I was thinking of including this story in my longer one about tithing below, but since the story still blows me away, I thought it deserved its own post.
Since I started fully tithing, God has not only brought financial stability and blessings into the heart of my family, but God has answered prayer in a really profound and undeniable way in my giving life.
Ever since I took God to the test, my weekly tithe has been $200. I remember distinctly in September there were two weeks where I was on vacation and away from church. I was so tempted to take that tithing money and keep it for myself. “Imagine what I could use that $400 for,” I remember thinking to myself. I could use it to buy the bike I’ve been saving up for, I could buy the recording equipment I’ve always wanted, I could get the newest coolest clothes, I could pay down my student loans quicker. The enemy was tempting me, and I started even thinking about the $800 a month I had committed to God, as first fruits. My 10 year old VW Jetta had been having a ton of issues recently, and had recently cost me over $2000 to fix all the things that had been failing. And even after all that money, there was still a leaking oil smell burning into the cabin and the engine would constantly die whenever it was cold outside. The temptation was there - with that $800 I could go and lease a new car - any kind of luxury car I wanted for the most part. I could have that car I always wanted.
So as I was on vacation, these temptations were on my mind, but God, ever so gently, started convicting me about my faith in Him, and what He was doing in my life. I kept getting this feeling, this prodding, that I should just continue to trust Him, and that he would be doing amazing things in my life through continued faith financially. So after about a week of this convicting, I decided that I was going to give that $400 in a tithe as soon as I got back from vacation.
But it wasn’t that I was some superhero of the faith - not by any means. I was letting go of that money, but with teeth gnashed, almost unwilling to let that go. But I put God to the test. I remember praying “Okay God, I hear your voice and your leading for me to be faithful in giving you this tithe. But God, I’m still not in a good financial position. I just pray God that you will use this money for your will, but that you will also continue to bless me and improve me in my finances. Lord, I just pray for stability and for a sign that what I’m doing is pleasing to you.” So with that prayer, I gave that extra $400 that next Sunday.
A few days after I made that tithe, we received our usual bi-weekly paychecks at the office. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened my pay statement. It was more than normal. And more by exactly $400!
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. God truly answered my prayer in a real and direct way. And not only answering it, but answering it as if to say “there, do you believe me now? How clear of an answer do you really need from me?”
And ever since that moment, I have no room to wiggle out when it comes to my tithing. God has answered that prayer for me, spoken a clear Word to me, and all I can do is obey and accept all the continued blessings He’s pouring out for me.