There are times when worship is easy, and there are times when worship is a sacrifice. One specific area I have encountered this truth lately is in giving the tithe. Tithing and giving offerings are a natural part of worshipping God. It means honoring God with the first and best part of our lives, specifically with our finances. But worship is not always easy, natural to our flesh, or our first instinct without revelation from God’s Word!
There are times when worship is a sacrifice, it is just plain hard to do. But we must still make the decision that we will honor God, seek his face, and obey his Word no matter what it costs us. When I come to these moments my flesh instantly puts up a big, loud, embarass-your-mom-in-the-grocery-store-toddler-like fit. You may have noticed this phenomenon in other areas of honoring or worshipping God. Like during the worship service: I don’t want to raise my hands, I don’t like to kneel, people will think I’m just needy if I worship like that. I won’t-I won’t! You can’t MAKE me! All the while singing the song, and looking calm and serene on the outside.
We have had some ‘tight’ financial seasons. During those times it is a sacrifice to bring the tithe, not knowing if or how we would make it through the month. My flesh has had a royal fit! I work at my church and am the one who takes the deposit (of tithes and offerings, and whatnot) to the bank each week. This is the same bank that my husband and I bank at. My ‘flesh’ actually had me obsessing about what the ladies at the bank were thinking every week when I made the deposits for the church. I was sure that they would see my check in the church deposit, and they would know that our bank account was low. They probably thought I was a terrible mother and wife giving money to the church instead of buying more Baby Einstein videos or going out to dinner with my man!!
These are the sort of lies, fears, and shame that will crop up when you make the decision to step out and obey God’s Word whether the particular Word is tithing, forgiving, or loving.
 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.  And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16
Know this: God is good. God is faithful. God always keeps His Word. God’s Word always comes with the ability to obey.
You should also know this: When we disobey what God is telling us to do, we become deceived, and may even think that it’s okay that we aren’t obeying!
- God and I have a deal, it’s okay. I donate my time.
- God knows my heart. I’ll tithe when I make more money.
- If I didn’t make so much money I could tithe.
David makes a beautiful statement about this in 1 Chronicles 21. He had the option to take the land, as well as the sacrifice to be given to God, for free. He had shown an interest in this property, for reasons I won’t get into now, and asked the price. The owner offered it to him for free, along with whatever he would need for sacrificing to God there. David says,
No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing. 1 Chronicles 21:24
Are you giving to God what is free and easy for you? Or are you willing to pay the price to honor God and put him first in every area? The price, to be clear, is the death of our flesh – the part of us that kicks and screams when it is uncomfortable or scared. We must not allow our flesh to rule us any longer, but allow the Holy Spirit to give us peace, and faith as we step out in obedience to God!
Imagine a people loving God, serving God, and obeying even when it is a sacrifice to their comfort. Imagine a people choosing to worship God with everything they have; worshipping Him above and before everything and anything this world could offer. Imagine the Love for a King that could so transform our every action, desire, and gift, that the world would notice.
thanks for reading,