Malachi 3 contains a wonderful promise of abundant blessing for those who "bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house." (Malachi 3:10, NKJV.) Israel (in context) and the church of God (by extension) are promised that the windows of heaven will open and there will not be enough room to contain the blessing God gives us economically. I know this to be true, and have seen God bless me personally as He has changed me from tightwad to tither! (You can read some of my financial testimonies here.)
Yet with many Scriptures, the Holy Spirit often reveals deeper layers of meaning to us as we grow. His job is to break us out of the "boxes" we put ourselves - and God - into. One of the things He is revealing now is that we must move beyond the "financial blessing" box described here and see that God is looking for our hearts, not just our wallets. Giving is secondary; all giving flows first from the heart. Tithing is not just financial, but also personal.
A Deeper Meaning
Remember, the enemy devours more than just my finances! His attacks extend to my home, my health, my children, my peace, and my mind. Consequently, in order to see God bless me in every area of life, I must be willing to give of my time and my presence, in addition to my finances. What I sow spiritually I will reap both spiritually and naturally. When I move my heart to a "Psalm 91-position" of abiding in Christ daily, I see God stand and rebuke disease, pestilence, terror, calamities, war, and lack. (Psalm 91:3-13; Malachi 3:11-12. For an in-depth look at the promises of Psalm 91, click here.)
God is not looking for faithful Sunday attendance combined with a "power offering" to prove our commitment to Him! Even tithing off our pre-tax dollars doesn't impress Him. God is looking, still, for hearts that are wholly devoted to Him (2 Chronicles 16:9). Sacrificing money alone does not earn us an "A" on God's test. A devoted heart that governs our giving does. The question is always, where is your heart?
In this hour, God is looking for people who draw near enough to His Presence that they live in the shadow of His tent. When I bring myself as an offering to Him, I become an overflowing receptacle of His grace and glory. I am saturated with His Presence, until I cannot contain any more! I feast on living bread and living water (Jesus), and then have spiritual food to share with those in the household of God. (See Malachi 3:10b; John 4:32.)
Unfortunately, like Israel in Malachi 3:14, we have said, "what good is it that we have served God or invested in daily devotional times? The wickedest people in our land test God and still go free!" We look at the state of our nation and see corrupted leaders, greedy politicians, and evidence of abundant curses, not abundant life. A sense of futility overtakes us.
So we rob God by discounting His requests for a tithe of our time, time we steal for ourselves and our own pleasure. We come empty to church, give money, and hope to be blessed, yet ignore the mandates in Colossians 3:16 and Ephesians 5:18-19 to "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom." We cannot "teach or admonish" others; we have no "psalms, hymns, or spiritual songs" to feed others with, because our own spiritual pantries are empty. This must change if we want to be blessed personally or nationally!
I do not want to rob God of anything He says is His - and I am His!
Prophecy: Tithe Your Time!
I hear the Lord saying to His church today: "Ask Me! Ask Me to show you the places where you have robbed Me. As you do so, I will not only show you those areas that need remedy, but I will also release strategies to help you bring the FULL TITHE of your time and energy into My Kingdom. You have said that 'There isn't time,' but I say that I AM the Lord of time, and I create pathways for you to enter My Presence when you least expect it! It is not time that you lack, but desire. If you set your heart to passionately desire My Presence, I myself will set your clock to the appointed times I have created to bless you in return.
"You cannot outgive God! I will not fail to multiply back to you whatever time you choose to invest in Me. TRUST ME IN THIS. Test the strength and security of My relationship with you and find that I NEVER let you go; I never let you down. TRUST MY WORDS and see that they are true. Lay hands on the sick and see them recover! I will honor you as you honor Me. Don't limit yourselves to financial blessing alone when I would give you dominion over ALL THINGS! Trust Me, see My steadfastness, and learn that like every good parent, I will not let you fall."
© Deborah Perkins / His Inscriptions. All textual Bible references NKJV. Lead image text, NIV.
Free Link to the Subscriber Resource Library when you join His Inscriptions!
A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.