Sunday, May 30, 2010
Lead Me to the Cross
I have struggled with the idea of tithing for a while. Yes, I am a believer in tithing because the Word of God says in 1 Samual 8:15, "He will take a tenth of your grain..." Today I can apply this verse to my pay check, which means that I should give 10th of the pay to God. All of it is His anyways, and He only asks for a tiny portion to be used for His Kingdom. However, I thought that I knew better what to do with the money and used for other purposes. It was never used for self gratification or for bill payments. I chose to use it to bless others or so I thought. I would send my family a package occasionally and use tithing to cover the cost or give money to people that I thought were in need. The saddest part is that I was in charge of God's money and how it was to be used and not Him. I would be so quick to justify my "good deeds" that I would not listen to others opinions on this matter.
Guilt or better yet, conviction would often get to me, when I saw people at church write checks for tithing that struggled financially, yet did not hold back from God what belonged to Him in a first place. All I wanted is for someone to tell me that what I was doing is right. I recall during one Sunday sermon the pastor shared with congregation that he gives his tithes at the beginning of each month. This way God gets the first fruits of his labor. I really wanted to block out that part of the sermon, but thankfully God instead imprinted it in my heart. "Fine, You win", I told God, “I will give it to the church, BUT when I need to use the money for my parents' packages I will." Stipulations were not part of God's plan. He continued to convict me to where I could no longer bare the burden alone.
I particularly felt heaviness one Wednesday evening. It was almost time to go to church, so I got in a car and had the radio turned on to a Christian station. As I tuned in to almost the end of the show, the host proceeded to tell the importance of tithing to the church. I knew God was telling me that He knows how the money should be used and that He will take care of others needs. At that point I knew that I must surrender and give what belonged to God’s church and let God handle the rest.
It has been the best decision that I have made in regards to tithing, because I have seen God provide with extra money to pay for the packages even when mathematically it does not add up at the end of the month to have the extra cash. How does it happen that we have money for something that we didn't have before? Numbers 15:21 says that God is "a giver of all good gifts." I now want to shout because the heavy burden is no longer there and I see God's bountiful provision in every situation. I also want to encourage you to not withhold what belongs to God. Please listen to me friend, I promise that when you give first to God, you will witness blessings of God's provision in a way that you may never witnessed before. The bondage that money has on us at times will be gone and replaced with joy and peace that surpasses our understanding.