Jesus spent much of His time teaching on dependency. Our tendency is to lose the humble hearts we had as children, and stop depending and learning. But God wants to reveal more about who He is, and to do this we have to be open and willing to receive this.
Matthew 17:24-27—After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes—from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”
In these verses in Matthew, Jesus used Peter’s culture to teach him that God is a good king, who doesn’t take from His children, but instead provides for them. We need to ask ourselves if we depend on God, or upon ourselves. But relying on ourselves only leads to pride.
We are in God’s Kingdom to produce, but He doesn’t expect us to just create a harvest on our own! He gives all of us the tools necessary to do what He created each of us to do. But He also expects us to depend on Him instead of trying to do it all on our own.
One of the ways we can demonstrate to ourselves that we trust God as our provider is by tithing—that means giving 10% of what we earn back to God. This isn’t for His benefit, but for our own; God is God—He doesn’t need our help! But He tells us to tithe so that we can see in our own lives the trust and dependency we have in Him like children trust and depend on their parents.
Tithing isn’t about giving because you feel like you have to, or because God might not give you what you want if you don’t. That isn’t dependency or trust—it’s bargaining. God is the provider of all good gifts, and He wants us to humbly trust in Him as our heavenly father.
It’s only because of God that we have air in our lungs. God doesn’t just see our physical lives, but our eternal lives. He wants us to be fully dependent in our temporary lives here on Earth so that we can fully depend on Him for the next life.