I hear a lot of folks like Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer, Paula White and others like them talking about how to be blessed by God. “You want to receive a blessing? Then do this …” They then fill in the blank with whatever spiritual pill they are pushing at the moment. What saddens me is seeing how many thousands of their followers jump on board with their “Amens,” having absolutely no idea what it is they are coming into agreement with.
As with most things in the Kingdom of God, what is and what we pursue with our carnal minds are polar opposites. Example: The last shall be first and the first shall be last. The blessing of God is no different.
The Word of God has plenty to say about God’s blessings. What it does not say (at least not anywhere I have found), is that His blessings are something to be chased after as though they were an end in themselves or the reward of some combination of good behavior and having enough faith.
The Kingdom of God is a mysterious thing, and yet it is very simple for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. This includes the blessing of God. Look at Psalm 24:3-6:
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.”
You might read this to mean that those with clean hands and pure hearts receive God’s blessing, but you would be overlooking the obvious. The one with clean hands and a pure heart first and foremost receives the privilege of being able to ascend the mountain of the Lord, to stand in His holy place – to enter fully into the presence of the Almighty. Standing there, in the holy of holies face to face with God, what else matters? Who in their right mind would be in the middle of a one-on-one encounter with the Creator of the Universe and wondering when those blessings were going to finally show up? The reward of clean hands and a pure heart is receiving a personal invitation to come and sit with the King Himself. The blessing and vindication from the Lord are gravy.
What is dangerous about these “teachers” casting some formula for blessing is that it puts people’s focus on the blessing, taking it off of the Bless-or. When we fixate on what God can do for us rather than on Him personally, we have taken our eyes off the prize and created an idol out of the blessing. “If you do this, then God will bless you,” reduces the God of the Universe to little more than a genie who is sitting inside a bottle with your blessing, just waiting for you to say the magic words or do the right good deed or muster up just a little more faith so He can pop out and hand you your little blessing. That’s not faith. That’s witchcraft.
Jesus reiterated the point of the psalmist in His sermon on the mount when He said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8) Again, the “blessing” is to see Him. Nothing else matters.
More often than not, when people are looking for the blessing of God, they are in search of some financial need to be met. Jesus addressed this as well in the same sermon when He gave instruction on not storing up treasures on earth, followed by trusting Him for our basic needs to be met. He tells us to seek first His kingdom and righteousness, assuring us that “all these things” will be added to us as well. (See Matthew 6:19-34) Sounds like a pretty solid promise.
Unfortunately, the wicked and vile spirits operating through some of the most well-known and loved “teachers” know exactly what buttons to push in people looking for some financial breakthrough or stability, and too often the “blessing” is contingent on and/or in proportion to the amount of money the bless-ee sends in to their “ministry.” They call it a donation or a love gift or some other sugar-coated term, but it is extortion in its most vile form, soliciting money in return for a promise of blessing from God. The Word is also VERY clear about how He will deal with those individuals when the time comes (and it is swiftly approaching) – but that is a discussion for another time.
So let me ask you this. Do you want to receive a blessing? Or do you want the presence of the Almighty in your day-to-day moments? You can seek the first and miss the second altogether, or you can seek the second and experience both. And btw, you don’t need to send me any money. This truth is free.