GOD’S BLESSINGS, 28.04.20
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER requires obedience from HIS CHILDREN: “If you walk in My statutes, keep My laws and carry them out, then I will . . . . . “ (Lev.26:3,4). Coming to Him, believing in Him, are unconditional – i.e., He will not turn anyone away; however, upon coming to Him, there are conditions for being part of His family – house rules, if you will. .. . .. Following Him, although it will include hardships, will ultimately, bring the Father’s blessings. Blessings are dependent upon obedience. Let’s look closer . . . …
God has a system in place. He is a God of order, and nothing He does is just happenstance. He does things for a reason, and also for a season. Often, what He does hinges upon the state of obedience demonstrated by His people. “Now it shall be, if you diligently obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you obey the Lord your God” (Deut.28:1,2). Notice again, that the blessing is clearly hinged to the preceding behaviour.
Blessings are clearly reserved for those who are obedient to His commandments; and His commandments include whatever is in His Word, and whatever He may have called you to, and revealed to you, personally, because blessings also are hinged to relationship. It is only when we are in relationship with Him, and in intimate relationship that there is any promise of blessings. As in Psalm 37:3-7, many love to claim promises from the phrase, “He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps.37:4), without considering all that is involved, without putting the passage into its full context. Claiming/Declaring a promise, while failing to consider the conditions attached is meaningless.
Let us have a closer look:
Look at these, up close and uncomfortable, and discover the reality embodied therein. Contained within this small block of text are seven requirements clearly delineated as prerequisites to the receipt of the “desires of your heart”:
- Trust in the Lord (v.3 & 5)
- Do good (v.3)
- feed on His faithfulness (v.3)
- Delight (v.4) (in the Lord, not self)
- Commit your way unto the Lord
- Rest in the Lord
- Wait (v.7)patiently for Him.
The desires of one’s heart are not left up to the individual. The surrendered-to-the-Lord individual, recall, no longer belongs to themselves: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor.6:19,20). Further to this: “those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor.5:15).
These passages align with Psalm 37. When we trust in Him and turn ourselves over to His charge, when we commit our lives to Him, delight in Him, rest in Him, and wait patiently for Him, He will put the desires into our hearts which are aligned with HIS WILL. In response to our walk of faith, those right desires will ultimately be realized.
“The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways” (Deut.28:8,9). Notice that all these blessings are hinged to what follows that little word “if.” So many leaders teach their people to claim/declare: “The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above . .” (Deut.28:13), without teaching them what follows those words: “if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them” (Deut.28:13,14), while in the church many other gods are in fact being followed, served, even honoured. New Age doctrine infiltrates today’s church; watered-down doctrine abounds, condoning all manner of immoral, worldly behaviours that do not fit with God’s Word. And many of God’s people are claiming/declaring blessings for themselves in the midst of lascivious lifestyles. This is a mockery of God’s Word, and God will not be mocked: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal.6:7).
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you . . .” (Deut.28:15). God is a God of covenant. When His people break covenant with Him, there are consequences. Oh, but that’s only Old Covenant, you say . . Really? There is not anything of the Father’s commandments which are negated by Jesus Christ/Yeshua Messiah; in fact, He does everything possible to validate the Father, and His position with the Father, throughout the New Testament: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (John 10:37,38).
Look closely at: “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him . . . . . . “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:21-24). In that set of passages, all the Father’s Commandments are clearly being upheld. Nothing has changed. From Genesis to Revelation, God’s principles do not change. There are blessings for obedience. There are blessings for those in intimate relationship with Him. If you want God’s blessings, you need to get close with Him. Isn’t that what anyone must do in any relationship, if you expect special gifts, special status, special treatment? You get close . . . right?
““He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to pieces, as I also have received authority from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’” (Rev.2:26-29). Clearly, these slots of authority will be granted selectively to those who overcome, and are faithful to the end.
Receiving God’s blessings is not dependent on naming/claiming; nor do blessings depend on the asking, they are dependent on our closeness, faithfulness, surrender, and obedience. Blessings are a result of our walk with Him. God’s blessings are dependent upon keeping covenant; keeping covenant is dependent upon relationship; relationship determines the walk. One’s walk will determine the extent and flow of God’s blessings.
© 2017, revised 2018, 2019, 2020 by Verna Crowther. All rights reserved.
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