I admit it: I used to treat my tithes like a bill.
But by doing this, I was missing out on blessings that I didn’t even know God had for me!
For several years, I enjoyed the convenience of remitting our tithes through our online bill payment service. After all, this saved time and valuable resources like checks, envelopes, and paper. I simply paid it at the same time that I was paying all of our other bills.
But one day, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the verses on tithing that I had read and studied from Malachi chapter 3. It speaks of tithes not only as an act of obedience and worship, but also as a key that opens the doors to abundant blessings and financial favor. By mechanically and half-heartedly paying our tithes online, I was neglecting to pick up the key and open the door.
I sat down with my darling husband, and shared what was on my mind. I asked him if he was okay with me writing a paper check every two weeks, and us taking a moment to pray over it before putting it in the offering basket. Of course he agreed! So we immediately started doing this, and here’s what we learned:
- God provides. In Malachi 3:10, God says, “and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”. We have prayed in agreement with this promise when we’ve had an immediate need of any kind. Like when it’s 3 days before payroll and we haven’t received enough money from clients. But we have seen the fruit of committing these needs to God. He has responded by not only lifting the burden off or our hearts, but also by meeting our needs in creative ways.
- God protects. Malachi 3:11 says, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts”. We have prayed in agreement with this promise when we’ve experienced discouraging financial losses or large unexpected expenses. Like when we had property damage that the insurance company didn’t want to pay for. But we have seen the fruit of committing these needs to God. We like to “remind” Him that everything we have is His, and we know that He will fight to defend what belongs to Him! He has responded by not only encouraging us, but by specifically replacing and restoring what the devourer stole. It’s not always immediate or dramatic, but looking back, we can testify that it has been consistent.
- God prospers. In Malachi 3:12, God says, “And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts”. We have prayed in agreement with this promise when following God’s direction seemed inconsistent with conventional financial wisdom. Like our decision for me to stay at home with our children when they were young, which cut our income in half and brought my corporate climb to a screeching halt! But God rewarded our obedience by making it possible for us to make ends meet on one salary, enabling us to pay off debt, and prospering our business during periods of economic recession.
The deliberate act of praying over our tithes has made us more alert to the truth that God keeps His promises to provide, protect, and prosper. And it has increased our faith to see God use the tithes not only to advance His kingdom, but also to personally bless us!
Every time you deposit your paycheck, you have access to much more than just money. You have access to God’s promises of abundant blessings and financial favor. But if you want to open the door to these promises, you and your spouse must join together and pick up the key. You can do this by not just mechanically paying your tithes, but also by praying over your tithes. Then you too can witness God using them not only to advance His kingdom, but also to personally bless you!
Search my heart, O God…
As you prepare to pay your tithes, ask God to help you to entrust all of your financial needs, losses, burdens, and concerns to Him, praying:
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24).