© Photo by Elma Larsen
The Many Miracles of Tithing
A Powerful Scripture
In June 2006, a couple of months before I made the decision to be baptised, I attended some Bible studies with my pastor (as is usually the pre-requisite). Having been a Christian since the age of 19, I knew a lot about Jesus already, so the studies with my pastor were mostly familiar. However, one day the subject of "Tithing" came up (tithing is giving 10% of your salary to the church). I was tithing at the time, but only at 2%, rather than 10%, due to my reluctance. I didn't think that such a discrepancy mattered all that much, until my pastor showed me the following passage:
Malachi 3: 8-11
Do Not Rob God
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
"In tithes and offerings.
9 You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.
10 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 you will not have room enough for it.
My pastor said that we ought to set aside and give 10% of our income to the church, so that there will be food in God's house. The church workers need food, the building needs upkeep and maintenance, etc. He then said that if we do this, God will bless us so much that He will throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that we will not have room enough for it. Intrigued by this, I then raised the question,
"But if we give because we want to be blessed then we have a dishonest motive, do we not?!"
To my surprise, my pastor said,
"It is OK to have that motive, but only because God said, "Test me in this". Therefore, you have the right to expect the overwhelming amount of blessings that He said He will give you. Malachi 3:9 is the ONLY place in the whole Bible where God said, "Test Me". In other parts of the Bible, God actually said, "Do not test the Lord your God"".
Interestingly still, my pastor added,
"Try it! - you will find that if you give 10% and keep 90%, you will actually have more than if you keep 100% for yourself".
This intrigued me even more because mathematically it did not make sense, and it certainly made me want to try it! I wanted to test God.
In May 2006, I gave my first proper tithe! My heart was still reluctant to let go of the money (and that's me being honest because 10% of my salary was a quite lot. I could do a lot with it, but nevertheless, I gave it). After I gave my tithe, this was how my bank balance looked that month:
and after TITHE
I had only £2 left in my account!
How was I supposed to eat? How was I supposed to save?
If I gave again next month, I would be in the red (negative bank balance).
For the rest of that month, I had to ask my husband for lunch money (by the way my husband had never missed a tithe, he gave since the first day he started working (he's a pastor's son, after all)). I waited to see what would happen.
I said in my heart that surely, it would take a few months of tithing before I see any results. So, I was prepared to give and give (even if I went into the red) because I was really testing God to see what He would do. Would He really keep to His word and bless me like He said He would?
God Kept His Word
A mere two weeks passed, and I was now at the end of May 2006. Out of the blue, my boss called me in for a meeting. He looked serious. My work had been going tough at that time, with many customers screaming wanting all their problems solved immediately. I was afraid that I was going to be cautioned, or worse still - fired! After he sat me down, my boss gave me a letter which he asked me to open there and then. I did so, and this was what I read,
"Dear Elma, we have been reviewing your salary and we thought you deserve a pay rise of 20%"
I was knocked back off my chair - a pay rise?!!
A 20% pay rise! I was so shocked!
I asked my boss if this was a mistake? Pay review usually happens in January, not in May (which is almost the middle of the year). And he answered with these very words that made me shiver,
"I don't know Elma; it came from above".
Of course, he meant that it came from his boss's boss, but I knew in my heart of hearts that it came from God! After all, God is the ultimate boss! This pay rise was to take effect immediately. This meant that my May salary, which I would receive at the end of May, would have the increase in it. Thus, in turn, this meant I could tithe in June without going into the red! Hallelujah!
My boss warned me not to tell anyone because I was the only one getting this, and he didn't want my colleagues to start protesting, and wanting pay rises as well. So, it would appear that God had singled me out, and kept to His Word! Amazing! But equally, it was frustrating to have experienced a huge miracle from God, but not be able to tell anyone about it?! I had to understand and respect my boss' wishes, so I kept quiet. However, in my heart were loud screams of praises and thanks to God. God had kept to His bargain, I tested Him, and He passed with flying colours! He lived up to His promise.
When I got home, I calculated what the pay rise meant financially, and this was what I discovered:
God gave my tithe back!
I had enough for food
I had enough for savings
I cried and cried and cried. I couldn't stop praising God for 3 days. I cried every time I praised Him. What a mess I was :-)
June came, and this time I lovingly gave my tithe to God (without any trace of reluctance). I told Him that it's not just a cheque that has gone into the envelope, but my love as well. I never stopped tithing since, and neither has God stopped blessing me.
A few months passed and one day I said to God,
"God, you said that you would bless me so much if I tithe, so what other blessings are you going to give me now?"
I knew I was being cheeky with God, but I actually said this to Him light-heartedly.
God responded again. My boss called me in for another meeting. This time, it wasn't a pay rise, but a petrol card. He said I could use the card to buy petrol with, and I wouldn't have to pay (although I would get taxed on it). The petrol was for business mileage usually, but I could use it for personal mileage! I couldn't believe my eyes; God has blessed me once again.
Now, during all this time, I had been telling my tithing miracle (my pay rise) to my friend, Paul. As I was about to share my latest miracle of the petrol card, Paul stopped me short because he wanted to guess what my latest miracle was. Paul thought long and hard, and tried to think of the most ridiculous thing he can think of. After a moment of pondering, he said to me,
"Your car filled itself up with petrol ... ha ha ha".
Paul laughed thinking he was being clever. That was, until I said,
"You're right, my car filled itself up with petrol - effectively!".
Paul looked confused. I then explained what happened; that I had been given a petrol card. Paul looked quite bewildered and shocked; and so it was my turn to laugh. God really spoke to Paul that day. No one could have read his thoughts; only God could. I hope that one day Paul will see that God does exist, and that He too can bless Paul in a similar way.
Since the day I started tithing just over 2 years ago now (as I write this story), I have had 5 pay rises totaling a rise of 80% from my original salary. So, my pastor was right!
100% - 10% > 90%.
In my case:
100% - 10% = 180%
This is not a human equation, but a God equation.
I have also had 4 awards, a promotion, and numerous benefits. Incredibly, my name also became well-known throughout the company world-wide, for the work I specialised in.
God also blessed me in other areas such as protection, health, to name but a few (see The Garage Break-In, An Encounter with Two Lorries, Thieves in Our Midst). To this very day, God continues to be faithful.
There is power in tithing. TRY IT! TEST GOD! HE WON'T LET YOU DOWN. HE KEEPS TO HIS WORD.
All the glory be to God!
© Elma Larsen. All rights reserved.