Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms”
What does it mean to be “blessed by God”?
There are so many scriptures that speak of God’s blessing but have you ever stopped to wonder how He blesses?
It doesn’t take someone too long to find a prosperity gospel preacher proclaiming if you donate your money to their ministry, God will bless you. I think the insinuation is that whatever they do is highly blessed by God and therefore God blesses anyone who supports them. I’ve watched Joel Osteen claim treasure chests that when full will spill forth into the homes as blessing. I’ve seen Jimmy Swaggart sell mini prayer cloths from the pulpit, claiming they possess some power that is relegated to their owner. From Jimmy Baker’s gold sinks to Joel’s helicopter fleet, the money pours in from those who want to be blessed like the men and women they watch on T.V..
Personally, I grow very concerned when someone makes a claim on behalf of God, particularly when that claim is one that specifically benefits them. There has been a lot of abuse when it comes to fleecing the flock of Christ. Many people have brought shame upon themselves for their greed and misrepresentation of the gospel.
A short look into the Word of God shows us, God doesn’t always just shower one type of blessing upon those He wishes to bless, He is far too creative for that.
Jacob, when he was about to die brought his sons together and pronounced a prophetic blessing over them. The blessing of Joseph is one I am particularly interested in since it was through his lineage came the Messiah.
Genesis 49:22-26 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
The archers have bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
But his bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
The blessings of your father
Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They shall be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.”
What was it about Jacob’s blessing that stands out?
God brings fruitfulness, healthy crops, strength, help, blessing of rain, blessing from the earth, many children, and even the hills get in the narrative. Whether God blesses the land on which you dwell or He blesses the work of the hands and the fruit of the womb, He blesses us with gifts we need, not just want we want.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Behold, the Protector of Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is the shade on your right hand. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will guard you from all evil; He will preserve your soul. The LORD will watch over your coming and going, both now and forevermore.“
What do we hear in these words of trust?
- God keeps us from stumbling
- God protects us
- God is ever vigilant
- God preserves us
- God is our shelter
- God is our guard
- God keeps our soul
- God will be faithful eternally
Do these sound like good blessings? Would you trade any of these for increased riches? Do you see that there is so much more that is important to life than what is continually focused on in society? The life that is lived in God is blessed beyond measure. There is nothing this world offers that even begins to compare to the riches of God’s blessings.
Psalm 18:20-24 “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands
He has recompensed me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments were before me,
And I did not put away His statutes from me.
I was also blameless before Him,
And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight.”
If the Lord promises anything to His people, it’s that He will reward you for your faithfulness. God’s righteous law is fixed in place with the full authority of His power….it will never be moved. To those who walk in righteousness, according to the law, He returns your faithfulness with His own. You receive far more for your obedience than you ever thought it was worth. When we see the Lord heaping blessing for something, we should step back and take notice—-this is very important to Him. The greatest surety we have in God is the grace that He has afforded us in Christ.
Psalm 18:16-19 “He sent from above, He took me;
He drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy. From those who hated me,
for they were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
But the Lord was my support.
He also brought me out into a broad place;
He delivered me because He delighted in me.“
Our bodies are so vulnerable. Have your core temperature drop a couple degrees and you suffer pneumonia or possible die. Fall from any point and you can break an ankle or get a concussion, hit your head hard enough and the brain bleeds and the effects can be devastating. These are just some of the physical limitations we have, what about the mental anguish we endure when we lose someone we love or lose a job, or anything that causes stress?
There has been so much emphasis by the world on how strong we are, we forget to take into consideration how weak we have actually become. Give someone enough power, money, and strength and they think they can take on the world. When one bullet can take down the strongest man, it just doesn’t look like we are as invincible as everyone claims to be.
God’s strength is critical for survival. He upholds us now and He will uphold us in judgement when its all over….He simply has everything we need.
It is the strength that God provides that moves us through the lowest valleys without fear and lifts us up to the highest mountains to meet with Him. He supplies everything.
There are so many blessings of God, I simply can’t acknowledge them all right now but I can tell you He doesn’t hold them back…He likes to give them away.
Don’t listen to how the world defines blessing, look to the Word and know there is no magic chest or carpet or anything else these charlatans are selling….it is simply obedience.