These thoughts today were planted by a message Perry Miller preached in Crossville, Tennessee, as part of his evangelistic series at Winter Bible School. The title of his message was “Christ, Who Is Our Life” from Colossians 3.4. His text was verses 1-17. He laid the groundwork, but a lot of them are spinoff thoughts from my own personal experience. Perry’s clear statements are marked with an asterisk. *
On what basis is God obligated to bless you? Think about what ‘blessing’ means to you. Is it a good paycheck? A day when the sun shines, someone demonstrates their love to you, or you purchase something that you’ve been wanting for a looong time? Does blessing mean everything is going ‘good’?
If so, what about the rainy days? The days when you get pulled over, a customer cusses you out, or you get the worst seat in the house? Are those days forever wasted?
I bring to you the thought: that no single event in your life is wasted. The choices you make, down to the mini-choices, like what you eat for breakfast, shape your everyday life.
Each of us come to grips with the thought that God’s goodness sometimes includes rug burns, thorns, and scratches. We will fall. Someone will throw things at you. Someone’s mistakes will affect you. But. We have a higher purpose and destination than anything attempted here on earth. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” [romans 8.28] Because we, who belong to a higher kingdom, we must abandon the popular way of thinking and adopt a new perspective. Therefore, the hardships we go through are to strengthen our muscles, purify our heart and mind, and draw us to heaven.
So, God’s goodness to me personally? means His presence in my daily life. His presence may mean I’ll be asked uncomfortable questions, or I’ll be looked at differently, even rejected by those around me. It may mean I’ll be treated unfairly, or cheated in some way. But in reality, even a non-Christian experiences all these things at some point in their life. So what makes the difference? Our response.
Nobody likes to be hurt. We have all learned to self-defend, as well as self-protect. But here’s the clincher: it is our self-protection that keeps us from recieving a blessing. Our fear of injury hinders our receptibility to bless and be blessed. *
This is huge! God never intended for His children to look into the future, but walk with Him in faith. *
This is only one of the four points to choosing a life of blessing that Perry mentioned: #1 – Give up your identity. Ruth did this: “for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:” [ruth 1.16] Mary was identified by her risen Lord. [john 20.16] Her identity was found in front of the empty tomb. In the same way, it is in front of the empty tomb that we find our identity from God’s Voice. *
So, give up your self and your will. Allow God to completely take over every part of your heart, mind, and life. Point your eyes heavenward, and your thoughts will follow. A life of blessing is all around you. God is just waiting to pour it out on you, if you’ll lower your fists and spread out your fingers to recieve it.