Yes, you read that correctly. Tithing is not an act of Scriptural worship, contrary to what you may hear during the tithes/offerings portion of your church service. People refer to tithing as worship giving because it is often included as part of a worship service or because it is considered to be a response to the Lord’s faithfulness, but you can’t praise the Lord with money. Scripturally speaking, there is no Biblical evidence that defines tithing as an act of “worship” or “praise”. Tithing is an act of obedience. Worship is ministry unto the Lord. You cannot minister to the Lord with your money- He doesn’t need it.
In terms of praise and worship, the point is giving thanks to the Lord, ministering to Him with yourself. Paul wrote, “I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.” Praise and worship are, first, actions of the heart before they’re anything else. God doesn’t need your money, and while He doesn’t “need” your praise and worship, He does deeply desire your praise and worship. Why? The Lord deeply desires you.
What Does the Bible Say About Tithing as Worship?
Tithing is an act of obedience so that the house of the Lord (aka the local church) is provided for so that it can in turn provide for the people of God. (Malachi 3:8-10) In the Word of God, there is always blessing and promises tied to obedience. However, the essence of praise and worship to the Lord are entirely different. Blessing and promises are not the point of worship. The point of praise and worship is to connect to the Spirit of the Lord. Praise and worship are sharp, spiritual weapons, but it’s not because of you, it’s because Psalm 22:3 says that the presence of Lord dwells within your praise! In His vital, dynamic presence is everything you need.
Of course, you should be obedient with your tithes, the Bible is very, very clear about the blessings associated with obedience, but tossing 10% into the plate isn’t worship or praise. There are blessings attached to your praise and worship, but those flow naturally from the presence of the Lord- joy, a refreshing touch, spiritual power, strength, healing, vision, direction – those are all natural by-products of the power of God’s presence! He is seeking to be closer to you! The more you place yourself in His presence through praise and worship, the greater you’ll experience benefits of being close to His presence – and money cannot buy it.
What is Giving to God?
You are the living sacrifice that God wants. God always wants a physical sacrifice from your literal body, not your checkbook. “Through Him, then, let us continually offer to God the sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15)
In Genesis 4, when Cain brought the Lord a basket of fruit and vegetables instead of a living sacrifice, the Lord did not accept it. Why? Because it showed an issue with the heart. Cain wanted to toss some fruit at the Lord and call it good. No one asked or required Abel to bring a living sacrifice, but it reflected His heart and that is what the Lord saw. The Lord was insulted not because He doesn’t like apples, but because He knew Cain had no desire to really connect with Him and was being false, making an outward display of “holiness” when really his heart was far from God. Hebrews 11:4 says that Abel’s sacrifice was “more excellent” because it showed his faith was in God. That is the essence of presenting yourself to Him in worship- your living sacrifice shows your heart of gratitude and faith in Him.
Thought for today: Give the Lord What He Really Wants – YOU
Singing, dancing, raising your hands, kneeling, bowing, playing an instrument, singing a new song, shouting, testifying, spinning, jumping and clapping – these are all expressions from the seven Hebrew words for praise the Lord created for your “living sacrifice” in worship. (Heb. 13:15) Give your money to the Lord in your tithes, to the local church, and offerings to help other ministries and alms to the poor as the Word of God is very clear about in obedience– the Bible is chock-full of promises for that. But give yourself to the Lord in worship – your heart, your mind, your, spirit, your soul – and minister to Him from a place of thanksgiving. That is praise and worship.
Yes, you should honor the Lord with your first fruits, but that isn’t worship, He wants the first fruit of you! Referring to tithing as “worship” is a misunderstanding of both tithing and of worship and the results are spiritually disastrous. People come to church and don’t raise their hands to the Lord, but toss in $500 and wonder where God is feel connected to Him or experience the power of His presence! It’s a strategy of Satan to confuse the subject of worship so that people remain disconnected from God. Get into obedience with your money, and then worship God for His provision, His blessings, His faithfulness. There is power in worship, but first, you need to know what it is (and what it is not!)
How do Praise and Worship Bring True, Spiritual Power into Your Life?
- “The Supernatural Power of Praise”
- “The Hidden Benefits of Praise”
- “The Dwelling Place of God is a Praise Powerhouse”
- “The Benefits of Praising God Belong to You”