The Lord has really been speaking to me ever since we sold our restaurant about simplifying materialistic things in my life. I have come to the conclusion that the restaurant was actually a bit of a hinderance when it came to my trust and faith in God. Since selling the restaurant I have had to learn a whole new way of budgeting and living. Something I am and have been learning is the principle of tithing. Now, I know what you are thinking, “Uh oh, she is talking about money and what the Bible says about it…gonna make me feel guilty about the whole 10% thing.” Honestly, tithing is between you and God and no one else. I just wanted to share what I feel He has really deposited with my spirit lately about how I spend money. The principle of tithing though, is much deeper than just the concept of 10%. This principle has everything to do with your DAILY relationship with God, plain and simple. Romans 8:5-8 states:
“ Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.”
Back in the day when my mind was completely flesh driven I spent my money on frivolous, temporary, fading secular things and the more my mind is being renewed as I spend time in prayer and in the word, the Spirit is driving the way I spent His money..my perception of how to budget and spend His money has really began to change and I am seeing my “secular” view take a back seat.
For example, a little over 2 months ago we moved into a new home where the only things we were able to spend money on was painting the walls and on curtains in our master bedroom so my youngest could take naps. Every time I have gotten the “I wants,” which unfortunately is frequent, He keeps reminding me of His calling He has placed on Jerry’s and my life into children’s ministry and to the mission field…that His money needs to be spent on kingdom work and that all those “I wants” will be taken care of in their own way.
Recently the Lord has called me to go to Brazil in October and I was sharing this with my mom. She asked about the details and the costs and she had said “You know you could take that same amount money and time and get the things you need for your house and get your house in order before you start going on all these mission trips.” I know she means well, as all moms do, and she is right according to how the world sees the stewardship of money. I could spend paycheck after paycheck making sure I am keeping up with the Jone’s and building myself a nice “pad”, but that is not what God has called me to. He has called me to a level of trust and faith I have never known.
So, a couple of weeks go by and guess who cleans out her house and begins to provide all the things my home needs? My mom! My hairdryer broke and guess who brought me one that she had bought for a trip and never used? My mom! Lately my youngest daughter has been growing so quickly and the Lord spoke to me to just be patient and get the full use of all her clothes before going out and spending money on new ones. Guess who went out and bought her clothes while I patiently waited? My mom! I also received a bag of clothes out of the blue from a friend whose daughter had grown out of her clothes as well. Our lawn mower broke and as my husband was out attempting to fix it, our neighbor who had just got back in town from living in Canada half the year, came over and they began to talk and introduce themselves. My husband told of his dilemma with the lawn mower. My neighbor said his farewells and then came right back with a lawn mower and gave it to us and quoted Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Also, a friend of ours called my husband out of the blue, who partnered with him for his trip to Africa, last week and said, “Whatever you guys are doing with missions, I want to partner with you financially and prayerfully.” That is just plain God!! God is using my mom along with many others to confirm His call on our lives into ministry and to continue growing my faith and trust in Him.
As God continues to call my husband and I onto the mission field and into children’s ministry, He has been giving me this unique perception of waiting on spending things for our lives on this earth. My home will always need “things”, my wardrobe will always need “updating”, my transportation will always need “style”, my guitar will always need strings, but the need to reach the lost is NOW, here and in other nations. I realized when my husband went to Africa the money spent sending him and the money we tithe at our church does greater things in this community than my money could ever do at Wal-Mart, Wallstreet, a car dealership, the movie theatre, and eating out. To me the real principle of tithing is being so aligned with the will of God in your life that you begin to see going without “things” is really no big deal so that someone else doesn’t have to go without eternity! Your money, talent, and treasure given to God gives better returns than any worldly value can equal!
I want to encourage you if you have had a hard time tithing or giving to people in need to really look at the way you spend you money. It will show you what your “treasure” is. Ask God to help you align yourself with His will for your life and His “economy.” I promise once you do that all other things will seem pretty meaningless and you will start to perceive things the way He sees things and be interested in the people Jesus was interested in…Jesus was interested in three kinds of people: the least, the last and the lost. Which ones are you interested in?