by Tad Lindley
How many of you want the windows of heaven to open so that God could pour out a blessing onto you? Imagine that the blessing would be so big, that you did not have enough to handle it. A berry harvest so big you have to get another freezer, so many children that you have to build a bigger house, so much work that you have to turn job offers away. Of course you want it. Who does not want the blessings of God. Well, the Bible has the key to opening the windows of heaven tucked away in a short book in the Old Testament.
Before I let you in on the secret, think about what it might be (if you don’t already know). Do we have to fast one day a week in order to open the windows? No. Does it tell us to read our Bibles 30 minutes a day and never say swears and then the windows will be opened? No. Is it a powerful prayer that makes it happen if we repeat it 10 times at night before bed? No. If it was any one of those things, we would be all over it. Give up eating for just one day a week in return for the blessings of God? Sure, we’d do it. Repeat a prayer? Easy!
The secret to opening the floodgates or windows of heaven (depending upon which translation you are reading) is found in Malachi 3:10. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it…”(NIV)And from the King James’ Version, 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. In case you do not know, the tithe is 10%, or the first tenth of a paycheck or of a subsistence catch or of a farm harvest.
My, it got really quiet all of the sudden.
Everybody wants gifts from God. And I know that God loves us unconditionally. Even when the men spit in Jesus’ face and brutalized his body, he still loved them. He still went to the cross for them. Sometimes we meditate on that and think that everything about God is unconditional, but it’s not. We love the blessings of God and want him to open the floodgates of heaven on us, but, “Wait, you mean I have to give 10% of my gross income? That’s a bit much isn’t it? I mean, I barely have enough now. The church just wants my money!”
It’s about what God wants
For whatever reason, God’s economic stimulus package for believers is that they return 10% of their income or their harvest to him through the synagogue (for Jews) or through the church (for Christians). As soon as I bring this up, some of you are thinking, “My pastor only preaches three times a week, what does he need with all that money!” Listen, this is not about your pastor, it is about you, and about what God wants you to do. He said it remember, Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…
Malachi 3:10 answers the question, “Why?” Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there my be food in my house. No pastor should ever have to rely on the United States government to support him, because his church won’t do it, and yet because people are stingy towards God, there are pastors on food stamps and TANF, living in government subsidized housing. This ought not to be. We give first of all, because the Bible tells us to, but secondly so that the pastor can eat and the church can have heat and lights.
How can I tithe if I’m not working?
If you are on food stamps, dedicate the first 10% of that to your pastor (if he is not hungry he will know people who are and direct you to give it there). If you get TANF, the first 10% of that check is your tithe. You get a PFD. The first 10% of that needs to go to your tithe. In doing so, you can tithe your way off of welfare and straight into a job. This is not a promise from me, this is a promise straight from the book: Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it…
Are you in?
God wants to bless you more, but if you are not tithing, then the window is locked and you have the key. Turn the key, tithe.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.