“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 (NIV)
Last fall our church had a video series about the book The Blessed Life by Pastor Robert Morris. If you have never read his book, I highly recommend it. It has changed our family’s outlook on life. The series is loosely about tithing and why an individual is commanded to tithe, but really, it’s about so much more. It’s about learning how to surrender your life fully to God and letting Him be the One in charge. It’s also about how sometimes, God will give us choices in life and it’s up to us what decision we make.
I read the book in 2013, as God was taking our family on a journey. Then, approximately one year later, while we were still walking along the journey, we saw the sermon video series. Now, four years later, our family went through the series again. While reading the book, God gave our family several choices with our finances. We knew each choice was a no-brainer: we were going to do it God’s way even though God used that time to stretch us.
The first time we watched the sermon series, my thoughts were: “Yeah, I’ve already read the book. We’ve already changed our lifestyle to reflect a more God-honoring one with our finances, this message will be nice and relaxing, certainly not convicting because we’ve already done the changing.” I got ready to sit back, relax and enjoy. Seriously, if God isn’t sitting up in heaven laughing at me and my ridiculous thinking, He should be. Little did I know but God wasn’t surprised, He presented our family with a few choices during the sermon series, areas that weren’t completely surrendered, although unintentionally. We again made the choice to do it His way (a no-brainer) and life went on.
This past fall, I didn’t foolishly think we were doing it all correctly and I didn’t go into the sermon with the same attitude of “I’m going to sit back and relax because we’ve changed enough,” but instead came to God with the attitude of, “If you have something You want to show me, something different or deeper, with this series this time around, I’m listening.”
Come back next time and I’ll share with you how once again, God presented our family with a choice that took me by surprise.