Paul makes an amazing statement to the Ephesian church. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). He does not tell us God conjures up blessings on an as-needed basis, but that these blessings have already been provided. These blessings are directly tied to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives and are dependent upon our willing participation with the One called alongside to help. An example of our cooperation with the things of God is found in Paul’s encouragement to the Colossian church where he instructed them to “let the Word of God dwell richly” in their hearts (Colossians 3:16). This teaches us that we are to welcome the Word. It is our choice. This same idea applies regarding the blessings of God. You and I have had them prepared for us by the Father The reception of those blessings falls to us.
That being said, going after the blessings of the Father is not always an easy proposition. In fact, as one goes through the Word, it becomes obvious that obtaining God’s blessings may, in fact, require some diligence on our part.
Sometimes, the prepared blessing is hidden. Consider Anah, a descendent of Esau, who was in the wilderness taking care of donkeys when he “discovered” some hidden springs of water (Genesis 36:24.) Water in the barren wilderness is a powerful blessing. This water had been there all along. No one discovered it until Anah. It required him striving, searching, exerting energy. Yet it resulted in the discovery of a hidden blessing.
Sometimes, the prepared blessing is hard to obtain. God told Israel, “I have given you the land to possess” (Numbers 23:33). Possessing that blessing was a difficult task. Israel still had to fight, to endure and persevere, in order to obtain the prepared blessing of God.
Sometimes, the prepared blessing is hindered. Such was the case in the life of Daniel who sought God in prayer. As he prayed, an answer was sent, but delayed for some three weeks in a spiritual battle (Daniel 10:23). While it is true “before we call, He will answer” (Isaiah 65:24), it is equally true that some answers take a while before arriving.
Sometimes, the prepared blessing requires some hurting on our part. How I wish this were not true, but scripture is clear on this one. For example, Barnabas stated we “through much tribulation will enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). Paul, no stranger to hurting, made it clear that such pains bring about a greater blessing (2 Corinthians 4:17).
Sometimes the prepared blessing is heavy to bear. Simon Peter was miraculously released from jail and became an amazing man of God. This same Apostle wound up giving his life for the cause of Christ. Stephen was blessed with great oratorical ability. He was also called upon to die for Jesus. Paul was a superman for God. Paul also died under Roman persecution. We are shallow when the only time we equate something with God’s blessing is when the sun shines brightly, and everything is going our way. We can never forget the place where our Good Shepherd prepares a table for us. In case you are wondering, it is “in the presence of my enemies” (Psalm 23:5).
Sometimes the prepared blessing demands we simply hold on. As Isaiah once said, “They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31). The blessing might involve intertwining yourself with God and His purpose. Such waiting brings a great reward.
What we need has already been provided by our Father. Access to those blessings can involve a great amount of effort and patience on our part. That doesn’t change His provision nor our possession. If you need His blessing, stay after it. It’s yours!