When one reads the fifth chapter of Matthew, he finds out that the blessings of God are so numerous and expansive that they can’t be calculated. Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, gives us just a few of the blessings that God has for us. It is easy for a person to live life without ever thinking of the many ways that God blesses our lives each day. We seem to think that a blessing is something that is physical or material; something that we need but that is a wrong conception.
God’s blessings go far beyond such elemental things. The physical, emotional, spiritual and mental are just a few more of the areas in which His blessings can abound. Scripture says He blesses those who are His; those who have come to Him through Jesus Christ. Surely a Christian must realize that the blessings of God are far more that we can imagine…(1 Cor. 2:9). So, Scripture tells us many times that God blesses His people and we have personal experiences to prove it.
God’s People have always prayed for and ask Him for blessings of many different kinds and we have anticipated receiving those requested blessings. But, while praying one evening, His Spirit spoke to me and said: “Bill, don’t you think that God might enjoy receiving our blessings expressed to Him once in a while.” You see, we are always asking for His blessings but how often do we express to God that we want to be a blessing to Him?
I have learned to ask the Lord to help me be a blessing to Him each day. As part of that prayer, I also ask Him to help me be a blessing to someone else and that He will point that person or persons out to me and help me discern how I might be a blessing to them. You see, we are always asking God for His Blessings but how often do we pray that we may be a blessing to Him. I find that people are very self-centered in their prayers. We most often implore God for something that, in finality focuses on us. He wants to bless us but we should not be self-centered about it.
If we pray in such a way that God will be glorified by answering our prayer, He is more inclined to answer it. The Bible tells us not to pray for a blessing in order to “consume it upon our lusts.”…James 4:3. We ask amiss when we pray for something for our own purposes. God will not answer such prayer. We will not obtain from Him what we want to consume upon our own lusts. His Blessings are very special and are not handed out to us simply because we want them.
There is something else about God’s Blessings. They can be withheld at a moment’s notice. We should realize that we are open to His blessings when we are living an obedient life governed by His Spirit. Those living obedient lives can expect that God will bless them even when they do not ask for the blessings.
There is the story of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that great preacher from the 1800’s. He was taken by an angel to a vast room in a dream. It was filled with filing cabinets which were packed with documents. He asked the angel what all of that was and he was told that those were the answered prayers of Spurgeon. Then he was shown another room with vastly more filing cabinets filled with many more documents and upon inquiring as to what they represented, he was told that they represented all the blessings God wanted to give him but that he did not ask for them.
Scripture tells us, “we have not because we ask not”…James 4:2. So, God is prepared to bless us beyond our wildest dreams. He is not limited in His blessings or in any other way. And, those blessings do not always come in a big package. When I awake in the morning, I thank the Lord for the blessing of a good night’s sleep and for the blessing of a new day. When I am about to eat a good meal, I thank the Lord for it. When I start out on a trip, I ask the Lord to make it safe for me and my wife and when I return home, the first thing I do is to thank and praise Him for answering my prayer and blessing us with a safe trip. I thank Him often for good health and safety. I thank him for my family and the blessing of seeing them grow into the people God would have them grow into. The blessings of God are always wonderful no matter the size. All are big to me.
The secret of receiving His blessings is to make sure always that you are in a position with Him that opens His blessings up to you. He will not bless disobedient people. He cannot because it would violate His holy nature. So, if we want His blessings we must be in a position where He can grant those blessings.
Our country has placed itself outside of God’s blessings because of our utter sinfulness in so many areas. If we want God’s blessings then we had better clean ourselves us up because He cannot and will not bless disobedience. The godly people can still receive His blessings personally but the nation, as a whole, cannot expect that God would bless it. Only His judgment awaits a disobedient and sinful people. The Bible gives us many examples of this truth.
Just remember this: God loves us and wants to bless His people but we should also be aware of the fact that He would like to hear us express our desire to be a blessing to Him as well. When you arise in the morning, ask Him to help you to be a blessing to Him that day. Also ask Him to bring people before you to whom you can be a blessing that day and to give you the discernment to know when such a situation arises so that you can bless Him by being a blessing to someone else. You will get to the point that you will be looking forward to those moments when you can not only receive His blessings but when you can bless Him as well.
William F. Harrell is former pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Augusta.