Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.Malachi 3:9-11
The closer that I get to debt freedom, I often times sit back and have a "remember when" session with God. I think about the hardships that I faced right out of college having to repay student loans and being harassed at my job by collection agencies over outstanding medical bills incurred while at school. I remember trying to figure out how much I could afford in car payments so that I could buy my own car. I remember not making enough money to be able to move out on my own. I think about how I tried to keep up with the proverbial "Joneses," which at the time, were my fellow graduates. After all, we had college degrees, and were supposed to have something to show for it right? That just wasn't a fun time for me. And then...
I think about when I first started tithing back in 2006 and how God has continued to bless me non-stop as I've remained faithful to Him. I wasn't really familiar with tithing up to that point, but when I heard about the promise that was attached, I just had to try it out for myself. I figured it couldn't be any worse than the situation I was already in, so I thought, why not? I started tithing the very next week after I had heard my first sermon on it, and haven't looked back. Promotions, bonuses, and increases, I owe them all to Him. As surely as I tested God, He in turn, also tested me in my stewardship over all of the abundance that was sent my way.
The floodgates were thrown open, but what did I have to show for it? Debt. God propelled me forward, and I propelled myself backwards by mismanaging the blessings that I prayed for! I repeatedly questioned God: "I've been tithing and sowing, but what happened to these so-called floodgates?!" What was I doing wrong? How could I be a better steward? Why did I have to suffer while other people satisfied their desires? He convicted me right then and there, and opened my eyes to a lifestyle that I had brought on myself. He had upheld his end of the agreement, I was just a poor manager of His blessings. Ouch. That was a tough pill to swallow, but I asked for forgiveness, prayed for guidance, and I'm a better manager now than I've ever been.
God's word and promises are true. He will continue to pass the tithing test every time it's given. The question is, will we pass His stewardship test? I've taken on the challenge, will you?
Change requires action!