Read: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” Malachi 3:10 (NIV)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)
Reflect: Two things came to my mind as I listened to the message about hearing God’s voice and ignoring it. The first thing was the urge I have to do something beyond providing blankets or a meal for the homeless people I see in my commute downtown every day. The second is the more personal and consequential urging from God telling me to tithe.
For years, God has urged me to trust him with my finances and to begin tithing. Initially, I only gave sporadically. For the past two years, I’ve responded to God’s urging with a “compromise” resulting in a futile attempt to substitute tithing by giving an amount I am comfortable with. This amount is not anywhere near 10% (the word “tithe” literally means 10%) of my salary. My thinking was that I would gradually increase this amount when my finances improved. Although I increased the amount a few times, inevitably some extra expense would occur and I would revert back to the comfortable amount.
As this series has pointed out, comfort is the enemy of our next. I will never get to the next level in my giving by doing only what is comfortable and safe. Rather than taking a step and tithing, I’ve been waiting on the miracle before stepping out in faith. I have ignored God’s voice out of fear of the unknown and a belief that money, not God, is my security. I’m taking a step toward my next and signing up for the Financial Peace Seminar. By surrendering my finances to God, not only will I finally be obedient to him, but he may also show me how to use my finances to do something long lasting for the homeless.
React: Have you been ignoring God’s voice? Spend some time listening for his invitation into what is next for you.
Pray: God, give us the courage to listen for your voice and the desire to take the steps toward what is next for us. Help us to allow you to break through all barriers blocking us from becoming who you intend us to be.