Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Experience God's Blessing

Day 16: Experience God's Blessing

Deuteronomy 28:1–8, “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.”

Wow! I want to live in this kind of blessing. I want my children and grandchildren to experience the same. Furthermore, I desire our church to experience this kind of blessing. The good news for us is that God is a God waiting to pour out His benefits upon His people.

Almost all religions work to gain their gods’ favor and blessing through rules, idols, and beautiful architectural structures. Throughout the Buddhist and Hindu dominated world, people offer sacrifices to please their gods and obtain favor. While in India, I noticed that almost every home had some kind of altar on the lawn. When I enquired about them, I was told that fruit, vegetables, and gifts were left on the altar to please whatever god might be passing by, hoping that the god would leave behind a blessing. The foundation of their faith is based on their ability to satisfy.

God’s requirements are different and found in the first verse: “fully obey,” and “carefully follow.” At first glance, it sounds similar to other religions, but there is a distinct difference, just like healthy parents who want to bless their children. Children don’t try and make the parents want them; they know they are loved. However, the children’s obedience makes it a joy for the parents to be generous.

If we want to experience the blessings of God, we must follow Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This is not a case for works-based theology; it is merely a statement of relational surrender.

People who understand blessing have a different outlook on life than those who do not. They are more grateful because they believe God is viewing them with pleasure. Their view of God’s view is a joyful thought. A.W. Tozer once noted, “the most important thing about a person is what comes to mind when they think about God.“ (The Knowledge of the Holy (New York: HarperCollins, 1961).

The God of the Bible does not wish to withhold from us; in fact, he takes joy in blessing us. When we look into his nature and character, we see someone who loves us and is passionate for us.

Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

In what ways have you experienced God’s blessing?
What is meant by "relational surrender?"
Why is it so difficult to believe that your Heavenly Father has wonderful things in store for your life?
In your opinion, how is obedience linked to blessing?

Based on what you read, and what God is saying to you, what decisions do you need to make?

Lord, give us a different perspective when it comes to blessing. Help us to grasp how much you love to bless us, and help us recognize your blessings in the smallest of ways as well as the more obvious ones. 

For further study, read the rest of Deuteronomy 28. What insight can we gain concerning obedience and blessing?

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