We hear people say, “Trust God” or “In God we trust,” but what does that really mean? In Proverbs 3, it tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding . . .”
I have discovered that we don’t learn trust in a place of addition, we really learn trust in a place of subtraction.
Have you noticed that? When everything is going well and momentum is in our favor (a place of addition), we don’t have to learn trust. It’s easy to trust God as our Provider when everything is going our way without a lot of effort. However, trust is tested and learned in those seasons of life when it feels like no matter what we try, things aren’t going our way (this is a place of subtraction). The things that used to work no longer yield positive results. The momentum we used to have in an area falls flat or moves in what seems like slow motion.
One of the most practical ways to build our trust in God is to bring the whole tithe into the local church.
We can’t learn to trust God by holding on to everything we have. We learn to trust God when we are in a place of subtraction—when we aren’t afraid to give. The great thing about God is He never asks us to give Him what we don’t have, although He may ask us to give something we would rather keep for ourselves.
So, what is a tithe? Tithing is the act of giving God the first tenth of all your increase. Later on in Proverbs 3, (after we read “trust God with all our heart . . .”) it says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops . . .” In God’s economy, tithing is not about money. It’s about “first things” (for example, the first fruit of crops or harvest, the first born to the farming community of Israel, the first tenth of financial increase). Sixteen times in scripture, God declares the firstborn is His. Numerous other times He refers to the firstfruits as being His.
How do we give our first to God when we are dealing with money instead of livestock and crops? Consider an example of me having ten $1.00 bills (so, $10 total), that makes my tithe the first $1.00.
How do we know what the first is?
It is simply the first thing you do when you receive income: before you go get groceries, before you pay the rent or mortgage, or before you go shopping for the latest fashion trends.
It’s not about being legalistic. If you need some milk and eggs on your way home from work on the day you get paid, stop by and grab them! But, when you sit down to pay your bills, write out your tithe FIRST, off the top. Instead of waiting to see if we have enough to give to God, we make it a priority. When we give God our first, we are giving Him our best, and we’re putting our trust in Him fully.
Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. So trusting God is putting an unwavering belief in His reliable nature and capacity to do what He promises to do especially in our finances.
One way to put our trust in God is through our finances. What is the next step you can take to make tithing a priority in your life?