"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth."
Matthew 6:24 NASB
I can tell you that I have read this verse many times, and I have heard many messages from different pastors involving this passage. However, like so many other things in my life, I never REALLY understood its meaning until I experienced it. Everything in this world, tells us hold on to our money with all our might especially now that times are hard, but everything I have come across dealing with authentic Christ-following behavior commands giving - tithing, offering, etc. Tithing is considered a part of one's worship of God, and a part that I must admit was a struggle for me. I have this mentality that I hate to run out of something - we have went through some difficult times where we didn't know if/when/how we would get to replace something if it ran out.
So I suppose giving away money when I know it will be another month before we get another paycheck is difficult for me, but I have been SO VERY convicted of this lately. It's part of this entire being-a-better-steward thing that I have been trying to do this year. I have been praying, studying the Word, keeping a prayer journal all in the goal of aligning my life and my heart with God's heart and Word. Through this has come this extreme dislike for money and the idea of being tied to money. The more I love God and the more I know about Him, the more I dislike money. I felt like I was almost defining myself by the money I had or letting money dictate my life. To be quite honest, I hated the idea that I allowed money to have that much power over me. Malachi 3 was the punch in the gut that confirmed what I knew - I needed to tithe.
8“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9“You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORDof hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11“Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. 12“All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts."
So Candace (my sister/best friend/accountability partner) and I just decided that we didn't care what the numbers said or our fears of not having enough money for the month - we stepped out on faith and gave. And I can't tell you all the blessings we have received in just the short time since we did. I believe the main thing for me though was feeling like I had let go of something that God had been commanding me to put down - it was a break-through for me. To know that even though I make mistakes and even though I fail every day, I am moving in the right direction makes all the difference in the world. It felt wonderful to trust God to be my Jehovah-Jireh - my provider!
He is true to His Word and is my Provider! I am in awe of His love and His grace when I think of how He has blessed us. I pray that you know God and that you trust Him to be your Provider. I don't know what He may be asking you to trust Him in, but I pray that you do. I just can't find sufficient words to describe how amazing God is and has been and continues to be to my family.