I sense the Holy Spirit telling us, “Not now. Dwell in the blessings. Enjoy your promised land.”
You see, I’ve been ready to start unleashing the ideas and vision God has for our little farm. But when doors open or I have a few moments to start working on one of the many projects, the Holy Spirit tells me to “dwell in the blessings.” Dear me, I’m finding dwelling, enjoying, and truly living in God’s blessings is even more difficult than being overwhelmed with a vision only God can deliver. How do I simply dwell in blessings? How do I be blessed? How do I receive from His hand?
I’ve come to realize living in blessings isn’t popular. It’s not something even the church finds fair. It’s part of grace and that’s hard to accept.
I also have found that I tend to focus more on trying to be the blessing than understanding how to be blessed the way God defines it.
Does any of this ring a bell for you?
The current of the cultural waters moves us toward sharing the blessing as quickly as we can, continually moving us on to the next assignment and sometimes creating guilt instead of praise for what God has given us, since others don’t share in the same story.
But if we miss the blessings, not taking the time to soak in them and be lavished with our Father’s tangible love, then we’ve missed part of the One we worship’s character and heart.
I’ve struggled with Sundays for a long time. Others seem to revel in the hammock, a good book, a family dinner, or time in nature. It’s almost a depressing day post-church for me. I’ve been praying for God to help me enjoy Sunday and worship Him as I should, and show me why Sundays can be a downer.
God came through and revealed how dwelling in His blessings and my problem with Sundays are centered around the same issue: Because I don’t know how to be blessed, it makes my times of rest and dwelling very difficult.
Blessings are a tangible way of being loved by God. It’s stories we share of how God came through and did the miracle. It’s walking in an answered prayer. It’s our Father giving us something we don’t have to have but makes us feel loved because He was gracious enough to know us intimately and give abundantly. Blessings are recognizing God breaking through our everyday (or worst day) and being God.
Grace is hard to accept. And I start to believe sometimes I need to do more for Jesus because of how much He’s done for me.
I don’t know about you but Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount gets me worked up — not sure if I’m convicted or guilt laden — and feeling like I am very far from being the light He needs me to be.
“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”
I typically focus on the first part, realizing my need for Him and forgetting the rest. But now I’m wondering if somehow, through years of trying to “realize,” to yield my will to His, read His word, and allow Him to transform me with the power of His Holy Spirit . . . that somehow I’ve been given the Kingdom of Heaven.
I’ve ignored part of the whole. I still deeply recognize my need for Jesus, now more than ever. But I also am beginning to recognize how He is giving me the Kingdom of Heaven through the life I lead now.
If His Spirit is asking me to dwell in His blessings, then maybe I should focus on the portion of each statement talking about the blessing. Maybe through His powerful sanctification, I have mourned, been gentle and humble, cried out for justice, showed others mercy, allowed God to purify me, worked toward peace in my heart, my family, and my neighborhood and accepted what God brings.
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” God has brought me out of mourning and is comforting me. I am blessed.
“God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.” God has raised me up to dwell in His promised land.
“God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice.” God has helped me to learn about more needs and empowered me to help.
It’s both-and. The perfect if-then statements. Complex yet so simple. With these instructions from Jesus, we don’t miss God and His blessings.
God really does see us as Jesus because we’ve taken in the blood. The Holy Spirit really is active and working in our lives, making us holy, and there is fruit. God does love His children and wants to give us good gifts. God really does bless us and calls us to dwell with Him in those blessings to know His heart better.
And when the prayer is answered, the Spirit speaks, or the opportunity arises to serve with our gift and we know without a doubt God has burst through our three dimensions to give us a flash of His glory . . . that’s when we can BE blessed.