A story from my past . . . many years ago, God taught me some lessons with a $1.00 bill.
I was living in Ohio at the time serving 1 year as a volunteer for a mission agency. During my year of voluntary service, my housing and food was provided for us, and we also received a minimal allowance each month to cover our other personal expenses (such as soap, toothpaste, shampoo, etc)
One weekend some of us decided to attend a concert. If I remember correctly, the tickets for the concert only cost $2.00 each. Just the right price for someone volunteering! Then a love offering was collected at the concert to cover the rest of their expenses.
All was going well . . . until offering time. I had only $1 left in my pocket and it needed to last me another 2 weeks before I would receive my next monthly allowance. I clearly felt God asking me to place that last dollar into the offering plate. I had some really good and quick arguments with God about this before the plate reached me.
“What will I eat at McDonald’s after the concert? Right now I only have enough for a small order of fries!”
“What if I need something before I receive my next monthly allowance?”
“Oh, come on! I’m already volunteering a year of my life! Why do I need to give my last dollar?”
The message from God was clear: trust Me, obey Me, and I will take care of you.
I took a deep breath and placed my last dollar into the offering plate as it passed. I sipped on a glass of water at McDonald’s after the concert. I knew I had done the right thing by obeying and trusting. Was that it? Was that all there was to this test?
Later, the next week, I received an envelope in the mail. It was a short letter from my home church with a check enclosed. The church had decided to support their young people who were called to volunteer for a year with a small monthly stipend. The check totaled $100! That was 100 times MORE than what I gave! Can you believe it????
Lessons I Learned:
~I had witnessed my father faithfully contributing each week to the church offering. I saw him place his money into the plate as it passed by. I have no idea how much he contributed, but I learned by watching him that it was important to give to God. I knew that we didn’t have lots of money growing up. I knew it was a sacrifice each week to give when we could have easily used the money to provide for necessities (like food and clothes). Yet we never starved and we always managed to have clothes to wear. I realized that tithing was important and it was already part of my life.
~ This time I learned for myself that obedience to God is very important for me – whether it be a big thing or a little thing.
~ I learned that God can and will provide for our needs when we walk in obedience to Him! My responsibility is to tithe faithfully and consistently without questioning, and then give more as He directs me to give.
~ I learned to trust God more and in a deeper way by experiencing this for myself. Tho I had seen God work by my father’s obedience, I needed to experience it myself for me to really grasp this truth.
How is God working in your life? Is He calling you to walk in obedience in some way? Are you submitting to His wisdom and care? Or are you resisting? I challenge you to take a deep breath, and allow yourself to follow in HIS footsteps! You won’t ever regret it!