1 When the ark of the LORD had been in Philistine territory seven months, 2 the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.” 3 They answered, “If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift; by all means send a guilt offering to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand has not been lifted from you.” 1 Samuel 6
Christians it seems are usually the last people to enquire from the Lord regarding any matter. We usually “know” the way out of any quandary we find ourselves in. There is apparently no single spot of bother good ole “three days fasting, all night prayers or tithing” cannot remedy.
In 1 Samuel 4, the children of Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. During this battle, the Philistines captured the ark of covenant and took it to their town and sickness broke out in their midst. And the first thing the Philistines did was to call their priests and diviners to find the cause of the maladies that plagued them. They did not make any assumptions as to the root of their problems.
On the other hand, we Christians can be very presumptuous when it comes to the troubles we face and instead of finding out from the Lord the best way forward, we want Him to endorse the way out we have chosen.
It is not uncommon to find Christians resort to tithing as the answer to financial difficulties. The tithe challenge abounds everywhere with “testimonies” aplenty. Once one testimony is shared it goes viral! Every financially strapped individual and church promptly jumps on the tithing challenge wagon without even enquiring from the Lord if that is to be their way out of lack.
When Jesus and His disciples met a man born blind, the disciples already “knew” the reason the man was born blind: it was caused by either his sin or that of his parents. But Jesus’ response was neither: he was born blind so that God’s work could be manifested in his life.
There are even ways of getting swift answers to your prayers even if they are not in accordance with God’s will for your life. As long as you are willing to sow some of the proceeds into the Kingdom, God is cool with that.
Please pardon my cynicism.
Christianity is a relationship which is established on a covenant binding two parties. The parties involved are God (the greater) and us (the lesser). How can the lesser think he can manipulate the greater? Who calls the shots, you or God?
The blood of Christ has granted us unrestricted access to God’s throne and He is only a prayer away. Should you be faced with any challenges, just ask Him why and for a way out. The challenge could only be for a season so as to strengthen your faith. It could be to draw your attention to something you had previously overlooked. It could even be to force you to think creatively and outside the box. You never know until you ask?
The next time you are strapped for cash, before you go on and try to manipulate God through “sacrificial” giving, simply seek His face for an answer.