» ENJOYING THE FULLNESS OF GOD’S BLESSINGS - PART 1
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph. 1:3) “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deut. 28:2). All the provisions of God await their activation on earth for them to come into full manifestation in the lives of the people they were intended for. For many, there seems to be an endless cry for certain provisions. Some people make God look mean for what they are experiencing. Many have questioned the love of God when certain things happen to them or to people around them. The provisions of God are numerous and the needs for them are in abundance. The Bible says His mercies are from everlasting to everlasting, they are new every morning and they endure forever. “But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;” Ps. 103:17 (Ps 103:4; Ps 136:1). Why, then, do they seem to be in short supply? We need God’s mercy to do for us what we cannot do ourselves. The Bible says we should come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace to help in times of need (Heb. 4:16). Mercy is God’s kindness toward us as He has pity on us. How we need mercy and grace in these needy times. Grace has several dimensions; it is defined as divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in life. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee...” (2 Cor. 12:9). Grace has the dimension of favour (unmerited). It also has the dimension of divine enablement. “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 2:1). Then, it has yet another dimension of teaching us that in denying all ungodliness, we may live holy in an unholy world. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:11-12).
It can all be intertwined; God’s favour on you comes to you because you humble yourself to receive it. Humility here includes accepting what God says about the situation as final. The favour causes you to be divinely empowered to do what is right as it teaches you to make right decisions. James 4:6 says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (1 Pet. 5:5) Many provisions from God have several dimensions. Truth has several dimensions: It is a person; His name is Jesus (John 14:6). Truth is also reality from God’s Word (John 17:17). Truth can also refer to sincerity, honesty and transparency about the true situation in any matter (James 3:14).
A provision has been made for whatever we need here on earth, and that provision has been tailored to fulfil a purpose. A list of human needs can fill up a whole page of this write up. Suffice it to say that there are provisions tailored to meet specific needs. Provisions however have conditions; conditions that require us to be in close contact with God to adequately fulfil them. The knowledge that we acquire as we learn the conditions and cultivate intimacy with God will aid us as we take steps of obedience in faith. To continually walk in the blessings we need to cultivate the right lifestyle.
In Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” as well as Isaiah 5:13, we see that a lack of knowledge is a reason for captivity and destruction. Ignorance of God’s provision for His people is as damaging as inviting the destroyer to come and take advantage of us. It’s one thing to recognise our needs; it is another thing to make a discovery of the provisions of God. Many go to God on the basis of their needs and not on the basis of His provision. God has always been the ultimate provider and sin has always been the fundamental basis for the destroyer to come into the human race. “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Is. 59:1-2). Sin is not just an act but a nature that was inherited from the first family (Adam and Eve). Sin has been highly developed over time and human beings are sometimes shocked at what other humans are capable of doing when the base-nature shows up in certain conditions. The death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ have made it possible for all humans to once again reconnect to God and enjoy His provisions. We are created to be God-dependent; sin encourages an independence from God called selfishness and pride. He created us with potentials and, through our union with Him, it was to be part of the adventure of living to make discoveries of the great deposits He made in us. We need Him as a car needs to function by the manufacturer’s specifications for maximum enjoyment of the product. We function best when we live in an atmosphere of His presence. Everything we need for proper functioning and peaceful co-existence with one another, as well as a sense of progressively accomplishing something of value and significance, can be obtained in Him and from Him in the proper way. Any attempt to get these things in any other way or from any other source is at best not healthy and at worst idolatry. His provisions are in the promises of God, and they are yes and amen in Christ (2 Cor 1:20).
Many believe in God’s unconditional love and take it to mean unconditional provisions or blessings. I do not see God’s provisions as unconditional. Whenever we need something we naturally ask for the price of it to see if we can afford it. If we cannot afford it yet, we either plan or save up for it or altogether let it go. The days of credit have encouraged people to take what they cannot immediately afford. Our subject here is that God’s provisions have conditions attached to them. Having faith is usually the unspoken condition for some of His blessings. Take the peace of God for example; it has two dimensions, namely, peace with God and the peace of God. In Romans 5, the Bible talks about peace with God through accepting His terms for a relationship with Himself. The sacrifice of the Son on the cross implies the sinful nature has been taken to the cross. We come repenting of our sins and we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The condition is accepting what God says to be true. On the other hand, the peace of God comes through the instructions in Philippians 4:6-9. When the conditions are fulfilled, we have the peace of God and we maintain the peace by choosing how and what we think. Bottom line is, there are conditions for the peace of God to be with us and maintained in us. This applies to many of God’s promises. When conditions are not met, promises do not translate to provisions. The peace of God is one of the greatest provisions God has made available to us to protect us against the works of darkness in these end times. In Romans 16:20, the Bible talks about the God of peace crushing Satan shortly under our feet. The peace of God will protect, keep us from agitation, attract God’s goodness into our lives and act as an umpire in our hearts settling all disputes as seen in Colossians 3:14-15. Grace and peace came to us through Jesus Christ. What truth demands, grace enables us to fulfil. Since grace is given to the humble and grace teaches, we position ourselves correctly when we humbly accept both truth and grace. We see and are able to do what is required of us. His grace is sufficient even when we are weak. Find out the conditions, receive grace to fulfill them and experience his provisions. Place of prominence in us. Nothing should come between us and Him. He will actually teach us how to value and take care of all that we rightly need to take care of in our lives. 1 Peter 5:6 says we should cast all our cares on Him for He cares for us. A care-free and loving relationship with God is the surest way to defeat the enemy as well as maintain the glow of love for God in our lives. Do not fall into the trap of being too busy doing the work of God and leave your walk with God to suffer. Cultivate intimacy with Him. Fulfillment in life is a product of real intimacy with God. To be continued.....