From the time we got saved over 30 years ago, we have been faithful tithers and faithful with our offerings. It has always been based on the first 10% of everything we received. We were obedient to the law. We began to believe that if we could give 10% and live on 90% then we certainly should strive at working towards the opposite – giving 90% and living on 10%. Surely that would make us ‘better than average Christians!’ All we gained from that religious mindset was poverty and lack! We were trying hard to earn His approval and thought if we just gave enough, certainly He would reward us. In other words, we had a ‘giving to get mentality!’ Our motive of heart was skewed. The Lord was faithful to us even in our terribly wrong thinking. We soon returned to the 10% mentality. All along this part of our journey we had a lot of reinforcement not only from the organized church, but also from many other para-church ministries as well. We watched how others were doing it (especially if it looked productive) and if it fit, we usually implemented it. Over the years, you could say ‘we tried it all.’ Little did we know that eventually our loving Father would step in with a huge course correction! He would not allow us to remain in this kind of idolatry.
In November 2009, Father lovingly began to chip away at this idolatry. He spoke the following to us, “I want you to STOP merchandising the anointing.” Our immediate response was, “Father how are we doing that?” Faithful as He is, He began to show us areas where our thinking was skewed with respect to our giving and how PITFH was selling what He had given us. Immediately we began repenting and then we began implementing changes. We worked on the website making lots of changes there and we also began looking closely at the attitudes of our hearts with respect to our giving. We also began to seek new revelation from Father about how He wanted us to view our giving. It wasn’t long before He began to bring revelation to our hearts. He used a variety of ways to do that. After we began repenting, He began speaking directly to our hearts. Then He began to bring the writings of others across our paths in the form of articles and in some cases, books that others had written. God began a deep work in our hearts, but it didn’t come without lots of questions on our part. Remember, we had been stuck in the law from the time we’d been born again until now!
The other way we were signaled about the change was that suddenly others began asking us questions about this subject. We saw that many were seeking the same answers we were. In the beginning often times these discussions only produced more questions, but it became apparent that God is doing something within the Body of Christ concerning giving. Remembering that we are in the new Mercy Season of the church, we began asking the question, “Daddy, what does giving look like in the Mercy Season? How will it be different from what we have always known in the past?” It was that question that began to unlock the doors of revelation to us.
Please understand, this kind of transformation does not come quickly nor does it come without huge blows to our religious boxes! It is important to share here that we are in this process, so not for one moment do we think we have arrived, but we are confident that we have begun the process. The proof is an abundance of peace and liberty and a huge increase in our trust of Father to provide all of our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. The following are some adjustments we have been directed to make:
- We have adopted the “Pray and Obey” concept to the prayer ministry. We have removed the hourly fee from prayer ministry and we are simply asking all clients to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to share with them what they are to give, how they are to give it and when they are to give it. We also encourage each client not to be caught up in an entitlement mentality but as they pray, ask Father to release upon them the spirit of generosity. What we have seen proven within the Body of Christ is a huge entitlement mentality. This is NOT Kingdom thinking. We must all begin to align ourselves with a spirit of generosity in everything we do and in all that we are. This IS Kingdom thinking!
- We have stopped viewing the profit on the products in our inventory as a way for God to supply. We have already given away far more than we have ever sold and now we have changed the attitudes of our hearts with respect to our products. More free eBooks and articles are forthcoming, but publishing and painting for profit is a thing of the past for us.
- We have put away the law of 10%! We are now at 100%! In years past, we would declare, “everything we have is His,” but in reality that was not the case. We carefully protected our 90% but now He is calling us to a new level of 2 Corinthians 5:15 which says, “He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.” We began to see that the 10% was Old Testament law and as it passed through the cross, Father was asking us to lay aside the law, listen to the Holy Spirit and give this way:
- When He says to give
- How He says to give
- How much He says to give
- Where He says to give
We are no longer bound to give only in an offering plate on Sunday mornings. Now that will shake some religious thinkers! As we have studied the Scriptures more in depth regarding our giving, we have come to understand that there has been much erroneous teaching regarding tithing, giving and alms. While we have waited before the Father and contemplated deeply what His Spirit is speaking to our hearts, we are allowing Him to adjust our wrong thinking into Kingdom thinking. It has become apparent to us as we have made these changes that they have been followed by great peace, even greater liberty and a release of poverty thinking. We are truly learning what it means to walk in the truth that ALL we have and ALL we are belongs to Him. We have embraced a new meaning of ‘seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all things we have need of will be added unto us.’
We have just finished reading and re-reading Purifying the Altar by Al Houghton. While we may not agree totally with all that Al has written, the majority of it has helped confirm the direction that Father began to take us in November 2009. It talks about merchandising the anointing, unholy giving and impure altars that many of us have been guilty of laying our gifts on. When we do that, Al says that we become a part of the impurity of that altar. In contrast, we also become part of the pure altars that we lay our gifts upon. We recommend it, but be ready for it to challenge lots of religious thinking! We also recommend Kingdom Growth Guides by Ron McGatlin. This is a long read, but if you are serious about learning to live in Kingdom thinking, it is a must read. It’s a free download at OpenHeavens.com.
The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. It is not something for the sweet bye and bye. It is here now and we need to be diligently seeking to know how to live in His Kingdom where He is King! If we are going to live in His Kingdom, which the Word says is ‘righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost’, then we will need to know what He is saying about that Kingdom AND how it is financed! Our giving plays a huge part in that financial system, but we will have to come out of the world’s financial system, including the worldly way the church has personified that giving, and learn how to live in God’s Kingdom. One of the important steps is to learn about true Kingdom giving and how to lay our gifts upon the pure altars within His Kingdom.