Memory is one of the greatest aspects of life. Being able to remember past experiences help us celebrate them or learn from them. However, many people are very forgetful. Some forget because of medical reasons others just because human condition: we are imperfect and live in imperfect bodies. “I forgot” becomes the reason for things not getting done or said. Too often though, is not the forgetting that affects our Christian walk but the blocking out of what we need to remember regarding God’s will for us. We need to be reminded frequently what God has done, what God is doing and what God will do for us (Psalm 105:5–6). Memory is a gift from God and repentance is the call to remember Him and turn back to Him and His ways. When we remember God and His faithfulness, it brings us to a point of spiritual traction.
There are a number of things we need to remember if we are to gain traction with God in the area of managing our finances. We need to remember that God Owns It All; He is our sovereign God and owns not only our lives but all our possessions. He created everything on this cosmos and He is the sole owner of everything in it (Psalm 24:1; 50:10–12). Haggai and Paul believed this (Haggai 2:8; 1 Corinthians 10:26, 28).
One of the reasons why I always encourage you to be faithful with your tithe and offerings is because all the money we have belongs to Him. God does not want our money from us; He wants His money from us! It’s not enough to just agree that He owns it; we must live it out, act in accordance to this reality. We are merely managers of God’s possessions and tithing is a practical expression that we believe this truth. He owns it all!
Remember that self-preservation and self-sufficiency are Idolatry in disguise. Everyone is concerned with having a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, transportation and money for entertainment and leisure, even money for retirement. It’s normal to be concern about these things. The Bible encourages us to save, to count the cost of whatever we buy and put money aside for rainy days and retirement. God wants us to enjoy the fruit of our labor! What He does not want is for us to forget that all the stuff we have is His stuff and not ours so if He wants to change our plans He can and He expects for us to humbly and gratefully surrender it.
When the disciples wanted to have a more effective prayer life Jesus gave them a model of a prayer that included “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11). What was He trying to tell us? Only by trusting Him you will stop trusting in self for preservation. When it comes to material possessions some feel they can do better than God. When it comes to His stuff, we trust Him and not self! When we shift toward self-sufficiency we begin to live as if we are God. That’s idolatry! BTW, although is godly to work and God blesses the work of our hands, the burden of provision is never placed on us. God is both provider and sustainer. When we compete with God over the basis of our sufficiency, we struggle in realizing who’s in charge. Biblical stewardship helps us trust Lord rather than ourselves or our stuff.
Lastly, remember that Tithing stretches our faith! Our faith is both shown and stretched when we tithe. Nowhere is our walk with the Lord more practical that in our relationship to our possessions. It’s easy to say, “Oh, I trust God for everything I need.” It’s quite something else to give 10% or more of your income to the Lord simply because you trust Him to make what’s left, the 90%, go further than what you think it can. It is definitely more than lip service; it’s true faith.
You became a follower of Christ by faith (Ephesians 2:8) and you continue to walk by faith (Colossians 2:6–7). Faith is the means by which we live the Christian life and our finances are part of that walk. Regardless of how much money you have, you are accountable to administer it by faith. When you tithe you show such a faith.
When we tithe our faith is also stretched. It’s easy to tithe when things are going well. Now, what about when that’s not the case? You’ve heard it before but I will remind you; that’s when our faith is stretched because it takes a certain level of faith when the bank account is almost in zero. When we trust God to provide even when we cannot see how He plans to do it; that is how He stretches our faith (Hebrews 11:1).