Know why I love God so much? Because He follows me around everywhere I go.
Ever see that movie In the Mouth of Madness? It's just one of my favorite allegedly scary movies. (Not my definition of scary. Just really weird and fun. I am a Stephen King kind of person, after all.)
There's a scene in this where Trent is trying to get away and he drives from the maddening crowd only to find himself right back where he started, no matter how many times he tries. Eventually he has to give up. Now, that's not to say that being a child of God is insanity or maddening, and I could certainly give you a Biblical reference that illustrates the point just as well. But this movie is just a lot of fun.
Anyhoo, it's my point. No matter where I go, what I do, He's right there quietly by my side - or at my back, or in front of me, you pick the location, He's there. And it's one of the reasons I love Him so much because you can't get that kind of selfless devotion from most adults. And what's cool is I don't deserve it. No one does really, but I know I don't because I don't do everything with His best interests in mind because sometimes I'm too lazy to do it or I simply don't feel like it. Glad He doesn't do that back, huh?
The Bible tells us that no one can snatch us from His hand, provided of course you choose to be there. "Snatch" implies stolen so you can choose to walk away but no one can steal you. (John 10:28)
One of my biggest struggles was tithing. And not because I've never done it but because I did for a long time and after we bought the house and things got REALLY tight, Mr. T says one day that you have to do the bills first. Now to me, tithing is not a gray area. I believe there are lots of things that some people believe MUST be done a certain way and the Bible does not support that. But tithing has always been cut and dried to me.
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows." - Malachi 3:10.
That's Old Testament, sure. But there is also the New Testament widow:
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on." - Mark 12:41-44
I already know what happens when you tithe. I've had many a financial miracle. I've experienced the "oil that never runs out." I KNOW faithfulness in this area works. So why stop? Even though Mr. T is Christian, this is one thing I believe he still needs to get a better understanding of. But because he's my husband, I told him I will let him lead on this one - sorta. We have a house fund but the other money stays separate. So I didn't HAVE to do it but one of my goals is to stand before God (a very long time from now) and have Him say, "Monica, you really did try to compromise. Well done." Compromise over. I'm going back to my way. Make that God's way.
On the way to the accountant yesterday, after a year of not really tithing - a little here, a little there, but not true tithing - I talked to myself. "It's time. Things really are pretty much the same. We're blessed but I don't want to hinder anything else God has for us because I am knowingly not doing what my spirit is telling me I should." I tell you I could just feel Him at my back telling me, "It's OK. I never left you."
Those life-altering changes in 2009 I told you I felt coming? They are a-comin'. Trust me. And I don't want anything in the way. Don't get me wrong. It's gonna be a true sacrifice to tithe again in the hard times and I'm not even going to do it the way I think it should be done - 10% off the gross. I'll do off the net first, but tithing in the easy times isn't really a test of faith anyway. This will be. I'll let you know how He proves himself.