We all know our abilities…what we are good at and what we aren’t so good at.
And one thing I am not good at is math.
I cannot do math in my head. I use my calculator for everything. Don’t make me give you change for anything because I cannot do it. Never have been. I remember in 4th grade our teacher called us up to the front of the class one by one to be a cashier and give the correct change back to our customer. I was mortified when I had to go because I could not do it. And still can’t unless I have a calculator!
Word problems….no way. I feared those in school.
Geometry….hated it so much because I thought it was useless and I didn’t understand it.
But…if you give me a formula and let me plug in numbers, then I am good! Equations were always easy for me because they made sense. Things equaled out and I could understand equations like E=mc².
However, I have learned that sometimes God throws out the window everything that makes sense mathematically. God is not limited to perfect equations. We cannot write out the equation and have it make sense to us when it comes to the power of God.
Tithing is one area of my life that I have seen God do more than I could possibly imagine. In the beginning of our marriage, we did not tithe (a tithe being 10% of your income). We were worried about our finances and all the bills we had to pay so we would pay those first and then give to God what was left over.
But God turned that mindset of ours around. He spoke to us one day and helped us both see that we needed to trust in Him more and give that full tithe back to Him. We weren’t letting God show us all that He would and could do for us because we were limiting His power by not trusting in Him and giving him our first fruits instead of our last. I love this verse God showed me from Malachi 3:10
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.
In that simple addition problem that Mark shares on Page 51 from the Feeding of the Five Thousand story, 2+5≠7. In this story, 2+5=5,000.
Now that doesn’t make sense. How did God multiply those five loaves and two fish to serve that many people? Impossible, right?
And that’s why I love God’s equations. Because they don’t make sense. Nothing equals out to what it should be (at least logically). But what God does makes complete and perfect sense to Him. He takes the impossible situation and turns it into an overflowing blessing.
When my husband and I began to fully tithe, we saw those blessings flow. He blessed us beyond our ability. Why? Because I believe we were willing to “give beyond our ability” (page 57). We finally claimed Ephesians 3:20 and saw God do amazing things.
As far as your Jericho’s go, do not trap God into this perfect equation and limit His power. Don’t try to figure out how God is going to answer this prayer. Pray circles around your Jericho without any preconceived notions of how God should answer it. And then let go of your Jericho and watch God “open wide the storehouse”.
- Why are you afraid to give control of your Jericho and its outcome to God?
- Write out a God equation from your life. What about it doesn’t make sense to you?
- Thinking beyond finances, what ways can you give above your ability?
Lord, we are so grateful for your almighty and limitless power. We tend to keep you in a box and don’t allow you to show us just how much blessings you can give. Make us into people who will give beyond our ability so we can see the blessings you will rain down from heaven when we do. Help us to let go and trust you with the Jericho’s in our lives. Hear our prayers, Lord. Amen.