Proverbs 3: 9-10
Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.
I didn't tithe as a kid but I was always taught to. It wasn't that I was opposed to the idea. I just never saw the benefit of it. When we got married Josh and I talked about all this stuff, but tithing never really came up as something we were convicted to do.
We gave to charity and gave offering on occasion. But we never had a steady amount going into our church. A bit later I was thinking how I'd love to start tithing but I didn't belong to a church I really felt "fed" at so I gave it a miss. But recently we had been getting that conviction to start tithing 10%. For us this was crazy and seemed really illogical. We had debts to pay. Bills piling up and things to save for. But we made the decision to tithe and trust me, God reacted.
The first week we tithed we lost our car in a car crash. I was taken to hospital because I was 18 weeks pregnant and they had to check in. I had internal bruising on the placenta, this was steadily painful for about 2 days and I called in sick for work because I was so exhausted.
The next week we forgot to tithe. Like I actually just forgot. The money came in and I paid all our bills and the money was gone. After I remembered I thought about doing extra the next week. But I don't think God works on an IOU basis. All I could do was try to remember the next week.
So the next week I did tithe again. And we received a letter of demand saying we were at fault for the accident and liable to pay up. We also got a $400 towing fee. And a $200 storage fee notice... for our car that we had called around trying to find where they'd taken it.
The next week I forgot to tithe again. And good things happened. We bought a second hand car and were able to stop taking busses. We got the storage fee waived and the towing fee reduced down to $300.
The next week I tithed again... and... our new car broke down. We were set back $490 to buy a new alternator.
The next week I forgot again and we got our fixed car back and the quote was lower than expected,we had enough to pay for that and even have a little money left over.
I knew I had to stop forgetting so I set a reminder each week and every week I've tithed since. First money to come out. And a few more bad things happened.
So are you sold on tithing yet? hahaha.
This was our journey. I noticed this pattern straight away and asked God why? Because it was like we were more blessed when we didn't tithe. For us it's been a 22 year journey to come to a place of tithing. It is clearly in the bible and we both have followed God most of our lives. God makes promises surrounding tithe but we never obeyed until now. For us personally I think God was keen to see a change of heart. For us to dig in and to be persistent, because we have been so unwise with money previously.
But when I got past my complaining and negative heart I noticed something. The weeks when we tithed, we had plenty of food. People were generous to us. Our friends said it was their turn to shout for coffee. Our fuel was full and the bills were paid. The weeks were we didn't tithe maybe we didn't crash the car or break down but we didn't have any extra money for more food, or fuel. No one bought us coffee.
Blessings might not always come in the way that you expect them to. But let me tell you this now. Since we've been on a steady pattern to tithing we are going well. People help us, they buy us gifts, the give us money. They are gracious on a late payment. We are half way to being debt free and we haven't had any more car problems.
Car crashes and break downs are a part of life. But God provided for us all our needs when we gave back to his church in obedience. Our lives are more fruitful because of it and we have learnt to be more grateful.
Everyone's journey is different. Don't get me wrong. I don't think that if you started tithing that you'd have a car crash. My point is that it was worth sticking through because when God saw we were faithful he blessed us. And I would never go back.
Our lives are so much more full now... even though we drive an automatic now.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.