The Prerequisites of God's Blessing
"But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today." -Deuteronomy 8:18 What do we have to do to receive God's blessing? Is God's blessing ensured for "special" people? What does God's blessing look like, and how can we set ourselves up to receive His blessings? In Exodus and Deuteronomy, God describes a series of "do's" and "don'ts" that the Israelites are to follow. They relate back to the 10 Commandments, from Exodus 20:1-17, in which God gave the Israelites boundaries to abide by for their protection. Many governmental systems today are based on the 10 Commandments (see "X", pg. 11 by J. John). They are, 1) not to have any gods before our one true God, 2) not to make any graven image to worship, 3) not to take God's name in vain, 4) to remember the Sabbath, and to rest on that day, 5) to honor our parents, 6) not to murder, 7) not to commit adultery, 8) not to steal, 9) not to lie, 10) and not to covet (be jealous of) other people's things. God set up these boundaries for the Israelites for their protection. God knew that we humans need specific guidelines so that we would not get ourselves into trouble! He knew we needed Him to be #1 in our lives. (Matthew 22:37) But, even though these commandments are what we should follow, God is most concerned about the state of our hearts. Our actions are often the fruit of what's in our hearts. But, God wants to have our hearts and for us to know His love -- not be separated from Him by religious ritual! Going to church every single Sunday won't ensure God's blessing on our lives. But, it will provide accountability for the boundaries above. In tithing, we shouldn't give with a motivation to get, but it is a good indicator of whether or not we put God first in our hearts. "Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Malachi 3:10) God is most concerned with the state of our hearts. Are you creating a fertile ground in your heart for God's blessing in your life? Ask Him if there are any areas you may need to work on. God wants to bless His children with blessings so great "that there will not be room enough to store it"!