UV 1793/10000 Commander of Blessings
The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee
Deuteronomy 28 v 8
Mankind with our limited humanistic wisdom think that the purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. But the Word says that happiness will be sent to pursue us and overtake us. Many of us try to overtake God and therefore the happiness that is sent after us is always lagging behind. We only need to stop panting and running forward and look behind us to find happiness following us in hot pursuit and wanting to catch up with us. The Lord commands or directs blessings on His own and on what they own. He causes us to be successful in all that we set our hands to. He blesses us in the land which He has settled us in. He holds us by our right hand. He guides us in the way we should go each day. He multiplies our seed so that it bears abundant fruit to meet our own need and those whose need the Lord wants us to meet. Jacob was so zealous for the blessings of the first born son that he deceived his father Isaac and cheated his brother Esau. Jacob did not realize that the real commander of blessings was not his earthly father who had limited and delegated powers to bless but the Father in heaven who can command all types of blessings- material, spiritual, emotional and relational. Each of us are given the blessings of the first born Son Jesus without having to attempt deceiving or appeasing or cajoling the Father or the Son. The seemingly undue punishment meted out to Ananias and Saphira was due to their attempt to deceive the Father and the Son in holding back part of the proceeds of the sale of their own property. Hence, even in our failings, we need to be completely honest and open in our dealings with the Lord. While God demands obedience, He commands blessings. He is no respector of persons but He is a respector of faith.
The twelve blessings of the Father are enumerated in Deuteronomy chapter 28: elevation above the ordinary, happiness or the good things of life pursuing us instead of us pursuing happiness, prosperity, fruitfulness in every aspect, abundance of provision, successful and safe journeying, the defeat and dispersal of enemies, foes, rivals or opposing forces, blessings of character, integrity and reputation, success in our chosen professions and in all that we attempt, blessings of outstanding leadership. Most of these blessing concern our lives in this world. These blessings are obtained by obedience to the Word in all its details. Belief is obedience and disbelief is disobedience. The blessings of the Son Jesus are enumerated by Him in Matthew chapter 5 and these largely concern our spiritual lives, our behavioural or attitudinal blessings or the spiritual blessings that we obtain by our Spirit- led and anointed attitudes. The first three attitudes that attract spiritual blessings like magnets attract iron filings are a sense of brokenness, a sense of repentance, an absence of pride and the presence of complete humility before the Lord. The fourth attitude is one of a passion for holiness, righteousness, excellence, truth, integrity, honesty, uprightness by grace and not with a self righteous or “holier than thou” attitude. The fifth attitude is the readiness to forgive others in the measure the Lord has forgiven us. The sixth attitude is a passion for peace, to avoid strife and to be an instrument of peace wherever there is strife. The seventh attitude that attracts spiritual blessings is the willingness to suffer persecution for the sake of our faith. The eighth attitude is patience and forbearance. The ninth is holding onto the joy of salvation regardless of happenings or circumstances. The tenth is to be a positive invisible and visible influencer for the Lord in a world of contemporary darkness.
We obtain thereby the twelve blessings of the first covenant by belief and obedience and the ten blessings of the second or new covenant by being, behaving or manifesting the inner attitudes. The ten blessings of the new covenant authored by Christ are closely related to the nine fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. The nine fruit of the Spirit are also related to the ten attributes of love described by St Paul in I Corinthians chapter 13: the need for forbearance, patience and kindness, the absence of envy, strife, pride, boastfulness and selfishness, the need for an attitude of rejoicing in the truth or delighting in the Word, the fortitude to bear all things, the optimism to hope in all things, the avoidance of evil, the determined pursuit of good intent towards all, the willingness to forgive all things and not to hold grudges or harbour bitterness in one’s heart. Hence, we find that blessedness is a holistic state of spirit, mind and body. It involves the totality of our lives: our thoughts, our attitudes, our motives, our actions, our reactions, our dreams, our goals, our habits, our desires, our character, our speech, our faith and hope. To the extent we submit ourselves willingly to the Holy Spirit, He shapes and grooms us in all these aspects over the long haul.
Prateep V Philip