Today I am not posing a conundrum. What comes first? The chicken or the egg? Nothing quite as deep as that. But I am simply posing the question is it important what we do in what order?
Well the answer is absolutely, yes. What you do first determines what time there is left to do other things. Therefore, if we want to ensure the most significant things get done, they must be done first.
The same is true of our giving. If we give with whats leftover, very often we won’t be giving at all or will at least not be able to freely determine how much we give. Lets take a look at a moment in Abraham’s giving:
The lord told him, “Bring me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 So Abram presented all these to him and killed them. Then he cut each animal down the middle and laid the halves side by side; he did not, however, cut the birds in half. 11 Some vultures swooped down to eat the carcasses, but Abram chased them away. Genesis 15:9-11
Abraham is making an offering and he is finding that the vultures are coming to try and steal it away. There is such power in bringing our tithe. There is great blessing triggered from choosing to give offerings, to choosing to be generous. Therefore, we find that things will come to try and steal our ability to see through our commitment.
Just as we are about to tithe the car breaks down and we are facing a potentially large bill. Just after we agreed to give a certain amount to the building fund, 3 major household appliances stop working and need replacing. Just after we have made a decision to give a certain amount in the offering, to a friend in need, to… something happens.
The million dollar question is : will we still go through with our commitment (whether that commitment was seen by another or not)?
We have to protect our offering and see through our commitments. Other things steal it too easily. Our future is linked to protecting the consistency of our giving. The prophet Malachi tells us our tithe rebukes the devourer. By seeing through on a commitment we close the mouth and bind the hands of the one who seeks to steal and destroy.
When we see through our commitments to put first things first it is stepping us up to another realm of faith. It takes faith to tithe when we know that technically we will be left short. It takes faith to see through a commitment when we know it will mean forsaking a few things to make it happen.
Don’t give up due to circumstances. Some of you are still waiting for a desire to come to pass, don’t stop early. If Joshua stopped after going around Jericho 6 times he would have got nothing. If David stopped after killing bears and didn’t go for Goliath nothing would have happened.
Faith is an essential quality in living in the second mile as a believer. That is who you are!