Kick Start Question: How can I Respond to Malachi’s Test in Giving?
Question: In Malachi it says “Test me in this” concerning giving – so how should a person interpret it if a person may give in faith more than their budget says they can, but they don’t see an immediate response that is apparent?
The prophet Malachi preached to a nation that had grown apathetic in many ways to their faith, one of those being the neglect of tithing. The Lord assures his people that if they return to him, he will return to them. “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” Malachi 3:10 ESV
Tithing is not about budgetary sacrifices. It is about trusting God, putting God first and surrendering oneself. Therefore, no budget could ever dictate what part is God’s. It’s all God’s. When I let go of the notion that I had anything to do with the money my household brought in, I began to delight in giving. Sure, my husband and I had worked hard, studied hard and made sacrifices to gain financial stability. But, would any of that have been possible without our spiritual gifts? Could we have accomplished it without the family, friends, and mentors God placed along our paths? Would doors have opened without the hand of God? The answer is a resounding NO.
I have been fortunate enough to experience God’s blessings in very tangible ways along our journey of giving. Although some will see a monetary return, most of his blessings are priceless. The Lord may be bestowing upon you health, safety, relationships, a new day…. We know and see a very small fraction of what God does.
It is human to become discouraged and God loves us through it. Ask yourself if you are putting God first. This means God gets the first of what you make, not what is left at the end of the month. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 NIV
We have shared this sermon before, but it would be well worth your time.