If we want more of something,
we must give more of it away.
In my quiet time today, I realized that we should be giving God 10% of everything. It is not just tithes, but our lives, our time, our home, our marriage, family, children, and entertainment. Everything. 10% is nothing on the big scale. It’s barely a sliver of our lives. Yet, we struggle with it.
In tithing, we are taught that money is a flow; the more we give, the more God blesses us. And that has definitely been the case here in my house. We do not give to get, but we get so much when we give. It may not always be in the form of “money” handed back to us, although sometimes it is. But instead, it may come in saving money in other ways.
A penny saved is a penny earned.
It may come as a suddenly cheaper power bill when you know it should be sky-high because of the heat or cold spell. It may come in an unexpected bonus or a raise at work, or even in more hours given at work, that comes just in time to help make ends meet. It could come in the form of a ridiculously great deal on some clothes and shoes for your kids, that is desperately needed because they grow like weeds. My own son grew 2 feet in a year! Talk about shopping! Blessings may come in your car NOT breaking down, your gas tank lasting way longer than usual, or a hospital bill that didn’t happen.
It may come in the form of many generous people who pitch in and help fulfill a dream that God has placed on your heart, like for us, taking our family on mission trips to Africa, separately and all together, so that everyone could have their own experience and then experience it all together as one. So many amazing things happened for our family and in our hearts and mind that will forever leave a deep impression in our hearts. Things that can’t even be put into words for years to come for us. Beautiful things that we can’t even describe!
All of these things above have happened here in my life, and many, many more. As a family, we always try to be faithful and tithe, and I know for a fact, and from experience, that we have never missed the money or feel like we are doing or going without. We do not ever struggle because we gave that money away; however, we struggle when we don’t. It’s exciting to see what God does with it, even though there’s no way to comprehend how big He multiplies it and how fully He helps the greater good of all with it. God always turns our blessings around and multiplies them in so many ways, even beyond what we can ever comprehend. Little things set into motion that seems meaningless now that ends up helping thousands or millions later.
We will never know what our actions cause down the road, but the thing I do know is that…
Nothing you ever do Only affects you.
So, pay attention and see the blessings God is giving us that He is giving you. Sometimes we can see the blessings happening for others but not in our own lives. But, what we focus on, we find. So, start being thankful for every… single… thing. The more we are grateful for, the more things we find to be grateful for. And the more we are grateful for, the more we are given to be grateful for.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. ~ Luke 16:10
When things are going all wrong, and you don’t know how you will ever make ends meet, give the things you are struggling with the most to the Lord and watch Him work His miracles.
If it’s money, give money; if it’s time, give time; if it’s family, give them, dedicate them to the Lord and spend time praying for them, instead of worrying about them. Give it to God and allow Him to move in mighty ways, and He will bring everything you have ever given back to you tenfold and full circle. Nothing is actually ours anyway! Everything is just a flow. Give it, and it will return.
What we give we get…
good or bad…
it’s multiplied and brought back.
If that thought scares you, maybe it is time to start giving out the things in life that you actually DO want to be returned to you, instead of the things you don’t.
Give hate, get hate.
Give Love, get love.
Imagine if everything we think, say, do, and are, gets placed in imaginary boomerangs that grow as they’re released, and when they come hurling back at you, is it a blessing or a curse? Would you want all the things you have given out today to be multiplied and come back full force? If not, then maybe we can choose to throw better things out there from here on!
Listen, I am not perfect either, far from it, in fact. I struggle with the same things everyone else does. It is called being human; mistakes make us grow. Some things are easier for some, and some things are harder for others. Either way, they all come back to us tenfold.
My current struggle, and confession, and the boomerang is…
I have NOT been faithful with my time. And would you guess what? Time is the thing I’m struggling with the most right now, for sure. My whole life feels like I’m stuck in a blender with tons of things hitting me over and over again at warp speed all at once, and I can’t get out.
So, I have decided to start dedicating some time outs to realign and be with God every day this year, and am starting it off with our annual 21-day fasting and prayer reset. For this time, I’ve written 21 things to do for at least 21 minutes in these 21 days to re-align my life back to what it should be. They say it takes 21 days of consistency to make a habit, and I believe it to be true because I’ve tested it many times with little consistency challenges like this.
I also wrote a list of things I will live without for the next 21 days to free up some time to do the other stuff.
We have to give ourselves space
to make changes.
My family and I also wrote 21 goals to do for 2020. (20 goals for the year, plus one big one “to grow on.” The 21 things that I have set out to do for the next 21 days as I pray and fast are all habits that I’d like to form and make permanent daily choices for this year and far beyond.
So from this moment forward, I will be giving God 10% of all things that I can think of, but mostly, I will be working hardest on giving Him 10% of my time for this year. Some days I may fall short, but on others, like this morning, where I get carried away and lost in His Word, I will make up for the days I fall short.
I think back to all the great heroes of the Bible, and they all took time out to be with the Lord before, during, and after the hard stuff. But they also spent time with Him in the calm between the storms.
Are we doing that? Are our souls yearning for time with the Lord as they should be? Have we created a deep enough habit that when we miss it, we really miss it? Our bodies and hearts yearn for time with our own beloveds; why wouldn’t we think our souls would yearn for time with the one who created us? If we feel like something is missing in our lives, then we probably need to spend some time getting our souls refilled in the Lord and refill our tanks.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” Luke 5:16
Jesus…. the one who set the example for us because we had gotten so off track, the most popular human of all time, had to have alone time to be with the Lord.
And so, I challenge you today to go and find those lonely places and pray. Give yourself at least 20 minutes of quiet time daily in 2020 to be with, learn from, and hear from the Lord. ❤️
“Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Have any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of the fire, as you have, and lived? Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the Lord your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? You were shown these things so that you might know that the Lord is God; besides him, there is no other. From heaven, he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth, he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your ancestors and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today. Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the Lord your God gives you for all time.”