Tithing Changed What I Drive
The revelation of tithing has been a great blessing to me. In ’71 at the age of 37 I was born again, and was filled with the Spirit two years later. Shortly after, God made it possible for my wife Bonnie and I to invite itinerant teachers to speak at local churches and prayer meetings. Until then we had attended a denominational church and had not understood tithing. But as these teachers expounded on tithing, the Holy Spirit convicted us to tithe.
One verse in particular ministered to us: “Bring ye all the tithes into the store house that there may be meat in mine house and prove me now here with, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10 KJ). From this scripture we understood that the tithe belongs to the Lord and that we were to bring it to the place where we were being taught our church. That was sufficient for us.
"...I remember adding, “Lord, we don’t even have enough for a down payment"
We were so diligent that at the end of the first year we totaled our tithes and compared them to our income from all sources. To our distress, we found we were short on tithing. We then decided to keep a running record of our income and tithes.
Malachi 3:10 also said that God would bless us if we were obedient. It even said that the blessings would be so great that we wouldn’t be able to contain them. While “giving to get” was never our motive for tithing, we trusted God that His Word was true and believed Him to meet our needs.
We certainly had hard times. Although I had a good job, we were a young family with a mortgage and other financial commitments. We didn’t have any money left over once we paid the bills. So when our car was really showing signs of age, Bonnie and I prayed about a new one. We prayed something like this: “Oh Lord, our car is getting so old. We are really believing you for a new one.” I remember adding, “Lord, we don’t even have enough for a down payment.”
Some months later I was driving along with my boss in the passenger seat. He turned to me and commented that he was prepared to provide me with a company car. I was stunned! I had never mentioned my need to him. It immediately struck me that I was witnessing a miracle of answered prayer. In the elation of the moment I drove across the next lane. He said, “Lease a car for the summer, and when the new cars come out in the fall, we’ll get you one.”
“Lord,” she had prayed, “On a local radio station they give you a car if you call in and guess the right mileage. I’m going to call and trust you to tell me what it is."
As it turned out, the leased car was a lemon. So when fall came, Bonnie and I prayed diligently that God would select a car for us. During one of our prayer times, she said “It’s strange. All I’m getting is the word for someplace in the Mediterranean.” She was hearing the word, “Riviera” and she had no idea there was a car on the market by that name.
So a Riviera it was. We enjoyed it and told everyone how abundantly God had supplied our needs. Some months later when I went to see a used lawnmower advertised in the paper, I shared how God had provided our car with the woman selling the lawnmower. She listened intently. A week later she called and told me how upon hearing my story, she had thought, “I’m a believer too, and I tithe. Why couldn’t I trust God to provide a car for me?”
“Lord,” she had prayed, “On a local radio station they give you a car if you call in and guess the right mileage. I’m going to call and trust you to tell me what it is.” The next day the station ran the contest. She called, and got on air. The announcer gave her 15 seconds to come up with the right numbers. She asked God what she should say, but didn’t hear anything. This happened three times. Then finally she heard a number in her spirit. When she said it, she won the car! She called me to thank me for sharing my story with her and for encouraging her in God’s Word.
I have had many opportunities to share this story with fellow believers. I tell them that I am thoroughly convinced that as each of us makes a quality decision in our heart to be a cheerful giver and tither, God’s promises in His Word will come to pass in our lives. He will open the windows of heaven to pour out blessings on us that are way beyond anything we imagine.