I once heard a pastor on the radio say that a great Christian revival will begin when everyone that attends church follows God’s word and tithes 10 percent to their church. I thought to myself, “Yes that would be a tremendous thing and the church universal could do great things with that money.” I imagined the missions to foreign countries, feeding the homeless, programs aimed at youth, men, women, young couples, and elderly.
“But then I thought, ‘a tithe should only be given out of love not obligation,’” Todd Shupe said recently. The simple fact is that God does not need your money and His will shall be done regardless of your tithe. “Your tithe is symbolic of the spiritual condition of your heart, which concerns God much more than your tithe, bank account, and material possessions,” Todd Shupe, LSU‘s former wood sciences professor, added.
The Word of God in Malachi 3:10 reads, “Bring the whole tithe 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 there will not be enough to store it.” So, by denying our tithe to God we are denying nothing to Him. However, we are denying ourselves a blessing. St. Paul sums this up beautifully in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” We are told in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I believe that revival starts when all people turn their focus on God rather than on themselves, according to Todd Shupe. Sin is the inevitable result of our natural tendency to focus on ourselves, our desires, our flesh and our will. True revival will come, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). According to former LSU professor Todd Shupe, a key component of revival is for each husband in each house to submit to God and lead the way for his family to a Christ-centered life. In summary, consider the Word of God in Joshua 24:15: “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Serve the Lord by giving Him your heart – your whole heart – and then YOU will may be the spark that starts the fire of revival. “Revival won’t come due to giving back to God what already belongs to God (i.e., money), but it will come by giving him our heart – our whole heart,” says Todd Shupe.