I read in Nehemiah about the hard times Israel went thru when they were coming out of captivity and rebuilding Judah. They saw how sinful they had been and how much they had lived for themselves and became very broken and fasted and prayed and read his word and allowed themselves to become truly broken… because it is when people get like that that god can truly begin to work in them
They really begin to mean business with God seeing how selfish they had been and not paying god any attention. They begin separating themselves from anybody of the world and then they begin tithing- but tithing everything not just money
I began thinking about different “tests” in the bible and how sometimes tithing (or giving things up to God) isn’t just about money. (Even though I do think tithing money is something a Christian should do) But also what is there in our lives that we keep from God. We don’t want him to take it from us? I looked up the word test in the bible and the first story that came up was Abraham with Isaac
Gen 22:1 Now after these things, God put Abraham to the test, and said to him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I.
Gen 22:2 And he said to him, Take your son, your dearly loved only son Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah and give him as a burned offering on one of the mountains of which I will give you knowledge.
God told him basically go take your son, this son you love so well and give him up to me. But he did promise him something if you look close: “give him as a burned offering on one of the mountains of which I will give you knowledge. ”
God told him if you give this thing up that you love, you will learn something about me
Abraham trusted God and “tithed” Isaac (a relationship not even money) and when God saw he TRULY wasn’t holding anything back from Him – and that He was more important to Abraham than Isaac was
Gen 22:12 And he said, Let not your hand be stretched out against the boy to do anything to him; for now I am certain that the fear of God is in your heart, because you have not kept back your son, your only son, from me.
Gen 22:13 And lifting up his eyes, Abraham saw a sheep fixed by its horns in the brushwood: and Abraham took the sheep and made a burned offering of it in place of his son.
Gen 22:14 And Abraham gave that place the name Yahweh-yireh: as it is said to this day, In the mountain the Lord is seen.
Gen 22:15 And the voice of the angel of the Lord came to Abraham a second time from heaven,
Gen 22:16 Saying, I have taken an oath by my name, says the Lord, because you have done this and have not kept back from me your dearly loved only son,
Gen 22:17 That I will certainly give you my blessing, and your seed will be increased like the stars of heaven and the sand by the seaside; your seed will take the land of those who are against them;
Gen 22:18 And your seed will be a blessing to all the nations of the earth, because you have done what I gave you orders to do.
God ended up showing Abraham Himself and was right there (Here am I) and gave him his son back and said he would be multiplied for his faith
God allowed him to be tested in every area of His life- Everything was taken away. But in the end God gave it back and better
I read this scripture: Lam 3:40 Let us make search and put our ways to the test, turning again to the Lord;
Lam 3:41 Lifting up our hearts with our hands to God in the heavens.
I took it like let God search our hearts and see what needs to be put to the test and let us turn to God with all our hearts, giving ourselves up to Him (lifting our hearts to Him like a sacrifice) Giving him all our desires
Mal 3:8 Will a man keep back from God what is right? But you have kept back what is mine. But you say, What have we kept back from you? Tenths and offerings.
Mal 3:9 You are cursed with a curse; for you have kept back from me what is mine, even all this nation.
Mal 3:10 Let your tenths come into the store-house so that there may be food in my house, and put me to the test by doing so, says the Lord of armies, and see if I do not make the windows of heaven open and send down such a blessing on you that there is no room for it.
We wonder sometimes, “I am not holding back anything from God.” But this scripture says Will a man keep back from God what is right? What is not rightfully Gods? Nothing! Everything is his. So when we hold on to something so tightly because we are scared of God taking it away, we ARENT TRUSTING GOD. It’s like he is saying DO YOU TRUST ME?! IF YOU DID YOU WOULD GIVE THIS THING UP AND TRUST ME WITH IT THAN I AM NOT GOING TO HURT YOU OR LET YOU STARVE OR DESTROY YOU OR LEAVE YOU ALONE OR WHATEVER FEAR YOU MAY HAVE. TRUST ME!
It’s like God waits for us to take a leap of faith
He wishes we would trust Him and love Him enough we prove it
We have to ask ourselves, “What do I love most?” And then give it up! I believe everything you do or get has to come out of that. That if something is going to last then it has to at some point be given up to God COMPLETELY! I know every relationship I have with my family has been tested in some way. I think all relationships have to be given up to God at some point and we have to trust Him. Some God gives us back and some maybe not. And each time you have to let them go and trust God even when it looks like utter failure. God tests us to our core
Paul tells us: 2Co 13:5 Make a test of yourselves, if you are in the faith; make certain of yourselves. Or are you not conscious in yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you, if you are truly Christ’s?
2Co 13:6 But it is my hope that you will have no doubt that we are truly Christ’s.
Test yourself! He says…. Make sure you are living by faith! Until you are CERTAIN you are living out of Christ
He also says that is why Jesus was made like us… so he could understand the pain… tested in all ways like we are
Heb 2:18 For having been put to the test himself, he is able to give help to others when they are tested.
James also wrote a whole chapter about it
Jas 1:2 Let it be all joy to you, my brothers, when you undergo tests of every sort;
Jas 1:3 Because you have the knowledge that the testing of your faith gives you the power of going on in hope;
Jas 1:4 But let this power have its full effect, so that you may be made complete, needing nothing.
Jas 1:5 But if any man among you is without wisdom, let him make his request to God, who gives freely to all without an unkind word, and it will be given to him.
Jas 1:6 Let him make his request in faith, doubting nothing; for he who has doubt in his heart is like the waves of the sea, which are troubled by the driving of the wind.
Jas 1:7 Let it not seem to such a man that he will get anything from the Lord;
Jas 1:8 For there is a division in his mind, and he is uncertain in all his ways.
Jas 1:9 But let the brother of low position be glad that he is lifted up;
Jas 1:10 But the man of wealth, that he is made low; because like the flower of the grass he will come to his end.
Jas 1:11 For when the sun comes up with its burning heat, the grass gets dry and the grace of its form is gone with the falling flower; so the man of wealth comes to nothing in his ways.
Jas 1:12 There is a blessing on the man who undergoes testing; because, if he has God’s approval, he will be given the crown of life, which the Lord has said he will give to those who have love for him.
Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tested, I am tested by God; for it is not possible for God to be tested by evil, and he himself puts no man to such a test:
Jas 1:14 But every man is tested when he is turned out of the right way by the attraction of his desire.
Jas 1:15 Then when its time comes, desire gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is of full growth, gives birth to death.
Jas 1:16 Do not be turned from the right way, dear brothers.
Don’t be upset when you are tested! Be joyful and take it as an opportunity to show God you mean business with Him. He says, “You know testing makes you hope! You want to know God? Really do you?! Then let him test you. TRUST HIM! TEST HIM and see that HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU. GOD DOES NOT FAIL! Seek him! Pray! Don’t just assume if you want something from God you are going to get it. No! It says man is divided in his mind. He doesn’t know which way to go half the time… testing is necessary for us to even see which way God wants us to go. If something lasts thru Gods testing then you know God wants it… if it doesn’t then obviously it wasn’t his will. We are tested not because God is mean and harsh but because our thoughts are evil – let me say that again. OUR THOUGHTS ARE EVIL- WE SEEK AFTER WHAT WE WANT AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS TO US. FORGET WHAT GOD WANTS. And we follow our desires and that leads to sin and no faith at all. You know what does take faith? Testing! And THAT is why testing is necessary. It allows you to be tested to see if something is your will or God’s will.