The concept of faith promise giving was shared with us at the Olympia Lacey Church of God about a year after we moved to Olympia (read about our move in our previous blog “Recognizing God’s Hand” from April 15, 2017 for another encouraging story). A faith promise is asking and hearing from God an amount of money He wants to flow through you into a particular ministry. You commit in writing to a time period the money will come into your possession and be given to a specific ministry. This promised money is something you do not currently have, as it is a gift from the Lord directed toward Kingdom work.
The story of our faith promise commitment began about a year after we moved to Olympia from Vancouver, Washington in 1978. We started attending the Olympia Lacey Church of God located directly across the street from our house. (The church is still located there and has grown and expanded their facilities, and the little house we lived in was sold and there is a gas station and mini mart there now.) While attending the church, missionaries to China came who were raising funds to translate the Bible to Chinese. They were raising the funds by “Faith Promise” commitments.
The missionaries shared for a couple of Sundays about the work in China and what was needed to get the Bible translated. We were asked to pray and ask The Lord for an amount of money He would bring to us specifically to give directly for the China mission to translate the Bibles. Since the money was to come from outside our known resources it was easy for us because we only had $10.00 in our savings account which we had to leave there to keep the account open. Our income was already, shall I say, scheduled.
Bill and I talked and prayed together and were impressed to believe God for $500.00. He would provide this through us in some way, supernaturally, before the end of the year. We were excited and believing for the money, knowing God would do it! The Sunday came to fill out a card pledging the faith promise amount. Bill and I were in separate services that day because we were teaching different classes. We hadn’t thought about this minor detail and we both filled out a card for $500.00. When we got home and realized what we had done we just laughed. We thought if God is the one supplying the $500.00 then $1,000 isn’t really over His budget. Then the church called on Monday and asked if we wanted them to tear up one of the commitments. We said no, we would go with the $1,000.
During the months to follow, people would testify that when it came time to buy the things they needed, those items were on sale so they could put the money they saved towards their faith promise. We were happy with them for the way God was supplying the money, but for us, that was a way God regularly provided for us. If we needed shoes or household items, we would end up at a store that was having a huge sale that we didn’t even know about. Since I don’t believe in coincidences, I knew it was God providing our needs and I was very grateful! I sensed deep inside that we were going to receive the $1,000 all at one time and I had absolutely no idea how it would happen! God always met our family needs.
As the months passed by a major need surfaced for a dependable car. We had a 1966 Dodge Coronet station wagon that was deteriorating before our eyes. It leaked around the doors and grew mushrooms in the floor mats in the winter. The defrosters stopped working so we had to wipe the windshield inside when the window fogged up. Bill had tried to rebuild the carburetor; he is a good man but not a mechanic. We were a two-car family but the other car was a Vega, which Bill called the “first disposable car”. Bill drove it to work each day but in order to make it to work and back, he had to clean the sparks plugs every night. We didn’t have a carport or garage so in the winter I would hold a flashlight and umbrella so Bill could be a bit dry and see to clean the spark plugs.
I became increasingly concerned that we would be able to give the promised $1,000 in joy when it came because of the personal needs we had. I asked the Lord to fill our hearts with joy when the money came so we could give it gladly to further His Kingdom. Now it is into December and the money commitment was due by the end of the year. Other people fulfilled their commitments in various ways and we were happy for them. I believe it was the gift of faith working in me because I just knew inside that God would do it in one lump sum.
I went to our rural mailbox in about mid-December and there was a check from a place we had received small checks from before. The check was for approximately $2,300 and there was no explanation with it. Wow! Needless to say, I was really excited! It turned out the company had discovered an ongoing mistake had been made and they owed us the money. YES! God not only provided the $1,000, which we gave in JOY, but enough to fill the need for a dependable car. God is so faithful and gracious!
Bill sold the Vega to a friend for $100 and he rebuilt the engine for his son. We bought a nice station wagon with the rest of the money and the total cost of the vehicle, tax, license etc. came to exactly what was left after paying the faith promise commitment. Since there are no coincidences, thank You, Jesus for Your Signature on Your gift to us!
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says The Lord of hosts;”
–Malachi 3: 10-11 (NKJV)
This was the beginning of major blessings from The Lord in our lives! I encourage you to hold steadfast the promises the Lord made to you and wait expectantly for Him to deliver!