us much grace. Truthfully, it was one of the greatest, even second to my salvation, the most significant spiritual decision of our lives.
One may ask, "Dan, why is tithing so important?" A thorough explanation and answer would be too much for this article. But let me give just a few truths.
1. The Tithe Is The Lords
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord." - Leviticus 27:38
Our tithe belongs to Him. It is holy unto the Lord. With no beating around the bush, the Lord lets us know the tithe is His. As a matter of fact, everything belongs to him, yet He chooses to allow us to enjoy all things freely. With this caveat, the tithe, 10% of all our increase, is His; it's holy, and He commands us to return it to him for His purposes:
There are other items in Scripture that our Lord has told us belong to Him, such as His glory, His bride, the church, and the tithe. He will not share His glory, bride, or tithe with any other; they are His and His alone.
2. God Gives Us Incentives To Tithe
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts." - Malachi 3:10-11
God tells us when we tithe He will do two things. First, He will open the windows of heaven for us, and then He will rebuke the devourer for our sake. These are well worth your study. By opening the windows of heaven, He gives us insight and wisdom to look into another dimension. We gain an understanding that we would never achieve otherwise. Through an open window, we can see what we could never see, understand what we could never understand, and receive what we could never receive.
By rebuking the devourer, He gives us supernatural protection. Yes, it rains on both the just and unjust. But in the life of a tither, God has promised to work on our behalf, unlike those that do not tithe. I've heard and experienced how God blesses those and myself for simply obeying His command.
3. God Gives Us A Warning For Not Tithing
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." - Malachi 3:8-9
Malachi tells us there is a curse, financially speaking, on those that will tithe.
So many times, good people face a choice. Some may say, "Dan, I just can't do it." But think about it from God's perspective. He is eagerly waiting to bless your circumstances. God blesses faith and obedience. Tithing may require both at times. For those of us with years of experience, we cheerfully invite you into the exciting life of trusting God and watching Him faithfully meet each and every need. He is a good Father and yearns to bless you.