A beloved one came to visit me some years ago. He had just landed his second job. We were both super excited about the possibilities of his life. But I had a prompt to ask him about his tithes and he admitted he was not paying tithes as he used to. I encouraged him to always pay his tithe.

(Tithing is a believer’s practice of giving the first ten percent of his/her income to the Lord. Note the word “first”).

We still saw a couple of times afterwards. It did not even cross my mind to ask him. He was not living in my city.

About two years later, he sent me a long message about how he had begun to struggle with certain habits including picking up random girls for dating. This is a young man that used to be on fire for the Lord. I was concerned so I requested a time-out just to encourage him.

After I had done all the admonishing and it seemed all was well, the Lord prompted me to ask whether he was still practising “giving to the Lord”, especially his tithe. He said “No”. The Lord prompted me to ask when he stopped, it was three months after our initial conversation. Then I asked him, “When did this issue begin?” It was right about the same time he stopped giving his tithes. That day he made a strange discovery- his subscription to the dating app and what he spends on average to take out a random girl was the exact amount of his tithe.

Believe me, one of the things that you will struggle with the most in your journey as a believer is the stewardship of your finances. Our Lord Jesus Christ mentioned that money will compete with God in your life. He called it serving two masters – God or Mammon.

“How could you worship two gods at the same time? You will have to hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t worship the true God while enslaved to the god of money!”
Matthew 6:24 TPT

Money has a spirit. If it is not enough, it moves in the spirit of poverty. When it is just enough, it can move in the spirit of complacency or greed. When it is more than enough, it can move in the spirit of pride. If you want to deal with it at all levels, make sure your heart is tied to the Lord.

One of the reasons why a believer commits to giving unto the Lord first is to learn the fear of the Lord. The Fear of the Lord is a curriculum in the School of Wisdom. It is a basic course. It is the beginning of wisdom.

Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honoured… Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 14:23 NLT

From time immemorial, the devil wants to place a first demand on what he knows the Lord will require from you, especially for the kingdom. Follow the story of the Israelites:

The Lord by favour blessed the Israelites with gold and silver when they were leaving Egypt:

And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favourably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!
Exodus 12:35‭-‬36 NLT

They left Egypt wealthy. They would need gold and silver to start a new and great life after years of slavery. That’s the generosity of God. But then their test came:

“Tell the people of Israel to bring me their sacred offerings. Accept the contributions from all whose hearts are moved to offer them. Here is a list of sacred offerings you may accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze” Exodus 25:2‭-‬3 NLT

It was needed to build the tabernacle in the wilderness. Guess what? The first thing God placed a demand on was the first thing that the devil and their carnality also desired to have. Rather than sacrifice it to the Lord, they made it into the Golden Calf that they began to worship as the gods who brought them out of Egypt.

All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and moulded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”
Exodus 32:3‭-‬4 NLT

Friends, there is no neutral ground here. Your heart is either tied to God and the advancement of God’s kingdom or you are building an idol for yourself. Which one are you doing?

temilOluwa Ola, Eruwa.

There is love in sharing

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