I'm Not Selfish; I'm Scared
I want to discuss something that may be the least popular topic in churches today. I want to talk about something I have seen ruin marriages, tear apart families, and bring out the worst in some of the best people. I want to talk about something mentioned more than 800 times in the Bible, which is only fitting because it impacts every one of us. You've probably guessed it… I want to talk about money, explicitly trusting God with our money.
As a child of divorce, I have seen firsthand the damage that can be caused when money is tight, faith is low, and generosity isn't fathomable. My parents were rarely on the same page about money. It always seemed elusive, in short supply, already spent, or never enough. Looking back, it is evident that anytime fights would ensue, even if they weren't about money directly, they were still about money. My parents, in this season, were not consistent givers, and honestly, I can't blame them because, at that time, they were not taught the power of being in covenant with God in their finances.
That's a strong word - covenant. It's not often used when teaching about money, but it is very appropriate. Follow me to Genesis 15. This is the chapter when Abraham is instructed to bring a cow, a goat, a ram, a turtledove, and a pigeon to create a blood path. In biblical times, walking through a blood path symbolized entering a covenant with someone. Traditionally, the more prominent of the two parties would walk through the blood path, and then the other would walk through, too, essentially agreeing that if either of them defaulted on their side of the deal, they would owe the other a debt. You might wonder where I am going with this… hang in there.
Follow me to verse 17:
"17 When the sun had gone down, and it was dark, behold, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch passed between these pieces. 18 On that day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram."
I want to draw your attention to "a smoking fire pot, AND a flaming torch passed between these pieces." This is significant because smoke and fire are both ways God's presence is manifested in the old testament. This means that God passed through the blood path for himself but also for Abraham, essentially saying, "Abraham, I know you're going to miss the mark. You will mess this up, but I'll pay the price for you when you do!"
God is so good to take on Abraham's part of the covenant! Now, I want to bring this back to you and to me. God is good enough to enter into this covenant with Abraham to show that His Word is good and He is a promise keeper. He then takes it even further and symbolically says to Abraham even when you mess up, I'm going to pay the price and still give you what I promised you (an heir). If God is that good and honored his covenant with Abraham, don't you think he will keep all promises and covenants with you?
God promises to provide for every one of our needs in Philippians 4.
God promises that if we bring our tithe, he will pour out a blessing too big to receive - Malachi chapter 3.
In Luke chapter 6, God promises that it will be given to us if we give.
Time and time again, God instructs us to give and promises to take care of us in return.
I want to invite you to lean into that promise. Trust God. Trust His Word. Trust His character. Trust His glory.
That is much easier said than done.
I mentioned earlier that my parents were not givers at that time. This wasn't because they were selfish. This was because they were scared. The endless "what ifs" circulate and debilitate any urge to take that initial step of generosity. It's completely understandable.
We've all found ourselves there at some point. Some of us are even there now.
I have definitely been there a few times in my life.
However, I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that entering into this covenant with God by becoming a tither and relentlessly going on this journey of generosity has been one of the best and most impactful things I have ever done. I've seen God meet needs I didn't even know I had, pay off debts years before they were due, and multiply my bank account when I saw no way to make ends meet. As a result, I've seen a financial increase; promises kept, the Word fulfilled, and an overwhelming peace regarding money.
It has been one of my spiritual walk's most significant faith builders.
I've never heard of anyone who took God at His Word, started giving, and regretted it.
It works. It just does. God is that good.
So, I want to challenge you here:
If you've never given, take the step now and give for the first time. Speak the Word of God over it. Bring the Word of God to His remembrance and take this step of faith.
If you've given but never consistently, I challenge you to give every month for the next 90 days. Then, put your needs in front of God as a vessel for Him to fill, enter into a covenant with Him, and watch that need get met.
If you're a consistent giver, I encourage you to ask God how to take it up a notch. What seed can you sow? Where can you be generous? Where can you partner with God financially?
Now that I have challenged you, I want to give you a little perspective.
We trust God with something as immense as our salvation and eternity, seemingly with little pushback. If we can give Him our forever, don't you think it's a small task to give Him our finances?