If I’ve learned anything at all about having a deep relationship with the Father and this idea of drawing near to Him regularly, it is this: A surrendering of my will is essential. In fact, I will never have intimacy with my Heavenly Father until I have attempted surrender in every area of my life. Jesus encouraged us to pick up the cross “daily” and follow Him. Picking up the cross must be done daily and it must be done cheerfully. This is true if I am talking about surrendering an addiction or a sin, and this is true when I am talking about my finances.
God has called us to a cheerful surrender because He knows that cheerful surrender is the only kind that will work. It must be more than a casual decision or an act of our will. We must embrace it with our whole hearts. We must be willing to actually entertain the thought of being excited about the surrender. Surrender doesn’t come easy for us. The Bible never describes surrender as something that will feel exciting. Surrender is also never a one-time decision. It is something we must decide every single day of life. Surrender is the act of killing our own fleshly desire in order to have His will be the center piece of our existence. Surrender will be one of the most difficult and life-changing decisions we will ever make. There is no doubt about it, surrender will be hard; but it will always be worth it. My challenge to us today is not just to surrender, but to cheerfully surrender. Give it a try. It will change your life.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever gives bountifully will reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Last week in our weekly newsletter, I tried to explain why I had suddenly decided to teach on giving when I had not done so in over 25 years of ministry. This week, I want to further challenge you in this area so that you know and understand my heart and so that you know that I really understand yours. First, let me say this. Giving of any kind is a personal thing. While some pastors track giving among their members, I will never be one who does so. I think “what” you give is between you and the Father. Do I think tithing is a good thing? Absolutely! Do I think giving a tenth (the tithe) is a good place to start? Sure I do! But do I want to keep up with what all of you guys do? Absolutely not!
I think it is imperative for each of us to read the scriptures, seek understanding of them, and then do what they require. Giving is no different from any other thing encouraged in the Bible. The greatest difference I see where giving is concerned is this: Not one other thing in life reveals your heart more than “what” you are willing to invest in. Money is a touchy subject. Money is hard to talk about. Giving to any cause requires some serious contemplation. Don’t think I don’t understand that for a minute. It is no different for me and my family than it is for yours. With that said, I have come to a place in my faith walk that I trust the Father with my resources over every other person or cause. If His Word encourages me to give, then I want to be obedient to that. It really is that simple to me. May God bless you on your journey as you seek to understand His Word and principles that come with it. Above all, remember this: He is a good Father and He ALWAYS has your best interest.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the LORD of hosts. 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts.