A Christ follower is someone who puts action to their dependency on the Lord, who is our leader. We are a dependent upon Him as a child is to a loving Father. When we give to God, we are loving God, trusting God, worshipping God, and we are acknowledging our dependency upon God.
The Bible teaches us that the tithe, the first ten percent of our income, is not ours. That top portion belongs to God. The Bible calls the tithe the fruitfruits, the first and the best of the harvest. I was blessed to be taught that I shouldn’t spend any money until God gets His portion first. It’s not a matter of payment; it’s a matter of loving reliance upon God.
As a co-pastor, I can’t help but encounter people who ask me about tithing. Their heart is to obey God, but sometimes they can’t see how tithing could ever work. Numbers are numbers, and their numbers just don’t add up. Their plan is often to wait until the end of the month to see if anything is left over for God, and most of the time, there isn’t. God is looking at the heart, and He cares for people who are struggling. He also has a higher way of living that He wants us to experience. It’s the way of the supernatural.
The math may not make sense when we are challenged to give, but I’ve learned that God isn’t limited by arithmetic. I have over thirty years of personal testimonies where God met our financial needs when the numbers just didn’t add up. God has given me decades of proof that we untie His hands when we depend on Him by giving Him His portion before we take ours.
The Bible says we are robbing God if we don’t give our tithes and offerings. That’s because the first or top portion belongs to Him. God spoke through Malachi and pinpointed the reason why many people were struggling to make it – because they were stealing from Him. God challenged the people to test Him in giving to see if He wouldn’t open the windows of heaven and bless them financially when they added dependency to their trust, action to their belief. He knows He loves us and He knows He has more than enough to meet our needs. He wants us to know it, and not only to know it, but to act on it. That’s faith. Faith is what pleases Him because leaning on God is what will free us up to live supernaturally. It’s how the things of the spirit work. Being self-sufficient is the opposite of faith and it blocks God’s blessings.
God also promised to rebuke the devourer, to keep the enemy from coming in to steal from them. As a church leader, it is difficult to watch people struggle with their jobs, their health, their business, their relationships… often seen as a result of the struggle to be self-sufficient. I pray for them because I see their struggle to step over the threshold of self and abandon themselves to rely on God. Sometimes it’s an issue with obeying God by trusting church leaders, often due to being hurt by some form of leader in their past.
I’m thankful to my parents because it was Mom and Dad that taught me to not only trust God, but to put action to my trust. It’s known as obedience. For me, tithing isn’t about keeping the rules – it’s about looking up, putting my eyes on God, and having confidence that my Father will breakthrough my natural with His supernatural. Sometimes I pray, “I don’t know HOW You will do this, but I know that You will. You will never leave me. You will never forsake me. I put my trust in Your love for me and my belief that by Your power You will change my circumstances.” I’m confidence of His promises. I’m determined that I’m going to obey Him, no matter what I see or hear or experience. I’m not testing Him. I don’t need to. I am confident of His Word and His love.
I’m a Christ follower. My Lord loves me and He leads me. I get to follow.