I am in the midst of one of the biggest fights of my life. The renters trashed the house. A lot of the funds I had to repair and restore slipped away down some rat holes. Now my needs far outstrip my resources. Will I be able to finish the tasks and get this house sold or rented in time to survive financially?
As you might imagine, I have been praying for help. And what was the answer? A comforting gift of money? Not! Sweet words of forgiveness for my blunders, sins, and general stupidity? Not! Instead, a bit of a fatherly dress down.
“Son, I would like to help you. I am trying to help you. But you are not letting me help you!” But, Lord, I answer, I am ready to receive anything you give. “No, you are not. You are disobedient. I told you to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. Then, I will open the floodgates of heaven. You see, I want to bless you, I am ready to bless you, I love you, I forgive you, I gave my life for you. However, your disobedience and lack of faith put you in a place where you can not receive.”
The memory came to mind of fighting wasps. When I was a boy, my friends and I loved to roam the woods. We particularly liked finding a wasp or yellow jacket nest just brimming with those winged stingers. Did we let the insects alone to live their lives and do their tasks? No, we threw rocks and ran like mad, but sometimes not fast enough. Back at home, my Mom would bemoan the red and swollen welts on my neck, arms and sometimes face. Again and again she had warned me.
Essentially, Mom let me know that if I chose to rile up the wasps and yellow jackets, she could not keep me from getting stung. I think the Holy Spirit’s message is something similar. Like ,”Obey and put yourself where I can bless you or disobey and put yourself where you can get stung. It’s your choice.”
So two weeks ago, I wrote my meager tithe check and dropped it in the box at Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas.
How about “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say? Please look for a coming post.