The very thought of stealing from God brings a shudder to the heart of any Apostolic. It is our deepest desire, rather, to bless Him… but certainly not steal from Him! Yet in the Old Testament, God chastised the the Jews through His prophet Malachi for robbing God (Malachi 3:8). “How have we robbed you?” the people asked. God’s reply was that the people were robbing Him by not giving to Him their tithes and their offerings. They were keeping for themselves what rightfully belonged to God. But what God said next was most amazing…
“Prove me now”, was His reply to the people. He told them to do what was required of them by bringing their tithes into His house, and thereby prove that the Lord would not only provide for them, but would, “open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
I’ve heard all my life that we should not test God, but here He is declaring that we should hold Him to His word! This type of “proving” is healthy… it is not done in a presumptuous, disbelieving manner, but in a manner of faith and reliance on a God who has promised to provide for His children.
The Old Testament Jews would receive literal, material rewards for their faithfulness in the form of plentiful crops and “delightsome land”. However, under the New Covenant, I believe that God’s rewards for our faithfulness will most likely be more in the form of spiritual blessings… although we are definitely taught that God will provide for our material needs as well (Matt. 6:31-32).
The real issue at hand, however, is what our attitude is toward the finances that God has allowed us to have. Are we allowing God to be in charge of our resources, or are we the ones in charge? Are we holding back from God what rightfully belongs to Him? Or are we acting as the proper stewards of His resources by presenting to Him what He deserves? Most likely, if we are not practicing faithfulness in this area of our lives, we are treating other areas of our lives the same. For example, are you giving God the time he deserves in prayer, study, outreach and service?
My challenge to you is to begin yielding to God what He requires and expects of you… “Prove Him” now, and see if He will not open the floodgates of Heaven in your life.