"Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways: you have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes. Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Consider your ways!'" Haggai 1:5-7 Have you ever felt that your income is being put into a bag with holes? Unexpected things come and eat it away? You never have enough? You just can't get ahead? "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Consider your ways!''' If you depend on yourself, you have no assurance that your results will be protected and indeed, it could very well happen that your income goes into that bag with holes. But if you put your trust in the Lord and do it HISWAY, you can be sure he will take care of your needs. HOW does one live out the reality of putting one's trust in the Lord? In Malachi chapter 3 the Lord instructs us to bring to him HIS tithe. A tithe is 10% of your income. Bringing your tithe to the Lord has a dual purpose: 1. It demonstrates in a very real way that you have put your trust in Him. To most people, their income is one of the most important things in life but to be willing to part with 10% of it shows a heart submitted to the Word of God and a willingness to do things HISway. 2. It provides for the expenses of the Temple, or the church one attends. In Malachi 3, God says that if you do not bring the tithe, YOU ARE ROBBING HIM. "You are cursed with a curse, FOR YOU HAVE ROBBED ME, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, AND TRY ME NOW IN THIS, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:9-10 Some may say "that is from the Old Testament and doesn't apply to us." Oh yes it does. The principle of the tithe was given way before the Law of Moses. The New Testament testifies that Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:2) way before the law. You can go back even further to Cain and Abel who brought their offering to the Lord, showing they were aware of this principle from the beginning. The whole point is that in bringing the tithe to the Lord, you are demonstrating that you have transferred your trust from yourself to the Lord as your provider. If you don't, then you're placing your trust in yourself and you just might be shown God's displeasure: "You looked for much, but indeed it came to little, and when you brought it home, I blew it away." Haggai 1:9 Derek Prince once said that he worked in the soup line during the depression and he never met a person begging food who was a tither. The source of your income is not a sure thing. But submission to the Word of God IS. "'...TRY ME NOW IN THIS,' says the Lord of hosts, 'If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.'" There is no other place in the Bible where God says to TRY HIM, to put him to the test. In fact, the Scriptures make it clear that we are NOT to try him: "...and Jesus answered and said to him, 'It has been said you shall not tempt the Lord your God.’" Luke 4:12 But in this one place in the Bible God says go ahead, try me in this. Be willing to part with 10% of your precious money - and see what God will do.