Test Him

Usually it is not a good idea.

I won’t like the consequences.

I’m talking about testing God.  God wants us to have faith in him and trust him.  If I’m smart, I’m not going to test God’s patience or mercy or love.

With one exception.

There is one place in the Bible where God says, “Test me”.

He knows all the issues we have with money – it quickly becomes our god, we always want more and we’re willing to sacrifice our families to get it, we have trouble giving generously, we get in such deep debt that we think we can’t give.  Just to name a few.

So God says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse…..I will pour out blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in!  Try it!  Put me to the test!”

I have attended a couple of different churches who sponsor a 90 day challenge for giving to God.  People tithe for 90 days – no cheating because nothing is hidden from God – and they watch God move in their finances.  If they don’t see God move, they get their money back.

But they never ask for their money back because God always moves.  I love it!  Test him!

And you will find out what those of us that have committed to tithing have found out – the refunds, checks for overpayment and unexpected credit to our accounts start rolling in.   Regular stories like this –

I had a dental claim paid by my insurance and the medical assistant looked at me with surprise when she handed me back a check for $900 and told me that insurance NEVER covers this part of the procedure but they did for me.

My husband recently had a dental issue that was not covered by insurance and would cost $2500.  Since we’re retired and live close to Mexico, we decided to try going to one of the towns in Mexico that is well-known for their good dentists, lower prices and more options.  The $10 x-ray in Mexico showed that there were no longer any issue.  If I wanted to be cynical, I could say the first dentist was just trying to get some money from us but we had gone to him for several years and he had always been the opposite – trying to make sure we got the most for our money and not doing anything that didn’t need to be done.

I prefer to give God the credit for that $2500 windfall.  He decided to bless us!  How awesome!

You would hear these kinds of stories from anyone who has committed to tithe.  God is faithful and we can count on him to respond when we are generous givers.

I also believe God moves in how often our cars break down and our appliances quit working. If we are stingy with God, don’t be surprised with high car repair bills and appliances that keep having problems.

Through the years, we have given two of our older cars to charity because we know God will bless us more for that than the $700 or $800 we could sell them for.  We recently donated a 2 year-old refrigerator to a church mission for the same reason.  God knows.

When you and I faithfully tithe, we are putting our finances under the umbrella of God’s blessing.  When we do that, he not only blesses our finances, he pours other blessings into our lives as well.  These are things that money can’t buy – like joy, love and purpose.  And more.

So much more pours out that it fills us up and starts to spill over to the people around us.  The windows of heaven open up for us when we get our money in line with God.  The more we give, the more we have.  That’s God’s math.  We cannot outgive God.

If you don’t have any of these stories, go ahead and test God!  I know what will happen.

Thank you for your faithfulness with our finances, Abba Father.

Flooded With Blessings

“Test me in this.”

God only says this once in his Word to us.Oct 5 2015 floodgates of blessing

He tells us to bring the whole tithe into his house.  When we do this, he promises to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (Malachi 3:10).

Wow!  Such a great promise!

Don’t we want that to be true in all of our lives?

Those of us who have tested God in this have experienced these blessings.  When we are faithful with our wealth, God truly does throw open the floodgate of blessings upon our lives.

Sometimes these blessings take the shape of actual money with raises, promotions or even unexpected checks showing up in the mail. (This just happened again to me).

But the greatest blessings God pours abundantly upon our lives are from the things that money can’t buy.  Like joy.  Purpose.

Peace.

Oh, the peace that comes from knowing that God is providing exactly what I need is priceless.  The peace that comes from knowing that God is in charge of our bank account is supernatural.  The prosperity that comes from God is perfect – the right kind, the right time.

God wants us to be faithful with our wealth…

because it’s good for us.  It’s right for us.

And he will open the floodgates.

He has promised.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Robbing God

“Test me in this.”  There is only one place in the Bible where God says this.Oct 5 Robbing God 2014

He’s talking about his directions to us to give him back a small piece of everything he has given us.

When we are faithful in tithing, God throws open the floodgates of heaven and pours out his blessings upon us.

God challenges us to test him because he always responds.

He challenges us to give back a portion because our trust in him needs to grow to the point where being faithful is more important to us than the money.  God needs to be a higher priority in our hearts than what this money could buy.

This is important for our happiness.  We won’t have the peace, contentment and joy that God wants for us until we can gladly give back a portion.

I have to admit – it took God and my husband awhile to convince me of this.  I always felt that we didn’t have enough money to tithe.  Other people who had a lot more money could tithe – but not us.  When the topic came up, I always hoped that someday we would make enough money so we could tithe.

Foolish thinking!

I have realized a very crucial truth in this area – if it’s all about having enough money, there will never be enough.

God tells us in Luke – if we’re not faithful with a little, there is no way we’ll be faithful with a lot.

God wants us to find peace and contentment with what he has already given us.  When we are faithful, he pours out the blessings that money can’t buy.

When we follow God’s directions for our lives, we are putting ourselves under the umbrella of his blessing.  If we don’t follow his directions to us in the area of money, we are holding our wallets out from under the umbrella of his blessing.  The result is that God will not bless our finances.  We will have constant money issues until we bring our wallet back under the umbrella by getting in line with God’s direction for this area of our lives.  His direction is to sacrificially tithe and to give offerings above our tithe.

Because we love God.  He’s more important than the money.

And we trust him.  God’s got this.  We can even test him.

Thank you, dear Father.

Our High Places

What are our high places?

June 20 2013As we’re reading through Kings and 2 Kings, we read about good Kings who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.  Some of them demolished idol worship everywhere within their kingdom and others destroyed most of it but left the high places.  And the people would continue to worship idols in the high places.

Do we have high places in our lives where we continue to worship our idols?  Pieces of our lives which we want to keep under our control and refuse to give over to God?

Some areas I  had a big and long struggle with but eventually gave over to God are:

My children.  It was a very big relief to finally understand that God loves my children more than me and my worrying over them did no good for anyone.  God is with them always – loving them and taking care of them.

My career.  It was also a big relief when I really understood that my career came from God.  I am where I am because that’s where he wants me to be.  When he wants me to be somewhere else, he’ll guide me there.  Meanwhile, all of my achievements and successes and promotions and pay increases come from him.

Our finances.  I never felt that we had enough money to tithe – until we started tithing.  Since we’ve started tithing, we always have enough money for our needs.  And whenever God decides that we need some extra, he sends us an unexpected check or makes some more hours of work available for my husband. 

God amazed me last year when I felt that he was telling me to plan a trip to Israel but I didn’t have the money.  So I asked him to show me how I was supposed to pay for it.  And he orchestrated an award for me at work which I didn’t even know I was nominated for.  The total of the award was the price of the trip including – of course –  a tithe of the amount.  He couldn’t make it more obvious, could he?

I have learned that, when I was trying to control these things, I was actually keeping them from coming under the blessing of my Father God.  Since I have recognized his Lordship in all of these areas of my life, he has consistently me in each of them – every day in every way.

Thank you, dear God!