Before 2012 ended, God was speaking to me that the coming days will be a season of giving, not just receiving. What this message impressed on me was that God is asking me to have more faith in Him to provide for me so that I can give.
True enough, December was one of my busiest month ever. I back up for Nez Cruz, an up and coming photographer and he gave me the opportunity to shoot five weddings with him. Then God told me that I should support a friend who will be going on missions work to Africa this year. I agreed–but it was hard. I decided that 10 percent of what I will earn from freelance work will go to support this friend. This was over and above the 10 percent that I give as a tithe. That was easy to say or imagine but very tough to apply.
Since I decided in my heart to give, even if it hurts, I “struggled” to give. I knew it was the right thing to do. God will provide right? So I gave. Now here is the fun part. I never win in raffle draws. Yeah, I won a towel or an umbrella, but you really don’t count that as winning right? Anyway, at our church workers’ Christmas party — which I was not able to attend — my youngest son, EJ, won a 32″ LED TV. We wanted a TV, we just did not want to buy one. Now we had a new one. It was beautiful. This event made God’s word to me a lot more real.
Now it’s 2013. Nez gave me another opportunity to shoot again and earn some. The day after which was a Sunday, I still had the money I earned in my wallet. The tithe was already earmarked. Late in the pastor’s preaching, I suddenly had a sense that God was asking me to give some money not only to the friend who was going on missions, He told me to give also to a friend who works for the church. A few moments later, God told me to give to the pastor preaching. Laterm he also told me to give to our resident pastor. Lastly, God told me to give some money to my wife, who also volunteers for the church.
The conviction was so strong. Then someone asked me to do the offertory prayer. That was it. God was speaking, I need to listen and share the message in my heart. Offer the first fruits of your hard work to the LORD so that He may bless the rest of the harvest. At the end of the day, I was left with just 10 percent of what I earned. But I did not feel any regret. In fact, I was happy. I had tears of joy in my eyes because I obeyed the LORD.
Then I remembered my post about doing better in 2013. One of the goals I set there was to be able to give more. It was now being fulfilled. I share this with you to challenge you to listen and obey God when He speaks to you. It not only feels good, you also know that you are fulfilling God’s purpose for your life during the moment. Its something that makes an impact in your heart and you know that you have been changed for the better.
Image courtesy of [zirconicusso] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net