If you really believe in God, anything that may happen to you will drive you nearer to God and anything that drives you nearer to Him is a ‘good thing’ for you.”
–D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
“We have become ‘familiar’ with God; we are on ‘easy terms’ with Him; we speak to Him and about Him as we would to our next door neighbor. We scarcely know what it means to worship God acceptably ‘with reverence and godly awe.’ And with our shallow and emasculated ideas of God we get a shallowness and superficiality and flippancy in our religious life.”
–John Daniel Jones
One of the greatest dangers among Christians, and it is derived from the culture, is that we are entitled individuals. In the church that comes to mean that we are to be showered with blessings. Now don’t get me wrong, as the old song goes, “showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need…” and we certainly need them, but what doe we mean by blessings?
Most of the time, in the church of today, when someone speaks of blessings they mean the gaining of material, physical, and emotional blessings. If we do, according to Gary Wilkerson, we have “reduced the Lord to just another American commodity.” That is dangerous. God is not a commodity to be consumed. In fact, He is the One who is the consumer–a consuming fire. In fact, He cares more for us than to just give and give and give. Part of the reason we are blessed is to come to know the Blesser is a greater way. Wilkerson puts it this way, “If we get everything we dream of, that’s not favor, that’s lust. True favor isn’t found in the blessing itself–it’s found in the One who does the blessing.” Remember, God is jealous and “He won’t allow himself to be used as a means of fulfilling our lusts and self-gain.”
That being said, that doesn’t mean that the heavenly Father doesn’t bestow upon His children blessings. If our earthly father gives good gifts, how much more does the heavenly Father? God blesses us mainly in two ways: 1) “He favors us with the nearness of His presence through our stormy times, and 2) He favors us through His tangible blessings.” (Wilkerson) God wants us to realize His presence and His power. For us to only want material and physical blessings is really limiting what the Lord can do for us. He wants to develop spiritual character in us–His character.
Often, when we ask for a particular blessing, and it doesn’t come to pass we can get discouraged. We can blame God, deny Him, become bitter and when we do that we are acting like little children at their games. When a Christian is disappointed and loses his joy there is a danger to his soul. The enemy can creep in unawares with a sinister smile. He wants for you to be disappointed in God; he wants to obscure God’s work in your life.
Instead of asking for something you want for a blessing, go to the Lord and ask Him for something He knows you need. Now to some that might be scary. But that’s where trust comes in, for He will only give good gifts.
“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
–Luke 11:13 (NASB)