I used to shake my head at giving money to the church. I should have known then the things I was against most would be what I stand for most later on. There is a lot to learn from Paul…
I remember very clearly the night I had revelation in the Word on what paying tithes truly was. It was about 10 years ago.
I wrote a $10 bad check to God.
Yes, you read that right. I wrote a bad check to God. I have the check register somewhere. My account had around fifty cents to the negative, I don’t remember the exact amount off the top of my head. I want to say it was .42 or .67 to the negative. I knew I was writing a bad check. I knew there wasn’t money to cover that check but a light bulb didn’t just go off, it exploded over my head and I sat there with shards in my eyes.
There is more to this story and how my revelation came about, and it is all part of the book I am working on, but I will share this part of it with you now.
I realized the tithe didn’t go to the church. Was the check addressed to the church? Of course. Was the church going to cash it? Of course. Was the church going to use that money how they saw fit for the Kingdom of God? Of course. I didn’t write that check to the church though. I may have put their name on it. I may have dropped it in their offering plate but I wrote that check to God.
It was His. I wrote God a bad check on His money. He and I had a good laugh that night.
I put that check in the offering plate without an ounce of regret. I told God when I dropped it in there, “I’m stepping out in faith. Prove Your Word to me.”
That check was cashed and never bounced. I had a peace about my finances that I had never had before. Since that day, my husband and I have not missed paying our tithes. We haven’t bounced any checks either. We haven’t gone without. We’ve seen God provide for us in ways only He can. Money appearing out of nowhere, literally. Jesus put a coin in the mouth of a fish and we can read about it in the Bible and he put one in my drivers seat when I needed it. That story is in my book too.
Does this mean we haven’t been through financial hardship? Not at all. About two years after we started paying tithes my dad passed and it destroyed us financially. When I say “destroy,” I mean it sank all of our battleships. That wasn’t God that destroyed us though. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, not God. That was the enemy’s doing. What did God do while the enemy was attacking? He fought for us. He stood in front of us and sent His angels to encamp about us. He took care of us. We continued to pay tithes and God continued to shelter, feed and clothe us. He nursed our wounds. He made sure we never lost hope. He repaired us.
My husband was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease the first year we were married called sarcoidosis. He was at the end of stage 3 on the cusp of stage 4 at his time of diagnosis. Eight years later he was announced as “in remission,” (PRAISE GOD!) but there were still constant hospital bills as he went through treatment and we traveled every three months two hours north of us to the wonderful doctor we found who I know God placed in our path.
Student loans for both of us to boot. Enough said.
Financial hardships have happened along the way. We have made some of our own mistakes in managing our money. We have learned things about money management we didn’t know before. We have learned in the Word how God wants us to handle our money. The entire time, He has been there. Teaching, leading, providing.
At the end of last year in my prayer time and talking to God about how 2017 was going to look, I heard the Holy Spirit say, “This is your year of Jubilee,” and I was in tears. I am sick of debt. I am tired of debt. My husband and I have God-given dreams that don’t allow room for debt. We want to be blessed to be a blessing. I know the enemy has attacked and stolen and tripped us up but this year, we are getting all of that back in a God kind of way.
It doesn’t look like it right now in the physical sense but I know His voice and I know what He told me. I know this is our year of Jubilee no matter what things look like right now. It’s just March. We have nine months left.
We have been taking steps and making decisions based on the God-goals we have. One of those is focusing on paying off debt. First we have to believe we can no matter what it looks like on paper. We have to have big faith and we can because we have a big God.
I have taken to putting images in front of my eyes that remind me daily of those God-goals. I have put decorative canvases up around the house that have the word “love” in them to remind me to walk in the God kind of love. We have a dream/goal journal where we have written things down and look at it daily. I have a private Pinterest board where I have pinned images of these same goals that I can scroll through at any time as a reminder.
Here is what I have done in regards to our debt. A couple weeks ago, I made a list of each and every debt we have, big and small, and even included the student loans. Every. Single. Debt.
I’ve been thanking God every day for being debt free. I gave my worries to Him and just thank Him for being debt free. Speaking it out like it is even though it isn’t at the moment. That’s called faith. I have been listening to encouraging messages about being debt free. I have been reading about testimonies of people getting out of debt. You have to keep the faith so I do these things to encourage myself in this walk.
Here is the most recent thing I did and I want to share it with you! I created a check template, printed one off for each debt I have and filled it in accordingly like that check is written to pay off that debt.
I included Malachi 3:10 on the template as a reminder of Who provides for me, in times of plenty and in times not so plenty.
In the Memo section of the check, I wrote: Debt paid in full by Jesus
He really covered it all. When we realize the unimportance of money compared to what He did for us, we will realize money doesn’t control us. We can get our focus off of our financial situation and on Him. We will be blessed to be a blessing.
The template below has room in the upper left corner to put your name. You can download and print these off and use them to fill in for each debt you have. I urge you to pray and ask God for guidance and direction and wisdom and understanding when it comes to your finances. Ask for revelation in His Word because there is a lot about finances that I’m not covering here. You have to believe you can be financially free first. I don’t know of a single piece of scripture that says God wants us financially ruined or poor. He tells us with His own Word how we should operate in our area of finances and it starts with the tithe.
I would love to hear your feedback in the comments or a testimony of what God has done in your life!
BLANK CHECKS generic form (PDF FORM WITH FIELDS THAT CAN BE FILLED IN)
BLANK CHECKS generic (EXCEL FILE YOU CAN MODIFY)
BLANK CHECKS generic (PLAIN PDF TO PRINT AND FILL IN)
Malachi 3:10 (KJV)
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, 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.