This is My Crowd

This is My Crowd
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One of the Many Problems with Religion... From One with Religious Tendencies

God talks to me in the shower.  Is that weird? 

Photo by Mikumistock

I never thought it was, but then I started thinking about the fact that it happens often.  The best I can come up with is that it's in the  shower that my flesh goes on autopilot.  I go through the same series of events in the same order every time and I don't have to think about it.  Ok.  Sometimes I shave my legs, but that's really the only variable. 

In those moments when the flesh is distracted, is perhaps then that I'm most open to hearing Him more clearly.

What's even funnier, is if you reread the above out of the context of how NOT crazy I am, one might be amazed that I have access to a computer, maintain regular employement and legally care for minors. 

Moving on.  So, the other night I hopped in the shower and as I was going through my regularly scheduled program, I heard the question, "Do you trust the tithe or do you trust Me?" 

My first thought was "Oh dang, is God messing with my entire foundation on finances God's way after my husband finally got on board?  Why, God, why?"

Then God brought to mind people who had hit financial hardship and had started to question God's faithfulness after being faithful tithers themselves.  For those reading this wondering what the "tithe" is, it's the Biblical principle that establishes giving 10% of one's income to their local church.  I'm not going to debate the topic on any level, so save any comments arguing against the tithe (in part or totality), against the Bible or against God, for that matter.

After recalling how a few people I know became bitter after falling on financial hard times, they kind of gave upon on God.  I'm sure that they might argue that they hadn't given up on God entirely, but their behavior changed drastically as a result of their disappointment in God's reaction to their situation.  They stopped giving and eventually stopped going to church, beyond those external evidences of Christianity, I could not say what their prayer lives or person bible study time looked like and I won't even venture a guess.

Back to the question:  "Do you trust the tithe or do you trust Me?"

Now, by all accounts, our financial situation is not ideal.  We are currently operating on a paycheck to paycheck system, but both my husband and I are trusting that God has already established a light at the end of the tunnel and regardless of what that looks like, we will trust Him.  In our giving, we are saying that: 1) we support the spreading of the Gospel, first and foremost, 2) we are obedient to His Word (both in the Bible and specific things He's spoken to us), 3) we support our local Church and 4) we want God involved in our finances.  In addition to all of this, we are also saying that we trust God.  That is the intent anyway.

If I am not mindful, there is a potential to begin trusting the tithe more than I trust God.  This may sound odd to you, but think about it, Malachi 3:10 says "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."  If I do not immediately see the manifestation of the windows of heaven being thrown open or if I find myself facing hardship after a season of increase, my knee jerk reaction may be to call God a liar and stop doing the right and necessary thing.   

What may not be immediately obvious is that this reaction may be a result of my trusting my part of the tithe and not God's sovereign will, A.K.A. religion.  As people that tithe, I think there is a greater chance of it becoming a religious exercise, so at what point does our heart disconnect from God's heart and begin to attach itself to our own desires and we begin to have faith in our own giving.  I believe that point is where we start looking at our circumstances and letting them define God and His faithfulness. 

Prayer works, but only because God is faithful, not as a result of anything I've done. 

Tithing works, but only because God is faithful and generous, not as a result of my "generosity".

Salvation works, but only because of the Grace of God and His limitless mercy.

Jesus works, but only because He loved us first. 

Yes, pray.  Yes, tithe.  Yes, do things God's way, but not as a formula for success, but because you love and trust a God that is worthy of all that you have.  The rest will fall into place as a result of God's love and faithfulness.

This, of course, is a message written to me, about me, but I wanted to share it too since it was just so good. 


  1. This is sooooo good Brina! I think you really hit it on the head. And isn't it ironic how we then get angry at God when it was really our own we were trusting in to begin with. All I can say is Word!

    1. I'm glad you got it because I barely got it. No joke. When God dropped that question on me, I was like... "uh... I don't understand." I felt like a spiritual Beavis/Butthead.

  2. We are tithers, but it's automatic. We don't give it much thought. Perhaps we should. And God talks to me when I'm painting. Not like on a canvas, but like on a big wall with a brush and a roller. Had some serious conversations with him this way. Wrote a post awhile back called Meeting God in the tuffshed about being God's hands and feet and then getting pissy when the people I was serving weren't grateful about it.

    1. I will read it. I had a moment like that a few months ago. I was being bussed to the courthouse for jury duty and I had the opportunity to observe some people that we had brought food/supplies/clothing to about a month prior through a homeless outreach I'm a part of. I watched as they spoke harshly (ok, more than harshly) to their kids and were obnoxious to others on the bus; speaking in loud profanities. I began to doubt the work God had put before us, like perhaps it was a waste of time. Then God reminded me that He's not sending us out there to help people that have it together and He also reiterated that I wasn't perfect either. In a moment of discouragement, God encouraged me.

      In any case, relative to the tithe topic. I think summed up, God was showing me that as tithers, money is still our god, or we are still our own gods if seasons of financial struggle drive us away from God.