by Rick Warren — June 22, 2021
From Leaving a Lasting Legacy
“Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines.”
Proverbs 3:9 (TLB)
When you give by reason, you say, “This is what I can reasonably give.” It doesn’t require any faith to give by reason.
Giving by revelation is when you say, “God, what do you want to give through me? How much do you want me to trust you for in this particular instance?”
My wife, Kay, and I have been tested many times on giving when we didn’t have it—and we’ve always found God faithful.
One of the most dramatic examples was when we raised money to build Saddleback Church’s building back in 1993. People made commitments to give over a three-year period. So Kay and I prayed and believed we heard God telling us to give an amount that certainly wasn’t reasonable. In fact, it was more than we could afford. But we trusted God for that amount.
Then God challenged me through 1 Chronicles 29 to announce my gift, like King David did, so that it would encourage and challenge our church. I really didn’t want to for many reasons—including not wanting to appear prideful. But God told me to do it. And I wanted him to bless that building, so I did. I stood in front of my church one Sunday and said, “I don’t know where the money is coming from, but we have committed to give $100,000 over the next three years. Please pray for me.”
A month later, the Friday before the weekend where we would take up the special offering, I got a call from Zondervan publishing company. They said, “Rick, we want you to write a book and call it The Purpose Driven Church. We believe it’s going to be a bestseller, so we’re going to send you an advance of $150,000.”
When I stood in front of my church family a few days later and told them that story, the place went wild. The church was jumping, shouting, dancing, and singing. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life—and I nearly missed it because of my own stubbornness. If I hadn’t publicly gone on record to show my trust in God’s revelation, the church and I would have missed seeing how God is dependable. It was a lesson I will never forget.
The Bible says, “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (Proverbs 3:9 TLB).
In other words, give by revelation, not by reason. When you do, I promise that you’ll find God faithful.