Obedience: Cause & Effect

I would like to take a moment to share a short story with you.  A few weeks ago, I had the great privilege and ability to tithe (give 10% of your wealth to the church) on a portion of income that I had received.  I cannot make the assertion that my family is always able to do this - I wish I could.  This particular time, however, I made it a point to follow through, and I wrote a check for the full ten percent to our local church.

What happened next was very interesting.  In fact, if we look to the Bible in the book of Malachi (chapter 3, verse 10), it says this: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it."  And bless us He did.  Not more than 45 minutes after cutting the check, I received a call from my wife informing me that we had been pre-approved for a home loan at a superb interest rate. 

Could these two events have been coincidental?  The skeptic would say yes.  Its true, God didn't send an angel from Heaven, riding a lightening bolt, to deliver the news about our loan.  But come now, doesn't it make you wonder?  Some would ask, "but you have only been pre-approved, its not a done deal yet."  That is correct.  However I believe both of these skeptical assumptions presume two things: 1.) God surely couldn't have done this, and 2.) circumstances need to be drawn out to their full and verifiable conclusion before we can give God any credit.  To the first presumption I would have to answer, "yes, God could have done this, and in fact does do this for people on a regular basis."  To the second presumption, I would answer that even if we get all the way through the process and begin moving into our new home ... would that be enough proof?  There is always an out if you look hard enough.

I am of the opinion that God simply fulfilled His promise in Malachi 3:10 that day.  We tithed, and He rewarded.  Now it is true that God is not a giant ATM in the sky.  Others may not have this same result, and this may very well not be the outcome all of the time when you tithe. But I enjoy being reminded that the Bible is true, and I thought a segment of you readers out there may appreciate this post also.  

Praise be to God, and I'm sure I will be blogging for you again soon, from the office in our new home.



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Comments

  1. Definitely not just a coincidence.

    I have a story to share as well for anyone who will listen:

    I woke up in the middle of the night a few years ago after having a dream about my step-dad wandering around in a stressed out frame of mind. When I awoke, I could not get back to sleep because the oddest phrase kept coming into my mind. The phrase was "Get out of bed, and write your step-dad a letter." Trust me, this never happens to me, and so I tried and tried to go back to sleep but I could not shake the phrase from my mind. Finally, I obediently got out of bed and began drafting a letter to my step-dad.

    I felt that I was supposed to encourage my step-dad to place his trust in God if he is feeling stressed/overwhelmed, and I also felt led to send a gift of encouragement to him. He owns his own business, and I knew that he was experiencing a lot of financial stress surrounding his business. Since this letter would be so out-of-the-blue (I hadn't lived at home for over 10 years and don't see my step-dad very often), I wanted to write an anonymous letter containing the anonymous gift and leave it at that; however, that same voice in my head very clearly stated that I was supposed to let him know it was from me.

    Since he would know it was from me, I ended up writing him a letter to tell him about the dream I had about him that woke me from my sleep and caused me to write him a letter. I also encouraged him to trust God during the difficult time he was experiencing. As a gift of encouragement, I wanted to send him a gift card to a nice restaurant so that he could take out my mom for a very nice dinner date. I got online and began researching possible restaurants in his area to purchase a gift card. I started with larger chains I knew about, but then I decided it would be best to find a really fancy less-known restaurant for the experience. After previewing about 7 different possibilities, I finally landed on a fancy steakhouse in his area that I had never heard of before. The website had photos, though, and it looked really nice. I purchased a $100 gift card to send to my step-dad with the letter.

    A fews days after sending the letter, my mom called me to thank me for writing the letter to my step-dad and to thank me for the gift card. She wondered how I chose the restaurant related to the gift card, and so I told her about how I had researched different places on the internet before settling on that restaurant.

    She said she had chills and goosebumps on her skin and that I wouldn't believe what she was about to tell me. She proceeded to tell me that the restaurant I had "randomly" chosen was the exact restaurant my step-dad had proposed marriage to her years before. Now I had chills because I had no knowledge of that when I purchased the gift card...coincidence? NO WAY!!!

    God still speaks to his people today...we just are too distracted or unwilling to listen most of the time.

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