Have you ever wondered what you need to do to get God to bless you? How do you get yourself in a “position” to be blessed? The answer is actually very encouraging. But, we must understand a key difference in Scripture.
Under the Old Covenant, which was centered in the 10 Commandments, the Jewish people were blessed by God based on their obedience. For example, Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says,
“If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.”
Deuteronomy 28:3-14 goes on to list of all of the special blessings. However, verse 15 strikes an ominous tone by saying,
“However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you.”
Worse, there are four times as many curses described in Deuteronomy 28 as there are blessings. The blessings God promised under the Old Covenant are conditional and based solely on obedience. I don’t know about you, but I am fairly certain I do not want to be in that kind of relationship.
Under the New Covenant, though, a person is blessed because of one reason and one reason only: they are in union with Christ. Ephesians 1:3 says,
“Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! For in our union with Christ He has blessed us by giving us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly world.”
Today, God’s blessings are still conditional, but the condition is not based on our obedience. Isn’t that a huge relief? Instead, the condition is our faith. Our faith in Jesus Christ unites us with Him. Once united with Christ, we are able to experience and enjoy our blessings only if we continue to live by faith. For example, God loves and accepts us unconditionally, but we only enjoy this if we believe it (whether we feel it or not). For instance, sometimes we can get caught up checking our feelings to tell us if something is true, rather than God’s word.
Imagine having one million dollars in a checking account. If you believe you have it intellectually that is a good place to begin. But, only your faith leads you to withdraw the money. Likewise, our faith in Christ leads us to believe in “every spiritual blessing” and enjoy it.
But, what about obedience? Doesn’t God want us to obey Him? Living like who we are in Christ is a blessing. Living like who we are in Christ is an act of faith. The more we act in faith that we are sons and daughters of God who are unconditionally loved, the more we will obey Him.
Let’s be careful. We are New Covenant people, but the flesh wants us to drift back to an Old Covenant mentality of obedience-based blessings. To put it another way, we are to live with a grace-based mentality growing in our understanding that we are already blessed because of Jesus’ obedience. A law-based mentality is exhausting; a grace-based mentality is restful.
In Christ, we are already “positioned” to be blessed because we are united with Him. He is our ultimate blessing. Every aspect of who He is and who we are in Him is to be enjoyed now and forever.
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“Bible” image courtesy of Janaka Dharmasena at FreeDigitalPhotos.net