(The Abundant Life Series – Batch 1)
SELF, is contrary to the will of God yet self always wants its own way. When the Bible says to deny self therefore, it is calling upon us to crucify our flesh.
The term ‘crucify’ is not overrated. For, saying no to what we want to do and say and think and feel and where we want to go and how we want to conduct ourselves and what we want to look at and listen to and how we want to be and how we want to live, in exchange for God’s way is painful. Saying no to self hurts but it produces the beautiful product of OBEDIENCE.
It is where obedience is that blessings flow. Everybody wants to be blessed, from the endless taxi and mini-bus drivers on the streets who plaster the word ‘BLESSED’ on their vehicles, to those in certain ‘church’ pews who are fed an unhealthy and constant diet of what I call sugar: the focus being, not so much on learning more about God, his ways and how to please him but on how to get blessings for yourself.
I have come to realize though, that the truth is we don’t have to rattle our brains and be preoccupied with how to be blessed, if we would only OBEY. The missing link is obedience.
What should be plastered on the windscreen of the taxis and mini-buses is not the word ‘BLESSED’ but ‘OBEDIENCE’. The word ‘BLESSED’ is painted so as to be visible outside the vehicle but in most cases, inside of the taxi or mini-bus, there is loud, ungodly, vulgar music playing. Who are we fooling? Surely not God. How can we be blessed if we don’t want to do things God’s way?
This is the reason for the growing mess that exists in our land today and in the world in general. Sadly, we are a society that wants to be blessed (and desperately so), yet we do not want to OBEY.
To do things our way is to bring glory to the devil because that is what he tried to do and wants us to follow suit. To bring GLORY to God however, it begins with our obeying HIM. We must adopt the mentality of Jesus Christ, who, when he was here on earth, humbled himself, told God the Father, “…not my will but thine be done” and became OBEDIENT to the death of the cross (Luke 22:42; Philippians 2:8).
We want the glory, we want the blessings, we want the favour and the so-called ‘good life’ but we are stubbornly set in our own ways and do not want to obey.
What should be taught in the pews is not ‘How to be blessed’ but ‘How to obey’. The fact that so many churches today (although not all, thank God) see the need to make BLESSINGS the focus, points to a far deeper problem, that being, that many in the pews are not practising OBEDIENCE. They are doing things their way and then want a magic formula in the Word, whereby showers of blessings can flow on them.
Yet it doesn’t work like that. God doesn’t operate like that.
Instead of focusing on how to BE a blessing (which is what God says that we should be), many have become focused on how to GET a blessing. Instead of denying SELF therefore and being committed daily to its complete annihilation, they are seeking ways and methods of exalting, rewarding, promoting and worshipping SELF further.
We like to delude ourselves into thinking of a God that blesses but not a God that also punishes disobedience. I challenge my own self with these words. If we focus on OBEYING God, we will not have to chase blessings. Blessings will chase us.
Until the words “I am blessed and highly favoured” which we love to recite, become synonymous with “I am submissive and obedient”, we are wasting our time and fooling no one but ourselves.
James 1:25 rightly puts it: “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, THIS MAN shall be blessed in his deed.”
He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
(Written on 4th August, 2017)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative, edifying or beneficial, you may also be interested in the following:
- Note 229 – ‘I Want To Be Blessed’
- Note 254 – ‘Eight (8) Reasons That You May Still Be Single’