All of this month, I have been learning about "The Last Stronghold". This "stronghold" has to do with tithing!
Yes, the bad word in church, "tithing". The stronghold is simple to clear; if you can honestly answer and act on these two questions. The first question is; do you and can you pay your tithes and always remember to pay God first? The second question is; if you don't pay God first, do you consider your funds to be cursed or not? Good questions! I was able to answer the first question honestly as I have always tithed since I was in my 20's. Honestly, there were times and even now where I will handle business and receive the payment for services and go off and buy supplies and items needed to keep my business going and in the business of working I have totally forgotten to set aside the "tenth" I received. Now when I catch myself, I am convicted because I know what I am supposed to do and I begin to pray about what was done. I can honestly tell you that the love of God comes over me and He tells me,"I know your heart, pay your tithes." Now some of us get carried away with the "He knows my heart", (laughing), but I believe that He sincerely tells you because He does know your heart and He accepts your tithe and offering when you know that it is sincere. I believe the close relationship with Him reveals so much when it comes to tithing. For a long time I wondered, because I paid tithes, I helped others, I offered my talents all for the love of the person I was assisting; no money, no "I'll get you later, thanks", nothing like that, it was a pure tithe and I had to understand that tithing is not just financial, it is the giving of yourself for the sake of God as well. For the second question, I found this to be pretty interesting, because some ministers teach and preach that if you don't pay your tithes, God will curse the 90%. Not so, the word say's, "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation." Mal 3:8-9. At the time of this saying, Israel was being sentenced and cursed for not keeping God's covenant; at that time. Now, as a reminder, we know of this thing, what curses us is ourselves. Based on the mere fact that we have read and know this, we feel bad and grieve over not being obedient to God's request. There is no reason to grieve anymore! Paul wrote that we have been delivered from this bondage, this curse, when Christ died for us. In Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." God has set us free from the law and now we are living under His grace and mercy. Now, does that excuse you from paying your tithes and giving your offerings? No, it does not. It is an elemental sacrifice that you make to God because it is already His, if you really think about it. Returning it back to Him is an offering of love, conviction, commitment and honor to build the kingdom! When you pay your tithes, the money, the time, the giving of yourself, will go towards building the kingdom of God for His glory! So don't put yourself in a grievous spot or feeling, Glory be to God for his many blessings and the multitude of them. Start fresh now, give to build the kingdom, I promise you won't miss it! Don't be bound by this stronghold, give hilariously!