I Am Blessed
"...For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. For the Mighty One has done great things for me..." (Luke 1:48-49)
Blessing. What is it? Where does it come from? And how can you get your hands on it? It has been my observation over the years that many in the Church are in great want for this thing called "blessing." It is actively sought after by many, and some will go to great lengths and jump through many hoops in order to obtain it. And sadly, many are exploited by shysters who seek to make a commodity of blessings, and market those blessings to people. People are promised if they just do such and such with their money, or go to a certain series of meetings, then they will walk away with a blessing.
Such deceit, I believe, would vanish altogether tomorrow from the face of the earth if Gods people truly understood just exactly what it means to be blessed, and how such blessing is obtained. But, I believe such deceit will continue to permeate the Church because of the rather "ghostly" understanding the saints of God have with the term, "blessing." And such vague understanding about what it means to be blessed exists, because we as a Church have tried to understand the blessings of God apart from the person and work of Jesus Christ. For I believe that if we are to properly understand what the Bible says about blessing, we must seek to settle for nothing less than a Christ-centered understanding of this important topic.
### The Blessing of Creation ###
So, what does it mean to be blessed? Most lexicons define the word "blessed" as meaning, "happy" or "fortunate." And we see such an idea supported from simply looking at the first few pages of the Bible. In Genesis we read of how God blessed His creation, so that it might fulfill the Lords purpose for itself by being fruitful and multiplying. In pronouncing the creation blessed, God verbally declared His Divine favor upon the creation, and living in His favor the creation would be granted the ability to increase and flourish.
But the first man, Adam, wasnt so fortunate, nor was he very happy. In fact, there was a sense of frustration that Adam experienced. For God had created mates for all of creation, with the exception of him, and being unable to find an outlet in which his purpose might be fulfilled through the act of multiplying, Adam became lonely. But as one of the first acts of grace, God in His providence made a wife for Adam, so that he could ultimately be happy, instead of feeling alone. And in this, Adam was blessed.
Continuing on in the Genesis narrative, we read of sin entering into the world and the fall of man. In this event, God "cursed" the creation. But in this act of cursing, we see the basic definition of "blessing" being highlighted. For through the fall of man, misfortune, pain, and death would enter into the world. And lacking peace with God, all of creation became subjected to futility in its inability to continually carry on with Gods original intent for it by being fruitful and multiplying. For try though it might to continue doing what God created it to do, death entered into the world, with the result that the grave would ultimately consume whatever fruit the world managed to produce in all of its toil.
But God, who is rich in mercy, began to set in motion His plans to "reverse the curse," and restore His fallen creation to the state of being blessed. Speaking to Abraham, God said:
"And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; And so shall you be a blessing... And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed." (Genesis 12:2-3)
And what was Gods plan to restore the fallen creation? In this early announcement of the gospel message, through the agency of Abraham and his offspring, God again promised to bless the entirety of creation. In Jesus Christ, God said this blessing would once again be realized.
For in Jesus Christ, the grip the curse had upon creation by means of death is undone. Being undeserving of the punishment of God, in subjecting Himself to Gods curse on the cross, Jesus Christ broke the power of death by means of His resurrection from the grave. And, no longer being subjected to death, living forever more, Christ has granted all who would trust in Him the ability to experience this same life, and escape all consuming power of the curse pronounced upon man at the fall. In His death and resurrection, Christ has restored that which was lost, so that the blessing of God pronounced upon the creation might rule over His creation yet once more. From Christ alone doth all blessings flow.
### Getting Your Blessing ###
Now, let us reflect upon this Christ-centered understanding to Gods theology of blessing as I have taught thus far. Can you already begin to see the practical application for this Christ-centered approach to understanding the blessing of God, and what that means for your life? What do you think? Are you blessed because of something you have done? Or are you blessed because of what Jesus Christ has done for you?
Are you blessed because you have been a good boy or good girl this week? Are you blessed because you have done everything God says you should do? Are you blessed because you have prayed for two hours every day? Are you blessed because you have paid your tithes? Are you blessed because you went to a revival meeting in which some so-called "man of God," with hot-hands and a white jacket promised a, "special outpouring," upon all who attended his meeting? Or again, are you blessed because of what Jesus Christ has done for you?
Brethren, we waste so much energy these days running around trying to pursue that which Christ has already freely provided for us, on the basis of what He alone has done on our behalf. We continually run around, ever trying to find an imaginary "perfect will of God," whereby we think if we can just attain to a certain spiritual stature or maturity and positioning, that we will somehow finally obtain the full measure of the blessing of God on our lives. We think then, and only then, will all that the heavens contain be poured out upon us.
But this is a lie.
For the Scriptures say that God, "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." (Ephesians 1:3) Did you see that? He "has" already blessed us. And with what? "Every spiritual blessing!" And from where? "The heavenly places in Christ." So what does this mean?
I am a born-again child of God. I have been made to sit in heavenly places with Jesus Christ, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. I am a joint-heir with Christ. Whatever blessing Jesus Christ enjoys seated in heavenly places at the right hand of the Father in glory, I have been made a partaker of by means of my union with Him. Do I need to go looking for love? No. Jesus Christ has blessed me with love! Do I need to go looking for joy? No. Jesus Christ has blessed me with joy! Do I need to go looking for peace? A thousand times no! Jesus Christ has blessed me with peace!
### Conclusion ###
In failing to understand and realize these truths, I worry that we open up a door of opportunity for the enemy of our souls to captivate us with counterfeit blessings, and lead us astray in the process. In thinking that Christ has not already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, we are kept from being satisfied with what the Lord has already given us. And the result? We begin to become like the children of Israel, and desire something other than the manna that God has already provided for us day after day.
Thus, instead of simply walking in the love, joy, peace, and all the blessings that Christ has provided us, we begin to look for these things apart from Him. We will start to mess in things we have no business messing with. We will enter into relationships we have no business entering into. We will entertain ourselves with things we should never even look upon. And we will subject ourselves to pseudo and counterfeit spiritualities and ministers of the worst kind.
If we were to realize that we are already blessed because of the work of Jesus Christ, and what He has done for us in His death and resurrection, then our lives ought to be different. Instead of going along with everybody else, and vainly attempting to crack open the windows of heaven through great exertion, we will ignore the lying tongues of men who promise to give us the "keys" they say we need, if we would just but follow them. For those who understand these truths realize that there are no windows to be opened, let alone the need of special keys to unlock the blessings behind them. For Jesus Christ has already thrown open the windows of heaven to us, and allows us to freely enter therein.
I am not trying to get blessed. I am blessed.