It’s Okay to Test God

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By Rikki Strong

And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. ~Malachi 3:10 ESV

 

Many times in the Bible, we are told—well, usually we are shown—that it is a bad thing to test God. We are even told specifically, You shall not put the LORD your god to the test… (Deuteronomy 6:16 ESV). The Israelites tested God and His patience enough times that He wanted to destroy all of them and start over with Moses at least once. Gideon used a fleece to test what he had specifically been told do—and there was probably a little bit of stalling involved, too. The Pharisees continually tested Jesus with questions and planted cripples in synagogues on the Sabbath that needed healing.

 

However, when it comes to our money—something Jesus talked about extensively—God wants us to test His promises for provision.

 

For the last five years, my husband and I have lived on little more than a pittance. We were the statistical “working poor.” For most of the last five years my husband had a job and I stayed home with our son and did some freelance writing on the side when I could get it. There were years that we filed taxes for under $10,000.

 

However, after growing up with tithing pastors for parents, giving to the church is extremely important to both us, and we continued to tithe, even if we didn’t have a lot to give. When we didn’t have money, we gave of our time.

 

While we didn’t have much, and rarely had money to spend on luxuries like Happy Meals, we always had enough to pay for everything we needed. The few times we didn’t tithe, we were gently reminded—in the form of bank overdraft fees—that we needed to remain faithful in our giving. We tested God, and we had enough. This provision, we believed at the time, was God’s pouring out of his blessings, and we were content.

 

Five days after Thanksgiving, my husband was laid off from his job. We were, naturally, concerned, but—after four years of watching God provide—we were not scared. God would continue to bless us with enough. We continued to give money to the church when we could, and gave even more of our time.

 

Fast forward to today, nine months later. After six months of my husband working in another state and after being—for all intents and purposes—a single mom, and packing up an entire household by myself, we are back on our feet financially and as a family. The new job was a Godsend—it is exactly in his field of expertise and pays very well—and we know that it is exactly where we are supposed to be, in spite of the difficult times we have had this year being apart. Even though we have yet to find a new home church, we continue to give a tenth of our income to causes or people who need help.

 

In the last 10 days, however, God has opened the windows of Heaven and is blessing us for our faithfulness. We got word that because he is doing well in his new job, he is getting a 5% annual raise in a couple of weeks. Due to an injury when he was training for the National Guard, we got word last week that he is going to get a disability every month, which will increase the monthly budget as well… and that’s on top of his medical discharge severance pay that could be deposited this month.

 

Everyone’s blessings will look different. Our story is not typical, but no one’s God-story is “typical.” Though, when God tells us—when He dares us, even—to test him, we can be sure that He will be faithful. God wants to bless us; it brings Him happiness to do so. However, God tests us as well while we are testing Him. Unless we can be trusted with the blessing, that blessing will only become a curse.

 

We truly believed that, since we really didn’t have much that we needed and couldn’t afford, God had thrown open His windows, and He had, but—it turns out—those windows were open just a small crack. If we had not had the last five years, I do not think that we would appreciate the job and the money coming in for what it is and its ultimate source. However, we have proven faithful (not gonna lie—it was just most of the time) over a little, and God has now set us over much. Now, we are entering into the joy of our master.

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  1. Are You Missing Gods Blessings? | Gods411

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