Everything keeps coming back to “first fruits”. We’re supposed to give God our “first fruits.” Now I’ll admit, I had no clue what this meant even a couple years ago. In my journey with the Creator, He’s showing me exactly what that means. We are to choose Him first over everything else. First fruits in tithing means you pay Him first. He’s not the One Who gets the leftovers. Let’s face it, there may not be any leftovers of our paycheck. We make a choice to honor Him in everything we do.
God’s been working with me on how I spend my time. Time is included in those first fruits. As a mom of 2 kids, (human children, not goats…I only have one of those) I am more productive before 8 AM than a lot of people are in a 12-hour period. Some days I enjoy the productivity. Others I think I may hyperventilate due to all the sighing I do. Life, in general, is hard. Yeah, I said it. Not the most profound or original statement I’ve ever made, but 1.) It’s early. 2.) God is teaching me that it’s ok that life is hard. (That may be the profound statement of the article. If you already knew this, bear with me. I may make another point.) For quite some time I thought life was supposed to be easy for believers. After all, if God is on our side, who could be against us, right? I misunderstood as I expected no one or no thing to rise up against my plan. (I hear people laughing.) The truth is: there is more opposition against a child of God before 8 AM than we could ever see in this realm! We are so distracted by so many things. In this distraction, we become discouraged, worried, and stressed. I believe it’s because we’re not fulfilling our purpose. There’s an innate need for us to be productive in a way that we were designed to be. God created us to yearn for more.
God said not to be discouraged because He knew we would get discouraged. He said not to be anxious because He knew we would have anxiety. He said to cast all our cares on Him because He knew we would have a whooooooole bunch of cares. He said to put on the whole armor because we would need armor. Who needs armor? People in a battle! Look in Ephesians for the armor and see how life changes for you when you mentally put it on. (You can put it on as a physical representation too, but I would think it would cost more and require more muscle.)
We need to be careful who’s getting our first fruits and who is benefiting. Does anyone benefit from you waking up to check Facebook first thing? Do you greet the blinking light on your phone before you say thanks for the new day? Is the kingdom growing because you turn the TV on to watch that show you’ve been questioning whether or not you should be watching? What’s the plan here? Isn’t it to have a relationship with God so that we can look more and more like Jesus? If what we’re giving our time to doesn’t reflect that, then maybe it’s time for us to reevaluate our plans.