I wanted to share with you a lesson God taught me this week as I hope it challenges you, too. This past year I put a great portion of my paycheck into different Ministries, and so got a huge tax return.
So, I said, "Heck, I'm spending something on myself! I'm gonna sell my 190K toyota and get a Hybrid like I've always wanted!" Since I miss taking risks like I did in Africa, I said, "I'm gonna buy one on Ebay-- fun!" So, I did. From Brooklyn (of all places...). Got the car 4 days ago and the whole thing was shady.... (Need I say more?)
So, in prayer the next morning, God gently corrected me...Here's the lessons learned:
1. God said, "I understand your desire to risk-- that's ok, just next time, invite me into that risking-- you think I don't want to have some fun, but I do!"
2. Don't buy a car until I release you to (which He didn't cuz I didn't ask!)
3. Even though you may give 99% of your income to the Kingdom, if you KEEP 1% to 'do what you want with' without my overseeing it, then you are like Sapphira and Ananias (Acts 5) and you know what happened to them. If you even put 1% of something before putting ME first, you may get affects by a spirit of pride, ambition and love of money/spirit of coveting over you and that will affect our intimacy and the degree of grace I can pour out on you to others. Is it worth it?
So, He is teaching me that 100% of my income is Kingdom money-- I can't just spend it so carelessly on going out, buying things, etc. without checking with God. This is the challenge of the New Testament example...not 10% tithe, but 100% generosity.
So... I'm going back to my 1999 faithful Toyota and a friend generously is buying my Hybrid (once I get it started--the battery is dead!) Thus, the last lesson:
4. DON'T buy a car unless you have seen and driven it!!!!
On a very uplifting note, check out a video that our local town produced about a city wide Day of Repentance and Dedication of our city back to the Lord that God is leading us to do: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/29488727 on May 5th in Steubenville!