A False Perception of "Blessing" from God is Idolatry
How many times have we felt the high of "Jesus’ blessing" in our lives in some way?
It could be financial, health, relational or material; the list could go on and on. We can ride this "high" for a while, but then it turns to something different. We may lose our dependency on God in the very area of our lives that we feel that we are “blessed” in.
Many fail to understand that having worldly affluence may be a hindrance in our walk with Jesus Christ. When somebody flaunts it, whether from the pulpit, or around their peers, it may be promoting idolatry rather than the true and genuine blessings that only comes from God.
This is a paradox that we may wrestle with in our lives. This is something that Bible reveals about the nation of Israel who often went through the repentance → blessing → judgement cycle with God. Why is it that the more we perceive ourselves to be “blessed”, the less likely we are to rely and acknowledge God? We don't draw closer to Him, but become distracted by the lure of Satan who dangles a carrot in front of us. We "peacock" around with a false "blessing" that Satan has given to us because of our compromise as if we are some special "anointed" person.
The seeds of these false blessings propagate into many counterfeit versions of the the Gospel.
And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH,AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.” - Luke 10:25-28
The answer is found by having a relationship with Jesus Christ and aligning with the truth that is found in Scripture. When we walk and talk with Jesus, read Scripture and follow his example, we get to know more about him as helps us draw into a closer and deeper relationship and understanding of him. Our priorities will start to align with his and manifest as a true blessing in our lives.
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, THE SON CAN DO NOTHING OF HIMSELF, UNLESS IT IS SOMETHING HE SEES HIS FATHER DOING; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. - John 5:19-20
I CAN DO NOTHING ON MY OWN INITIATIVE. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I DO NOT SEEK MY OWN WILL, BUT THE WILL OF HIM WHO SENT ME. - John 5:30
These verses can expose something important in our lives concerning what we may think is a "blessing" from God, when in fact, may be quite the opposite. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is the "blessing" in my life out my own initiative, or God’s?
- Is it of my own will, or God's to have affluence in an area of my life?
- Is this "blessing" hindering my relationship with God?
An attempt to answer these questions may reveal why you may not be relying on God in a certain area of your life. What you thought was a "blessing" may be an area of hindrance in your walk with Jesus Christ.
Jesus is a good example on how we should live and receive the true blessings of God.
This paradox that we go through may come down to the battle between the revelation through Jesus Christ versus our own reasoning and justification of what we believe is for our own good.
Our Own Reasoning
In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve decided to walk out their own reasoning (the tree of knowledge of good and evil), rather than having daily communion with God (the Tree of Life). The daily flow of God’s revelation to them was exchanged for their own carnal reasoning that led to dire consequences.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And DO NOT LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. - Proverbs 3:5-7
Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through THE TRUE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM who called us by His own glory and excellence. -2 Peter 1:3
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him,
The spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The spirit of counsel and strength,
The SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE and the fear of the LORD. - Isaiah 11:2
Blessing can be perceived through the lens our own rational thoughts, or it can come from the revelation that the Holy Spirit gives us. It is very important to make the distinction between the two.
Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. KNOWLEDGE MAKES ARROGANT, but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, HE HAS NOT YET KNOWN AS HE OUGHT TO KNOW; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. - 1 Corinthians 8:1
I believe it is important to know where the true blessings of God comes from. Anything other comes out of our own man-made reasoning which often leads to a false perception of what true blessing is which further separates us from God. True blessing comes from our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ and the result is a closer relationship. The result will produce genuine fruit of the Spirit.
Here are some examples of the carnal/false blessings (idols) that reasoned by man as "blessings" from God:
- great church programs
The Bible speaks of something different and true, as demonstrated by Jesus Christ:
- character building
- the leading of the Holy Spirit
- the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit working in you
- a walk of faith and love
True Blessing in Jesus Christ
We may be putting our own ways in place of God's and acknowledging it as glory from God when it is far from it. This is called idolatry. Jesus Christ who is reserved for us is the true example of what it means to be truly blessed. In Jesus Christ, we understand what the true definition of blessings are . We may try to reason and acknowledge our perceived successes and accept the accolades of man to stroke our own ego, and feel good about ourselves, but it meaningless unless Jesus Christ says,"Well done, good and faithful servant!"
Jesus gave out as much blessing that received from the Father; therefore, by his grace it only makes sense for us to do the same by receiving his genuine blessings and follow his example.
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- Probing the Prosperity Gospel
If we are heirs to the blessings of Abraham, and prosperity is part of the covenant, then why is it wrong to want financial blessing? What is wrong with the prosperity gospel?