Why I Tithe (My Malachi 3:10 Moment)

Why I tithe - that one time I tested God and He showed me how He provides (aka a Malachi 3:10 story)

You guys, I had the craziest Malachi 3:10 moment. It was one of those things you can’t forget because it was so obviously God.

I get that this post could be controversial, and I’ve hesitated to publish it for a while because of that, but ultimately I hope that I can share it with the understanding that this is just one crazy God-moment in my life, it’s personal to me. #howsthatforarunonsentence

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 3:10

Ok so here’s my story!

Years ago when I was living in NYC I attended a church that preached a message on Malachi 3:10 and tithing. Before that message I wasn’t really familiar with the verse or the whole concept of tithing. I didn’t know that “tithe” meant 10% and that in the Old Testament God issued a command for all believers to give the first 10% of their earnings (today we think of it as money but it often meant cattle and produce back then as well) to the Temple to support the priests.  I had never considered the fact that 100% of what we have is a gift from God, and in turn we’re asked to give a small portion of His provision back to the church. I definitely hadn’t considered that tithing, this giving back of “my” income could be a blessing to me. The Catholic churches I grew up in passed around offering baskets before communion and the nondenominational church I started attending when I turned 16 never really mentioned it (or I was a teenager and it went in one ear and out the other). So when I heard that message it hit hard.

But the thing that really stuck out to me about  Malachi 3:10 is it’s the only verse in the whole Bible where God says we can test Him. Normally testing God = not such a great idea. But in this area He says go ahead – test me. That’s huge. Remember that part, I’ll get back to it later.

At the end of the message, my church issued a three month generosity challenge and asked us to give whatever the Lord spoke into our hearts for the months of November through January. Despite all I had just learned my gut instinct was that there was no way I could afford to give 10% of my income. I was just getting by, New York City is expensive! And that’s not an excuse, it really was!  But I couldn’t shake the number 20%. So I reluctantly decided to give 20% for three months only and see what happened. After all, God did say “test me,” so He’s obviously serious about this issue, even if it seems like an impossible challenge.

Here’s the crazy part. Two and a half months after the generosity challenge had ended my job – a completely secular company with no idea about my church’s tithing challenge – offered me a promotion and 20% raise. 20%. The exact number I had dedicated to the church just two and a half months earlier. God provided. I can’t tell you how needed it was. It was HUGE! It was a God moment – God working through a completely secular institution.

Now I know that we won’t always get a financial reward for our giving. The moral of this story isn’t that if you tithe God will give you a raise. I think His blessings are different for all of us depending on His good and perfect will. But we do know He uses all things for good. The moral of this story is that for me that Malachi 3:10 moment will always be a reminder that God provides. And because of that I’ve been tithing ever since, no matter how tight the budget. And God has continued to faithfully provide all I need.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 

Stephanie from praylivecreate.com

 

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9 comments

  1. That’s awesome what God has done for you! I too am definitely learning that my whole income belongs to the Lord and that I should give back to Him through the church. When we give wholeheartedly, God never fails to bless us! Praise the Lord! 😀

    p.s. I love your “pray, live, create” banner! did you design it yourself?

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    1. Yes, I’ll never forget it (and I think that was the point of what He did more than the actual raise). It doesn’t mean I don’t have to budget or that I can afford everything I want or anything, but it was a great lesson for me that God provides and everything I have comes from Him.

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  2. Wow, that’s awesome to hear how God totally showed up and provided the exact amount when you stepped out in faith! My family and I are part of a small ministry here in Seattle and last fall we were in desperate need of a new roof for our building (we were collecting rain by the bucket in multiple places from leaks) and had no spare funds to make it happen. We talked a lot about God’s provision as a group and we kept coming back to how God often asks us to step out into the water before He will part the seas, so to speak. It was so incredible to watch God bring in the funds for our project once we decided to go forward, all of us giving and committing our tiny little bits and somehow ending up with enough. I’ve been living “in the red” for the last 5 years (because of medical expenses) and it’s hard to write that check every month for the commitment I’ve made to our ministry but I just keep doing it, one month at a time, because I’m trusting God to hold all things together. It’s a constant reminder that God holds things together all the time, even when we think we’re doing it ourselves, by our own strength or financial resources. Thanks for sharing your story, Steph! It’s so good to reminder ourselves and those around us of God’s faithfulness to us so that we can keep stepping out in faith and trusting God to provide.

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    1. I love this story, Courtney! Your faith is really inspiring!

      I definitely still have student loan debt (I joke about not paying them but we’ve knocked my big one down 86% in the last 3 years) and medical bills I haven’t paid yet. And at the time this story took place I was just.getting.by so the raise was much needed and a clear sign of His provision. Even after that took place there were times that I was eating brown rice and onions for dinner as I waited on my next paycheck for groceries. But I’ve never stopped tithing and He has been beyond good to me. Seven years ago (or even three years ago for that matter) I never ever could have imagined I’d be where I am today.

      Thanks for sharing! Hope you have a good weekend!

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