Hebrews 11:6 is clear in its admonition: The one who comes to God must believe that God exists and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. In other words, as Charles Stanley expressed it so well, the two most important questions facing Christians are these:
- Do you really believe that God is who He says He is?
- Do you really believe that God will do what He says He will do?
What do these questions have to do with giving? In a word — Everything! Giving is the only area of the Christian life about which God challenges us to trust Him, to put Him to the test. This challenge is not given concerning prayer, Bible reading, or salvation. It is not given concerning sharing our faith or serving the Lord in our local church. It is only given concerning our finances. In Malachi 3:10 is a principle that transcends both Old and New Testaments. God says, “Prove Me! Try Me! Put Me to the test! And see what I will do for you.”
How do we prove God or put God to the test? By taking God at His word, by believing that God is who He says He is and that He will do what He says He will do. When human logic, feelings or reason tells us to put ourselves first; when the checkbook balance indicates that we can’t afford to give sacrificially; when family expenses are high and threaten to crowd out our giving; and when the world system fights us in our desire to give to the Lord and to practice “first fruits” giving.
When we believe God is who He says He is, when we believe God will do what He says He will do, we will put our giving to the Lord’s work at the top of our list. As we step out by faith, we will experience first-hand the blessings that God has promised to those who believe Him, to those who prove Him and put Him to the test, to those who seek first His kingdom.
The entire “Effective Stewardship” program is built on the premise that God owns everything, that we are managers and stewards who are entrusted with that which belongs to God. When we have that proper perspective, it is a relatively small step for us to claim the promises of Malachi 3:10 and Hebrews 11:6. As we do so, we will demonstrate to those who are not Christians, as well as to those who are members of God’s family through faith in Christ, that God means just what He says. God does exist, and He rewards those who diligently seek Him.