About 12 years ago, I studied the Bible to learn about tithing. I didn’t know what tithing was. I wasn’t raised in the church so I had no idea why they passed the basket around at church. Additionally, I heard many people talk badly about the church stating that there are thieves and hypocrites who attend and misuse the money that gets put in the basket. Now, true, there were many stories about pastors and churches falling from grace, void of the hand of God in their lives or the lives of their members because of lying and stealing. I, however, knew there were honest and dishonest people everywhere from church to the grocery store; after all, people are imperfect. We are imperfect because we need Jesus. To me, all this was a mute point. The point for me was that I needed to understand tithing for myself because it was Biblical.
I spent the next month looking up every scripture that referenced tithing in the Bible. One scripture in particular outlines the truth about tithing.
Will man rob God? Yet you robe me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you – because you are robbing me. 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 you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
This scripture guarantees that God’s Hand will be on you. It’s been 12 years since I first began to learn about tithing. I’ll be honest, I didn’t keep tithing. Shortly after I started studying this truth(12 years ago), my son was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, I quit going to church for a while because I couldn’t control my crying in public and I thought wearing sunglasses to church to cover my puffy eyes was absurd, so I quit going. When I got to the end of myself (which didn’t take too long), I started going to church again, when I could, when I wasn’t so tired, etc. etc. The brief details I just shared are long seasons of my life which I recorded in books (Do You Hear what I Hear? Through the Eyes of Faith, and myGod and Coffee: in that Order books). For the sake of this devotional, however, I want to say that it’s been 12 years, about 3 years ago, I fully came to the end of myself (in all ways, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, i.e., using up all our savings and losing our home. For the past 3 years now I can say I get it, and I have been tithing at least 10% of every dollar that comes to me (through work that God provides for me – not that “I” create) because NOW I firmly understand the act of worshiping through tithing.
To illustrate my point, I want to share a short story. Yesterday I went on line and tithed a little more than 10% of what I had earned recently. Through God providing me business, I earned $1,003.00. At church this past Sunday, I forgot my check book; I planned on going on line and tithing $110.00 as soon as possible, because I didn’t want to wait an entire week before giving God what was His. I could not afford for His hand not to be on me in every way! I went on line and rounded up the $103.00 to $110.00. I told God, “Praise You for who You are, and thank You for blessing and protecting me and my family from evil. Thank you for your Son, Jesus Christ; this is Yours, not mine. I offer it with a glad heart.” I said this aloud and hit “send.” That night, after a long day, my husband came back from a soccer team meeting and informed me that the company we used to book our hotel reservations (hotel.com) was being dishonest and that we needed to cancel our reservations immediately! He informed me that one of the moms canceled her reservations, but was still being charged the entire price. Another mom said she canceled, but they were charging her $110.00 – the supposed price of one night (although the real price was double ($220), but I won’t go there right now). What this all boils down to is we needed to cancel and pray we would get our money back. None of the parents on the team were getting their money back and there was much yelling at the soccer meeting as moms told how they got robbed! People were more than ticked. As my husband informed me of this bad news, I began to pray to God. The money we spent was all we had, and we would need it back to get another hotel. Hotel plans changed with the team, and we were all working together to get hotels close to the location of the soccer tournament.
My husband got on the phone and spent 2 hours arguing and stating his case. The cancelation fee and the charges were not posted anywhere on the website, but they were refusing to give us our money: At this point, they were charging us a $110 which was the penalty for canceling even though we were canceling within 24 hours (and no canceling charge was posted on the website). I was sitting on the floor (on my knees) and it hit me, “Hey, I tithed $110 today! I know for fact that God is going to get us our money back because He is faithful, and He will because He said, “I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty.”
I told Brian how I had rounded up my 103 dollar tithe to 110 earlier that day and tithed on line because I had to make sure we did not remove the Hand of God over us due to disobedience and robbing Him of tithes and offerings. I told my husband that I knew that this $110 would be credited back to us. God will protect us.
“We’ll get the money back; however God wants to do it. Whether He does it by making this company be honest and give back our money, or whether He provides the money some other way, but we will get the money back,” I said.
Finally, after 2 hours of Brian being on the phone and me walking around praising God for the victory (i.e., claiming in faith what is. Rather, than asking and praying, claiming it!) God recently taught me that what we speak in faith becomes reality and so I was practicing my faith and verbalizing the victory aloud. All of a sudden, I could hear a kind voice on the other line. He was speaking loudly so I could hear him from Brian’s phone; suddenly, someone on the phone was listening to our story. The tone of his voice was different from all the others.
The man said, “This is what I’ll do since the policy is not posting on the website and it is our error. Once the hotel charge of $440 (double the price of what it was supposed to be, but that’s another story) shows on your credit card statement, and the $330 credit (less the $110) shows up, fax that to me with a letter outlining our conversation, and we will issue you a check for $110. I need to call another mom on your team back and tell her I’ll do the same thing for her. She’s been calling me all day and I didn’t give her the money back, but I will call her and make it right with her too.”
Now, I admit that this is not ideal, and it will probably take weeks to get the check, but it was at least victory! Brian called one of the moms on the soccer team and 9:30 that night and told her the news.
“What?! How did you do that? I’ve been fighting and threatening that guy all day; I told him I was going to be his worst marketing nightmare, but he wouldn’t give me my money back!” She said.
The answer to her question, of course, is that God did it for us. God was even going to bless her through the process. Our tithes and prayers for protection and praising Him for the refund resulted in us and her getting our money back. Wow! I was also reminded how when we are faithful and God blesses us for it, other people get blessed as a result.
God is so cool. In the midst of the chaos and stress, the Holy Spirit reminded me that the amount that was attempting to be stolen was the exact amount I tithed earlier that day, and that God was simply using this as a way to manifest His power and receive the Glory through our lives. I was reminded that all the things we go through are to be tools added to the toolbox of our testimony for Jesus Christ. Brian and I talked about how this was the best/worst thing that had happened in a long time. We were presented with injustice, but we asked God to fight the battle for us. We asked God and praised God for victory. Sure, we had to show up (God doesn’t just do all the work for us. He wants to see our faith); Brian made phone calls and talked to about 10 people in different states, and some people working for this company in India, and finally, after 2 hours of persevering, God made a way. God needed us to trust Him so that He could use our testimony for further evidence of His faithfulness.
I challenge you to test God in this. He says to test Him in this! I believe it’s the only place in the Bible where God says to test Him. So, I challenge you to test God in this, and do not waiver as I did for so many years; I paid a dear, dear price for my lack of faith, trust, and obedience to give God my tithes and offerings. For the past 3 years, I have not waivered and God has truly, consistently, and ever so victoriously done what He said He would do.
P.S. It was also 3 years ago that God presented me with The Warrior Mom ministry, which I know is not a coincidence.
“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 you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.