Can you help me interpret Malachi 3:10?

I have a 13 year old daughter that often “tests me” in ways I do not like; my patience, my nerves, etc. 🙂 I do not like this, and to me it is a sign of disobedience and rebellion. Fortunately, she is a good kid and keeps this to a minimum.

At the same time, we have agreements (covenants) in our house that I want her to know I am a man (and father) of my word, and if she does what I ask of her I will reward and bless her accordingly. I give her an allowance and she must (a commandment) do certain things like keep her room clean, etc. I also tell her, “If you help your mother and do extra work, or do little extra things that you know are important to us then you will also get extra in your allowance.

Megan said one day, “Will you really bless me if I have it in my heart to help and do things that please you and mommy all the time?” I replied, “Test me! Try it and do these things and you will be pleasantly surprised. I have it in my heart to give you much more, I just want to know you are responsible enough to handle it. Test me, and you will be happy.”

As you can see, the first test (my patience) was something she did when she was disobedient, the second test was to see how the promises I made her would be fulfilled, and was even encouraged by her father.

I think God is the same, only much better. 🙂 Sometimes I do things wrong, and it is testing God’s patience, mercy and grace. I do not think this pleased Him much, even though He always seems to love me just the same. There are also times I “test” God’s word and pray and fast, and press in and try to hear the heart of God on matters and when I do it also comes back in bundles!

So, for the immature Christian it is probably testing the very basics, like tithing, keeping the 10 commandments, forgiving others, etc. For the mature Christian, it is probably more about applying all of God’s word to our lives, living every minute for Christ, learning the Word and putting it in our heart. I don’t think God minds this at all…in fact we have scriptural references where when someone had this kind of faith it even pleased God…

Matthew 15:22-28 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Pastor Brad