I used to cringe at the word “Blessing.” It brought memories of Jim Bakker at PTL telling me, a young Christian, that God wanted to bless me and give me a life as glamorous as his PTL compound.
Which later was busted and closed down for embezzlement. He went to jail and another blessing preacher reinforced my skepticism of the word.
Until I started reading the Bible–over and over and over again. Within the pages of His Story, I see God’s faithfulness to His promises and blessing when He says He’ll bless.
And in the midst of the promise and blessing, hard things happen.
Jacob’s family, for example.
Jacob was promised to be a great nation, but he was lied to by his father-in-law, had sons who lied about the death of their brother when they really sold him into slavery. His daughter was molested and his sons sought ungodly revenge.
Then God took him to the promised land only to live there in famine.
And there, in the middle of Genesis 47 is a blessing.
God was faithful to bring about His promise and Jacob’s family received blessing. Jacob even blessed Pharaoh, the most powerful man on earth.
What impresses me about Jacob’s story is that he didn’t let go of God’s blessing and promises. He pursued them, even when he failed and sinned against God.
Do you look for blessings that God has promised you or your family? Do you live in faith of God’s promises and blessings?
If you’re pursuing the material blessings, those won’t come if that’s all you’re pursuing. But if you pursue God’s promises and blessings of the outpouring of a faithful life lived in a love-relationship with Him, His blessings abound.
How do you do this? How do you look for, pursue, and experience God’s blessings?
- First, ask God for His blessing. You may not hear this from the pulpit, but it’s a biblical principle from the life of Jacob/Israel and David specifically. Jacob wrestled with God for the blessing he desired. And God granted his request, and even more, by naming him Israel, the name of the full blessing (Genesis 32:24-32).
- Live in obedience. After Jacob was granted God’s blessing, he had to rid his family of false gods and things which defiled the Holy Creator (Genesis 35). This is the ongoing story of the nation of Israel. When they obeyed God and His precepts for their guidance and protection, they were blessed. When they did not, God did not bless them. It’s that simple. You can’t receive God’s favor when you’re dishonoring Him and defiling His name that you represent. It’s just that simple.
- Repent when you sin. Blessing doesn’t come from perfection, because we are sinful beings. But God’s favor rests upon you when you recognize sin in your life and live a life of repentance in overcoming that sin in good faith. God’s story of grace and redemption is written throughout Scripture–but it’s not cheap grace and it’s full of consequences. But even in blessing are the consequences from our sinful choices.
- Practice faith. What’s the difference between having faith and practicing faith? It means when you don’t see God’s blessing in your circumstances, you continue asking God for and thanking Him for His promises and blessing. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith isn’t believing because we see.
- Praise God for blessings, big and small. Do you want God to bless the areas in which you’re asking Him? Start praising Him when He stretches your budget. Praise Him when you tithe in obedience, not knowing how you’re going to pay a bill. Praise Him when you see small steps of change. That’s when the real blessing comes.
Are you praying blessing over your children? Praise God within your family when God answers prayers and blesses your kids. First, pray for all needs in your family (Philippians 4:19). Then give God credit–for improved grades, for helping them through a difficult situation, and for the way He provides. Make prayer and praise in answered prayer part of your family’s lifestyle.
6. Receive God’s blessing from His Word. Perhaps the biggest blessings I’ve received are from reading the Bible, seeing how God is faithful to those who have an imperfect relationship with Him. God’s Word speaks to me every time I read it as I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me from His word. Time in God’s Word develops an intimacy with Him that nothing else can. You begin to see what God’s blessings look like through His character, His relationship with His people, and from the truth and promises He’s speak to your soul.
Here’s a short video I posted about acknowledging God’s goodness, which is relevant to God’s blessings. I encourage you to begin praying for, believing in faith, and acknowledging God’s blessings in your life and that of your family.
Will you join me?