Did you know that God setup a system for us where our money is actually spiritually blessed and protected? It’s true.
When we look at the names of God we see that God is El Shaddai, The Lord God Almighty, our all-sufficient and all-powerful sustainer who triumphs over every obstacle and all opposition. Not only is God the source of our provision and able to satisfy our every need, but he also can bless that provision too. But it’s up to us to align with the system he’s put in place to see that happen.
Previously we talked about several ways finances improve in the Kingdom of God. It is well worth reading through that article to get an understanding of the contrast between the world’s cursed system and the blessing of the system in the Kingdom of God where our finances are concerned.
The cool thing is that God has provided the means for us to move our money from the world’s cursed system and into the blessed system of the Kingdom of God. The question is how do we do that?
Source of Money
One thing we need to acknowledge is that money itself does not come from heaven. If you look at the currency in your wallet right now you will see that it was probably minted by the central bank of your country or some other earthly organization.
For example, if you look at a US one dollar bill it says “Federal Reserve Note” across the top. The Federal Reserve is the bank authorized by the United States government to print money. That happens here on earth and not in heaven.
So God does not print money and give it to believers because that would be counterfeit. God is not in the counterfeiting business.
Some Christians have the mistaken understanding that God is going to just drop money in their lap as they sit on the couch. They think there will be a pile of cash sitting by their coffee pot or tea kettle when they get up in the morning. But that’s not the way it works.
God has to use natural means to get his provision to us. That means the money we are believing for will generally come through someone or something that has a connection to us somehow. God does supernatural things in the spiritual realm to move things in the natural realm on our behalf. For those who don’t have eyes to see, they might interpret it as just a weird coincidence.
But that is often how God works, especially in the area of provision.
Once that money or provision is rightfully ours and in our possession, how do we ensure that it comes under the Kingdom system and remove it from the world’s corruption?
First Fruits Offering
As an aside, one thing I should point out is that firstfruits is technically one word where the Bible is concerned. At least that’s the way Bible scholars tend to use it anyway. Most Bible translations use firstfruits as one word. But us normal folks use two words: first fruits. So out of respect for both camps I’ll use both interchangeably to mean the same thing.
You might be thinking that first fruits is an Old Testament thing. And it’s true, God instituted the first fruits offering in the Old Covenant.
However first fruits are mentioned 31 times throughout the Bible. Firstfruits appear in both the Old and New Testaments and are talked about in relation to both spiritual and physical offerings.
So first fruits still have an application for us today.
Firstfruits are an offering to God of the increase in income that we receive. Notice we’re talking about the increase in income, not the overall amount. Specifically first fruits is the first portion of that increase. So for example, if we get a raise at work, the first fruits would be the difference between our new salary or wage and the old one in the first month or first pay period. It’s the increase in pay that we will be earning moving forward over what we were getting. Firstfruits are offered one time per increase.
The motivation of first fruits is a free will offering that we offer out of generosity. It shows that we’re not in love with money and we are grateful to God as the ultimate source of the increase.
Offering first fruits when we receive an increase is a demonstration of our faith in God as the true source of our provision. Remember, when we consider what faith is we need to acknowledge that faith is an action word. James said that unless faith produces action it really isn’t faith at all (James 2:17). The first fruits offering is one way to activate our faith in God as our provider.
Moving Finances Into God’s Kingdom
We said that God doesn’t print money. Since that’s the case, then how can there be any finances in the Kindgom of God?
Turns out there are other ways to move our money into the Kingdom system. And one of those ways is through the first fruits offering. Look at what the Bible says:
For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.— Romans 11:16
In that passage Paul is talking specifically about how gentiles are grafted into Abraham’s lineage by faith and are now therefore heirs of his promises and blessings. Paul brings the Old Testament concept of first fruits into the New Covenant.
Firstfuits are a tangible offering. It’s a concept that is honorable and holy to God.
By offering the first portion of our increase to God as a first fruits offering we move the entire increase out of the world’s cursed system and into the Kingdom of God for as long as it continues. In the spiritual realm, once we make a portion of the increase holy by offering it to God, we have in fact made the entire increase holy.
Remember, this first fruits offering is only done once with the first part of the increase.
God’s Promise for the First Fruits
Not only does the firstfruits offering move the entire increase that we receive into the blessings of the Kingdom of God and out of the world’s cursed system, but it also comes with an important promise.
Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.— Proverbs 3:9-10
Obviously that promise was written in an agrarian society. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have any barns or a wine press to overflow with new wine. So what do those verses mean to us today?
Well barns were the storage areas for people to save up provision. For most of us today the place we store up provision is in our bank accounts. So that means the first fruits offering will help ensure our bank accounts are always filled with plenty of provision.
Wine vats collected the new wine that was pressed out of the grapes. When the vats overflow, that means there is plenty of grapes going into the winepress. So that means in addition to having plenty of provision in our bank accounts, God also promises to keep our income flowing to us in response to our first fruits offering.
When you think about it, those promises make sense. Our firstfruits offerings demonstrate that we can be trusted with money because we don’t love it. Proverbs says that we are honoring God with our first fruits. Therefore, since we can be trusted to be good stewards over our finances, God can keep income flowing to us knowing it will be handled responsibly.
Stepping Into the Blessing of God
One of the big challenges I had as a Christian was a direct result of my lack of understanding about how finances work in the Kingdom of God. Even though my wife and I tithed from our income and were relatively generous givers, we have mostly been bumping along letting money control us and drive our decision making.
Rather than listening to God and doing the things that he told us to do, we had a tendency to listen to our bank account and let it dictate what we did or didn’t do.
It turns out there’s a world of difference between giving our money ignorantly, or just because someone tells us it is what we’re supposed to do, and giving it in faith that’s lined up with the system God put in place in His Kingdom and reveals to us in the Bible.
Different Parts Work Together
There are different things that God put in place when it comes to our finances and all the parts of the process work together for our benefit.
For example, another way we can move money out of the world’s cursed system into the blessed system of the Kingdom is by tithing. As we explained in an earlier article God promises two specific benefits from the tithe. One promise is that God will keep the devourer from eating away at our finances. God can legally do that to bless us when we tithe because tithing legally moves our finances between the two systems.
I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of keeping the devourer away from our finances. If our wealth is constantly being drained off by unusual and unexpected expenses then it will never grow. It doesn’t matter how much we have coming in if there is always more going out.
The tithe closes that back door to protect our finances from leaking out in the form of unexpected expenses.
Then the firstfruits offering opens things up to work in our favor on the income side of the equation. Our barns are filled so there will be provision there when we need it. And our vats are overflowing as more and more income comes our way over time.
Both the tithe and first fruits have different purposes in the Kingdom of God. They both work together on our behalf so God can bless our finances in different ways.
God’s grace has provided for our every need. Now we have the privilege of exercising our faith to tap into that provision, both in our own personal lives and as we each move the Kingdom of God forward in our circle of influence.