“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!’” Malachi 3:10 (NLT, second edition)
God uses finances to test your faith. Have you ever had to decide between paying a bill and tithing? You only have so much money — where is it going to go? It's a test. God is saying, “Do you really believe that I can take care of your bills? Or do you think you have to take care of them on your own?”
He says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do ... I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (Malachi 3:10 NLT, second edition)
In effect, God is saying, "I dare you! I dare you to see what I will do if you become a giving, generous person. Tithe, and see what happens to your life.”
Did you know there are more promises in the Bible regarding giving than any other thing? Jesus talked more about giving than he did about Heaven or Hell. I believe this is because giving is the essence of being like Jesus.
The Bible says God is a giver: “God so loved the world that he gave ...” When we give, it shows God that we trust him and believe his promises to provide for us. Giving strengthens, stretches, and tests our faith.
Do you really believe God will take care of your bills? If you’re struggling in this area, ask God to help you in your unbelief. He wants to help you find the freedom in your finances that only comes from trusting in him.
As you pray about your financial needs, write them down and then watch to see how God provides. By keeping a record of how God provides, you will find your faith deepening as you see God’s faithfulness and his creativity in providing for your needs.
Learn More About a Biblical Approach to Your Budget
Your finances are important to God. Saddleback Resources offers Managing Our Finances God’s Way, a seven-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that will inspire you to live debt-free and/or manage finances in a way that enables you to respond to God’s calling on your life.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.