Blessings are something we hear a lot about when the New Year is approaching. Social media will soon be clogged with an untold number statuses proclaiming blessings for next year. Preachers will reveal promises of blessings to be bestowed upon God’s people. Even politicians will decree how the new year, and changing of seated positions, will bring blessings upon our country. This is all fine and dandy.
But personally, I doubt God limits how He will work to our calendar year system. He is completely beyond our limits of time and space. So the idea that He is all set to move, but wants to wait until the flashy ball drops seems utterly ridiculous. Am I saying God does not wait until the right time to pour out His blessings? Of course not. What I am saying is He prefers to have certain factors line up.
Time is a huge factor when God chooses to bestow blessings. Whether it is a new promotion, meeting a spouse or entering ministry, God does in fact have a time table. David was anointed to be the next King of Israel, but did not actually sit on the throne for several years. Moses spent 40 years herding before God sent him to lead his brethren out of Egypt. Jesus himself waited 30 years before starting his ministry on Earth. So time clearly plays a factor. However, there are even more critical factors God often requires before blessing.
There are two factors which could be deemed as the most important to walking into our blessings. They are preparation and trust. If we perceive God to be the manager of the universe, we must understand that principles of management are at play. If you were a manager and wanted to offer a position to someone you deeply cared for, would it be wise to give it to them when they are not yet prepared to do the job? Would you hire them if you know them to be untrustworthy? To be honest, this happens all the time and we call it nepotism. But God, who is fair and just, will wait until they are ready or simply move on.
If we perceive God to be our heavenly parent, we must understand that parental wisdom is in the works. If you had the means to give your child a brand new car for their 16th birthday, would you do so regardless of their demonstrated level of responsibility? People do it all the time. I have personally known parents who did this very thing and it resulted in tickets, wrecks or even jail time. But God, who is love, understands sometimes the most loving thing He can do for us is to tell us no.
If we ask God to give us patience, He will allow a situation to come which will require us to utilize it. If we ask Him to help us be more loving, we can bet someone who is hard to love will soon cross our path. And if we ask Him for joy, we should not be surprised when an occasion comes along to indulge in worry and despair. So why is it we can so easily expect God to offer us His blessings, and not expect something to be required on our end?
While it is not always true, in most cases blessings come with responsibilities attached. In Luke, Jesus states this principle very clearly when he says, “to whom much is given, much is expected.” He further illustrates this through parables describing a ruler distributing gold to his servants before leaving town. When he returned, he expected to find each of them using what he had given them to create a business, buy real estate, start a non-profit or some other useful endeavor. So when he came upon a servant who had foolishly sat on it, he was understandably upset with his wastefulness. The servant was neither wise nor productive, despite sitting on top of exactly what he needed to turn a new page in his life.
When it comes to us and the blessings we want, we must ask some critical questions. Why would God give us wealth if we will squander it or only use it for our own benefit? Why would He send us the mate we have been longing for, when He knows we never developed the qualities they need from us? Why would He give us a new job when we constantly complain about the current one we asked Him to bless us with last year?
So before we approach God this upcoming year and ask Him to shower us with blessings, understand we may very well be simultaneously asking for a mission. God is our parent and we are the teenager wanting to borrow His car. He has no problem letting us, as long as we are prepared and He can trust us. To be prepared, we would of course need to obtain a license. But to be trusted, He needs to know we will be safe. How we took care of the bike He gave us, lets Him know how we will treat the car. Furthermore, He wants to know we will not merely use the car for our own enjoyment. If He sees we do not care to run errands or pick our siblings up from school, there is a good chance He may snatch those keys right back.
So this next year, I truly wish the blessings of God upon each and every person who is reading this. I pray you find what you have been seeking God for through prayer. May you be blessed, stay blessed and be a blessing to others. But remember…
To receive blessings, you must first be prepared
To prepare for blessings, you must make the most of the blessings you already have
To keep the blessings you already have, you must be trusted to bless others
To bless others, you must first be blessed
By Corey Dorsey
Image by Viscious-Speed