The following is something I shared with our church for an offerring message.
When we lived in Las Vegas, I had gotten a hammock as a gift. I didn't want an ugly hammock stand, so my husband agreed to build a permanent holder for it. We went to the store and bought all the supplies (concrete, metal poles, hooks, etc). He dug two holes, mixed the concrete and poured it into each hole. Then set a pole in each hole and let it dry. Then he attached the hammock to the poles with hooks. Ta-da! It was done!
I then proceeded to sit in it and ... KERPLUNK! I fell flat on my rear as it pulled the concrete foundation right out of the ground!
The foundation was faulty.
It was missing something (i.e. re-bar).
Without that key component (re-bar) it wasn't built to withstand the pressure (of my butt) ;0
Just like in the example of what happened with the hammock, the foundation we build upon with God needs to be strong, and solid, and Right!
How do we know if its right?
We go to the Word.
Where is the Word?
In the Bible.
The Word says we should tithe our first 10% (see Malachi 3:10 if you don't believe me).
So in order to be Right, we need to do that.
We need to tithe our first 10% before we do anything else. Put God and our obedience to Him above all else.
When I was assisting in Children's Church the kids were taught to keep God in front of earthly things like toys, cars, houses, friends, and money.
They even made a little craft that showed a cross positioned in front of the earth, to remind them that God should always be in front of anything on earth.
Well, we need to put God first too!
Our submission to Him is more important than earthly things.
So remember, if you want Joy in life, and all that God has in store for you, put Him first, obey His Word, and bring your tithes into His house as He instructs us to do (remember Malachi?)