“The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me?” is a biblical truth.
Recognize that if you have committed your life to Christ, He – not man – is in control of all you submit and commit to Him.
Bankers, employers, personnel officers, judges, the corporate structure or even your church is not your source – God is. These may have authority in your life, and you have to recognize and respect that authority. But there is a Higher Authority to Whom you have submitted, and all these things rest under His Supreme Authority. As your Advocate, He is able to present your case in a winning fashion and win the outcome in your favor. God is the ultimate authority over everything in your life.
Dr. Edwin Louis Cole told of his personal story about a missionary friend. “I have a great friend whom God launched into a missionary service in a powerful way. He became a tremendously successful missionary. Once he made my house his main office while he was in the United States, raising funds to return to the mission field. I noticed something peculiar about him at that time. Whenever the mail came, he would rush to the mailbox to see what was for him. If there was a letter with money, he was happy. If not, he became sad. I noticed that he was depending on that mailbox as his source. The truth is, God was always working for his highest good, regardless of what came in the mail He eventually learned that lesson well. If he had not, he would never have been the missionary statesman he became.” – Edwin Louis Cole
When I became a full-time pastor at the age of 23, I depended on private donations for support. One day I caught myself walking down from my room to the mailbox. I was shuffling through letters, I felt my spirit dropping as I realized that all the letters are prayer requests. Suddenly, I remember the story that Dr. Edwin Cole narrated in his book, and I realized I was caught in the “mailbox syndrome.” I didn’t need the mailbox as my source for supply in my crisis! I needed to depend on God as my source.
Our financial battle is won on our knees, not at the bank. Not at the mailbox. God is our source!
Recognize that God is your source, and then never stop honoring Him with your substance. If you are suffering from a financial loss, honor God with what financial resources you do have. Faith operates at all times.
Giving to God is not some kind of super-spiritual bribe that will release you from distress. You cannot compensate by sacrifice what you lose through disobedience. You cannot suddenly decide to give sacrificially to God, expecting it to make up for years of disobedience to God. Repent of wrongdoing. Give to God because it is right! Don’t try to “buy” or “bribe” God – it won’t work!
God is God, and He will do what is best for you, according to His infinite wisdom. When we apply our finite understanding and dream up the solution to our crisis, but God does not act in the way we think He should, we can become disappointed in Him. Some are even embittered toward Him. When you give to God, you can expect a return, because God will not be a debtor to any man. But when and how He honors your faith is up to God. You may know the biblical principle of the “seed-faith offering.” It is valid, but it is not a magic potion. Heaven doesn’t operate a lottery. You don’t give, then wait to hit the jackpot. Expecting God to release us instantaneously from a lifetime of error is presumption, not faith.
We are disappointed in life, not based on what we find, but what we expect to find. When we expect God’s blessings to coincide with our decisions, we set ourselves up for disappointment. God’s timing is not our timing, and giving is never a magical solution to our problems.
There is a fine line between faith and presumption. That line is the difference between spirit and flesh, grace and works, obedience and assumption.
In short, give your tithes and offerings generously, by faith, believing that God will take care of you, and expect His blessings. Don’t give with presumption, presuming you know how He’ll take care of you or how the blessings will come.
Get rid of magical thinking. Deal with reality.
God honors those who honor Him.
The greatest way to honor Him is to have faith in Him. Give to God as an act of faith. It is God-honoring. Tithing-lie baptism, witnessing or other acts that honor God – is an external evidence of an internal work. Internally, we have given ourselves over to God. Externally, we die to ourselves and give to Him materially with our time and energy, telling others of His Good News. God loves “a cheerful giver.”
Just as forgiveness opens relationships, so giving opens blessings. Richness in faith will produce richness in life, whether in relationships, finances or any other area.
God expects us to revere Him as our source. Giving God reverence “adds hours to each day,” the proverb says. Reverence for God is revealed in our worship and in our attitude toward worship. Murmuring about the time spent, complaining about how much time God takes out of your Sunday, the Lord’s Day, will adversely affect the fulfillment of God’s promises – just as murmuring kept Israel from their promised land. When you carefully give God your time, a tithe of your time really, you gain time during the rest of the week. Most men who complain that there is never enough time are guilty of murmuring against the Lord’s day.