As I was doing my daily bible reading, I came across some scripture that spoke of God’s blessings for His people. Through this, the promise was great, but it came with some strings attached. I will examine that scripture in this article as I feel that it’s important for us to be in a position to receive God’s blessings for our lives.
I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t want to be blessed or to have things go well for them in this chaotic life. I mean, how many people do you know right now that go to work and save money and want for something great for their families? Of course, we all know someone; we’re that someone, right?
God does want to bless His people, but He has certain guidelines that we must follow to be inline to receive such blessings. This isn’t a legalistic approach here with a huge set of rules. God doesn’t make it difficult to follow Him. In fact, as we start to follow Him, He even provides us with the strength to make it through each day in the best way.
There is an issue in our society today, and maybe it’s been like this since the beginning, but many people act and speak as though God is a Genie who grants wishes. To clarify, God blesses His children according to His Will. And, it’s not three wishes and you’re done.
The reason it’s important for people with little understanding of God to understand about His blessings is so that when they do fire up a prayer or a wish to God in Heaven, and He doesn’t jump to action, that they don’t shun God and write Him off in their life because He didn’t help or answer their prayers.
In this next part, we will see how God promised a blessing to His people in the Old Testament, whom He delivered to the Promise Land that He swore to give to them, and what requirements were attached to that promise. This is a bit lengthy, but I feel that this whole portion should be read together.
“If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the world. 2 You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God:
3 Your towns and your fields
will be blessed.
4 Your children and your crops
will be blessed.
The offspring of your herds and flocks
will be blessed.
5 Your fruit baskets and breadboards
will be blessed.
6 Wherever you go and whatever you do,
you will be blessed.
7 “The LORD will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven!
8 “The LORD will guarantee a blessing on everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
9 “If you obey the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways, the LORD will establish you as his holy people as he swore he would do.10 Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the LORD, and they will stand in awe of you.
11 “The LORD will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you, blessing you with many children, numerous livestock, and abundant crops. 12 The LORD will send rain at the proper time from his rich treasury in the heavens and will bless all the work you do. You will lend to many nations, but you will never need to borrow from them.
13 If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom. 14 You must not turn away from any of the commands I am giving you today, nor follow after other gods and worship them.”
Isn’t it wonderful to see God’s blessing on others? Seeing some overcome their financial crisis and others improve their marriage are some things covered in my fun and enjoyable Christian fictional book:12 Weeks in Colorado.
This blessing required obedience
In the first two verses, before the promise, and later, in verses 9 and 13, God is very clear that this blessing requires obedience to the Lord.
If you want to understand the commands that God gave these people in particular at the time, all the commands, including the Ten Commandments, are in the book of Deuteronomy. Take some time to read that book of the bible and you will see the kind of order that God requires of His people.
Of course, this text was addressed to the people of that time, and it was addressed to a whole nation, but the promises are also to the individual people. Each and every household of that time had to work and live, just like we do today. They needed basic provisions, just like we do today.
What the promises were saying was that for every basic thing in their lives, that they would be blessed by God to be in abundance; to multiply; to be at their best. Also, that they and their land would be protected and that they wouldn’t need to go into debt, but instead, that they would have an abundance, that they would be the lenders. Verses 11 and 12 tell that God will prosper them and that all they do will multiply.
And, of course, verses 13 and 14 clearly state that God requires them to obey and maintain Him as their one and only, true God.
How does this Old Testament promise apply to me today?
Hebrews 13:8 says that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. This characteristic of providence and love found in God through these verses is the same thousands of years ago for these people as it is today for us, and, will be in the future for our children and theirs.
Romans 2:11 tells us that God has no favorites. The people of old-times past were just as susceptible of sinning as we are today. They were just as deserving, or not deserving, as we are today. God set out some guidelines for them to follow, just like He has for us today. He offered a great promise to them on the agreement that they were to be obedient, and I believe it’s the same for us today.
As a writer, I can’t tell anyone about the way that God can and will bless them when they walk in obedience, but that based on God’s long-standing characteristics of love and generosity, that God has a heart for blessing His children.
The New Testament scriptures showcase Jesus’ life on earth. Jesus followed the commands of God, and we are told to follow Jesus. I believe the Ten Commandments are a timeless piece, and that they are just as relevant to us today. I also believe and understand that it’s God’s grace that saves us through the blood of Jesus, and not because of our obedience to the commandments.
If we look in John 13:34, it says;
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”
Even in the New Testament, we are given a commandment to follow. When we follow this one command, it really does include the other Ten Commandments. If we love people, we won’t do them wrong and we will respect them and their property. If we love God, we will keep Him as our only God and worship only Him, while respecting His name and authority. And this love and respect is what the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament were based on.
Do you see God’s blessings in your life?
After examining this passage of the bible, can you relate to the blessings? Can you see areas in your life where you are prospering (of course, this doesn’t only mean monetarily)? Can you see skills that you have that are on another level? Do you recognize God in these?“We are wise to live with a heart of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have.” Click To Tweet
Many do have good jobs and nice homes and cars and healthy families. But is this a result of their obedience to God or is it because of God’s grace and love for them? Only that person would know if they are living unto God or not.
We are wise to live with a heart of gratitude and appreciation for what we do have. If we happen to see increase in any area of our life, we are wise to give credit to God, as He is our provider. I believe that even though we don’t always follow God properly, that God still helps us and blesses us out of His love for us.
But the warning that comes with this is that what God gives, He can take away. If we take all that we have, including any increase, for granted, or we go about boasting and taking the full credit and glory for our achievements, God can turn that situation around into a less desirable one.
Due to length, I won’t record the scripture here, but take some time to read the rest of this chapter; Deuteronomy 28:15-68.
These first fourteen verses were lovely to read; the remaining 54 verses, not so much. These showcase the characteristics of God’s wrath when we turn against Him and take Him for granted. God won’t tolerate us worshipping other things in life or making ourselves as gods before Him.
Do you see a lack of blessing in your life?
If you examine your life right now, is it a complete struggle? Are there areas where you are clearly impoverished and falling apart? Consider your current relationship and daily walk with God; is it good or neglected?
None of us can say that anyone lives in lack because they don’t obey God. But if there is turmoil and despair and restlessness in one’s life, we can gather that these aren’t qualities of God. So, I can’t say that turning to God and learning to become obedient to Him will result in materialistic blessings or monetary blessings, but I can say that God will surely bring balance to your life and rest to your soul; these alone are great blessings!
When we turn to God and allow Him to do His work in us, he molds our character from what we created, through our years and our decisions, into what He desires. As we go about learning obedience, He continues to mold us.
When we are doing God’s work and walking within His Will for our life, which is obedience, He will equip us with all we need to keep going. If His calling for our life requires an abundance of money or assets, then as we are obedient to His Will, He will provide for His work.
If we misuse His provisions, He is also liable to remove them from our life.
Some of God’s followers are living in poverty
I also want to mention to the people who love God and trust Him and are obedient to Him, but still struggle with basic necessities, including food and shelter;
“Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, ‘God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh.’”
So, although a person’s current situation might seem hopeless, God still has a plan for that person’s life. God is still calling them to be obedient; even if it’s just to read their bible each day, memorize scripture, pray, and do good for others when they can, including sharing the Good News.
Yes, not everyone is called to have a huge ministry and not everyone is called to live in lack. But we are all called to live according to God’s Will for our lives and be obedient where He puts us; whatever and wherever that is.
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Here is one example of God’s Will for our lives:
1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s Will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Moving from disobedience into obedience to God
Before concluding this article, I want to share some steps we can take today to move into obedience to God. These are:
- Turn to God and ask forgiveness of any known sin, and turn away from doing that sin
- Incorporate daily reading and daily prayer into your life; doing this in the morning is a great way to start the day
- Ask God continually to mold you into the person He desires you to be and to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Also, ask that Jesus would lead you and direct you and teach you to live as He lived; in love for others and in obedience to God the Father
- Ask God to reveal His Plan for your life by opening doors, putting people and opportunities into your life, also, by closing wrong doors that might be preventing a right relationship with God or preventing forward movement of His Plan
- Worship God in all you do by bringing glory and honor to His name through praise directly to Him when you think of Him or sing to Him, as well as, through your daily actions and interactions with others
There isn’t anything easy about this life. If we live lavishly and only for the fulfilment of our desires, we risk falling away from God, including His Eternal Promise. If we live only for God, we risk persecution from others, just as Jesus and His Disciples did. Either way, we might experience hardships.
But what is likely, is that when we make a choice to follow Jesus daily, and live in accordance to God’s Will for our lives, we will then be able to walk in the stability of the Lord, any blessings He chooses for us, and knowing that we will get to partake in eternal life in Heaven; the Ultimate Blessing!
If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can follow this link (Prayer for Salvation) to find out how. Also, if you need prayer for your life or your family, feel free to fill out a prayer request in the provided prayer box in this article. My wife and I would love to pray for you.