Supernatural Increase: The Trust Test, Part 2
BY PASTOR RON ENGET | NEW LIFE LEAD PASTOR
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord,” Leviticus 27:30.
The tithe is a sacred trust from God. It says here that the tithe is “holy to the Lord.” Do you know what the teaching in the Old and the New Testament is? The first 10% that comes to you isn’t yours anyway - it’s holy, separated unto God for a purpose. It’s devoted to God, consecrated to Him. When you return it to God you’re telling Him, “I trust You. This isn’t mine.”
“Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld your] tithes and offerings.” Malachi 3:8.
You may have thought it was just optional, but I’m calling it robbery - it’s saying you’ve robbed God by withholding your tithes and offerings. Have you robbed God?
Tithing is holy. It’s sacred.
When God’s people took what was dedicated to God, consecrated and holy to the Lord, and used it for personal consumption, they came under judgement. I’m going to give you four instances where this happened in the Bible (there are more).
Adam and Eve
The first example is found in Genesis 3:1-7. God put Adam and Eve in the garden. In the center of the garden was a beautiful tree and God said, “Don’t eat of this tree,” Can you see there’s a test there? There are all kinds of beautiful trees in the garden. But this tree, they can’t touch.
What happened? Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree. The devil came and said to them, “You can’t trust God. Go ahead and eat - you’ll be better off.” They ate and were cursed because they ate what they weren’t supposed to eat - they touched/used what was set aside as holy unto the Lord.
Example two occurs when the Israelites came across the Jordan river to possess the promised land in Joshua 6-7. What happens? The first city the Israelites had to conquer was Jericho. And God said, “The first city is mine. The spoils are mine. Don’t touch them. There are going to be a lot of cities you’ll conquer and you are going to get the spoil of all those cities, but don’t touch this one.”
But a man named Achan saw the gold and sliver and thought to himself, “Nobody will ever know. nobody will see it.” God saw it. The Israelites went to conquer Ai and got their backsides kicked. Here’s what the Lord said to Joshua:
“Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction,” Joshua 7:11-12.
There was sin in the camp and there was judgement - Achan and his family, and all that pertained to him, were stoned.
The last example is found in the book of Daniel. King Nebuchadnezzar had ransacked Jerusalem and stolen everything consecrated for worship from the temple, and brought it all to Babylon. After King Nebuchadnezzar dies, his son Belshazzar comes into power. In Daniel 5, Belshazzar throws a party.
“While Belshazzar was drinking his wine, he gave orders to bring in the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines might drink from them. So they brought in the gold goblets that had been taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his wives and his concubines drank from them. As they drank the wine, they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking,” (Daniel 5:2-6).
After the enchanters, astrologers, and diviners couldn’t interpret the handwriting on the wall, King Belshazzar summons Daniel. Daniel proceeds to interpret:
“…you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription. This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin. “Here is what these words mean: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.(v. 23-28)
“That very night Belshazzar, king of the Babylonians, was slain, and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom, at the age of sixty-two,” (Daniel 5:30).
King Belshazzar is dead by midnight because he took what was holy to the Lord and desecrated it. The kingdom was given over to Darius the Mede within 24 hours.
Ananias and Sapphira
We also see this happen in the New Testament. Our last example is found in Acts 5:1-11. A man named Ananias took money devoted to God to expand the kingdom, and secretly the love of money (Mammon) got ahold of him. He took it and he was dead within 24 hours. His wife Sapphira agreed to the scheme and she died as well.
I’m so thankful I’m under grace and not law. But the seriousness of this is seen in Scripture. It’s not just about us - it’s about God’s will being accomplished. It’s about expansion of His kingdom - souls getting to heaven. It’s about redeeming the culture. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about preachers getting rich. It’s about His kingdom. You’ll prosper when you do it His way.
We’re going to do a trust test. If you want to make a commitment to tithe six months, take a moment and fill out the form linked below. Be sure to tithe wherever you go to church. Malachi 3:10 says to, “Give all your tithes to the storehouse.”
I’ve never met someone who has taken this test and God didn’t come through for them financially. If you’re going to be a victorious Christian, at some point you’ve got to say, “I’m all in, Jesus.” This trust test is a way to say, “I’m inviting Jesus off the bench into my financial game, and I’m not going to bench him again! I’m believing God for increase - no matter what the devil does.” If you make financial adjustments to put Jesus first, you will come through on top!