TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Proverbs 16:7 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Two days ago, Dr. Tony Evans wrote this on social media—“God is not going to bless a country or a culture that comes up with its own rules and asks Him to bless it.” Dr. Evans’ wise words are confirmed when we go to the book of Jeremiah. God said of the Israelites’ rebellion, “Your iniquities have turned these away, and your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
This quote and verse both refer to a nation, but I’m not even going to get into the train wreck of a mess our country is in… I haven’t had enough coffee for that. Instead, I want to bring this quote a little closer to home and invite you to some self-reflection. Let’s re-word it a bit… “God is not going to bless a person or a relationship that comes up with his/her/their own rules and asks Him to bless them.”
People do it all the time. They want to live life on their terms without any regard to what the Bible says. And they expect God’s blessings anyway. It’s a little like expecting Harvard to pass out degrees when we didn’t show up for class. Or pay the tuition. Or fill out the entry application. It’s unreasonable and unrealistic. Yet, it’s what people expect God to do… simply because He’s loving.
Well, yes, He’s loving. But He’s also God. “God” and “genie” may both start with a g, but they aren’t the same thing. And God doesn’t do what we say nor does He grant us three wishes; we’re supposed to do what He says.
Rabbit trail alert… While we’re defining terms, let’s also define, “bless,” or “blessing.” Because I definitely don’t want to confuse this with a prosperity message. It’s not about God rewarding us with money or things when we follow His will. We tend to monetize blessings when the term simply means “to look favorably upon.”
Let’s look at a few verses… Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” And Proverbs 16:7 says, “When a man’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Then, we have confirmation that we need to follow God’s will straight from Jesus. He said in His example for prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
The questions for you to ponder today… what do you want God to bless in your life? And are you living according to His Word? Have you put His will above your own, or are you expecting Him to bless your will?
If we want God to look favorably upon us and our relationships, we have to seek His will above our own. If our standards and will are more in line with the world than with God’s, it may be time for some changes on our end… We have to live according to His standards, not the world’s.
Today, as you pray, thank God for His blessings. Thank Him that His will is always superior to our own. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you live according to God’s standards and not the world’s.
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.