I refuse to submit! I really like to do things my way. I like to make all the decisions AND have the control. However, I also feel so blessed that God loves me enough to not leave me alone, but instead get involved in my life.
When I moved to California at 23, I thought for sure I was going to be a millionaire by the time I was 30. No doubt in my mind, everything in my life that I set out to do I had accomplished, and I was very “confident” this would occur as well.
Well after becoming a Christian at 25, getting married at 29 then losing 3 jobs over the course of 3 years due to downsizing, my dream turned into just wanting to fill my gas tank up above the ¼ tank level.
We then had Cameron and Jordan and were able to hang on and make ends meet until 2008. Then the recession hit. Being in the construction industry my income was reduced to 25%. This made things a little stressful to say the least.
About this time my prayer life really got serious. Cam and Jo’s grandma, Patricia, had continuous migraines for over a year. So every night we would say our normal prayers and then pray specifically for Grandma. One particular evening, when the bills were overwhelming, I remember just praying silently, “Lord I really need some help. I really need help to feed these kids this month”. It was the 10th (we had $500 in the bank) and the mortgage was due ($1,800). Well 2 days later, God came through, we received the needed money and we made it one more month.
This happened again 3-4 more times over the next year. This process really solidified my trust in God. He was faithful every time. After this happening so many times I would pray, “Lord, You know what I need and I know you will provide, so thank you.”
This same process again happened over these last few years in my business. It would be time to pay the bills and payroll was due. The bank account did not match the bills. “Lord I need help”. Time and again he would provide. I can’t even tell you how amazing this is. He is a good father. He always provides.
In my mind, I was always justified to not give my first fruits to God. I reasoned I had no first fruits to give. At least that was my justification.
Ever since Tunde shared last year her amazing story about how God has provided for her family, every time ends didn’t meet I have been wrestling with God. How can I tithe a full tithe when I don’t have anything left to tithe?
I had Kara explain it this way: If someone invites you over for some brownies and ice cream and they bring out the ¼ full freezer burnt ice cream and the left over two day old brownie tray that has only the edges left. How does that make you feel?
In Malachi 3:10 God says, ”Test me in this.” I said OK. My budget does not balance, so I will test you. I went from 2% to 10%. Guess what happened…. he provided again! I believe God asks for my obedience in the things he knows that I can make idols. Because when after years of stubbornness I finally submitted, a new freedom came over me that I can not explain. I am the happiest I ever been in my life!
Don’t take my word for it. Ask God what He wants from you. Then do it. Test Him. It’s worth the journey.