"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:10
The Lord's purposes of wisdom and thoughts of love are not intended practically to go before, or virtually to supersede the personal obligations and efforts of His people. He will fully and faithfully do His part, but He expects that they will as fully and faithfully do theirs. They must roll the stone from off the sepulcher, and He will then open it, and call back to life their buried and lamented mercy. They must bring their tithes and offerings into His house, and He will then, as an evidence of their acceptance, and as a proof of His faithfulness and love, pour His blessings affluently into their lap.
"Bring all the tithes." My soul, what will you bring? Lord, I bring a sinful heart--a depraved nature--an empty hand--a needy soul. This is all I have. I dare not speak of my faith, it is so weak; or of my love, it is so fluctuating; or of my service, it is so imperfect. I will speak of nothing of my own, but will make mention of Your righteousness and Yours only. I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. But, my soul, remember that there must be no keeping back a part of the tithe, for He commands you to bring all into His store-house. Lord, let there be no reservation, mental, spiritual, or practical, in my offerings. Oh, take the first, the best, take my all, who has given Yourself and all that You have, for me.
"Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty." Oh condescending love! Oh marvelous grace! Lord, do You delight to be brought to the touchstone of Your word? Do You stoop to the test of Your people's faith? Do You say, "Test me in this." Oh who is like unto You. My soul, draw near and take Jesus at His word. Test Him now. Test His love, and see if it will not embrace you. Test His power, and see if it will not deliver you. Test His grace, and see if it will not be sufficient for you. Test His fullness, and see if it will not supply you. Test His blood, and see if it will not pardon you. Test His invitation, and see if He will not receive you. Test His sympathy, and see if He will not comfort you. Test His faithfulness, and see if He will not make good all that He has promised--never leaving nor forsaking you; loving you always, and loving you forever. Lord, I have tested You a thousand times over, and have never found You to fail.
"I will pour out a blessing." The tithe of prayer and faith thus unreservedly brought--the believing soul having done his part, heaven's window is opened, and the blessing bountifully descends; and so God does His. And oh, the preciousness and largeness of the gift! What an outpouring of the Spirit will follow! What a reviving of grace in the soul! What a bestowment of family blessing! What an increase of ministerial power! What strength in service, guidance in perplexity, shielding in temptation, soothing in grief, will descend in showers, when God draws aside the curtain of heaven, throws open its window, and pours down its blessing, so large, so copious, so expanding, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
My soul! what has hitherto withheld the blessing? Why have the clouds poured down no fruitful showers, and the heavens distilled no refreshing dew, and the sun emitted no vivifying warmth? Is it not because you have not brought all your tithes into the treasury--prayer restrained, faith distrusting, property withheld--thus bringing Him to the test of His veracity to give you the blessing? "You have not called upon Me, O Jacob; you have been weary of Me, O Israel!" Weary of You, my blessed Lord? You are my only Rest. "Whom have I in heaven but you? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside you."