Blessed

What does it mean to be blessed?

I celebrated my birthday last week and I had many birthday wishes for a blessed day and a blessed year. I was so blessed that even the waitress who served me my birthday dinner wore a neckless that said, “Blessed”! The next day I thanked everyone for those happy birthday wishes and responded that I am very blessed.

But, I got thinking, what does it really mean to be blessed?

Blessed is a word I use often and I think I know what it means, but I wonder whether I really know fully what God means when He uses the word blessed.

It took God only 22 verses to first use the word “blessed” in the Bible.

God blessed His creations in the seas and in the sky…

“Then God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply. Let the fish fill the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.” Genesis 1:22

It seems God’s blessing upon the fish and birds was His way of showing His favor on them to enjoy the earth He placed them in; to live, thrive, and multiply so His wonder will be displayed. And isn’t that what happens as we look at God’s creation? How much awe and wonder is found in looking at the birds of the air and the fish of the sea!

Then after creating man in His image, God blessed them…

“And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28

So God showed His favor on man as He created them in His image and blessed them to enjoy the earth He created, to thrive and multiply and display the wonder of God! As with God’s creation, there is an awe and wonder towards those who live fully in the blessing of God, thriving and multiplying, as they represent God well here on earth.

The dictionary definition of the word blessed; made holy; consecrated.

Endowed with divine favor and protection.
 
The word blessed has its origin in God.
 
So when I read in the Bible that I have been created by God, made in the image of God, I realize I am blessed by God.
 
God’s blessing upon my life here on earth includes my knowing the One who created me and knowing my purpose here on earth is to thrive, to multiply, and to display the wonder of God!
 
 
Praise God, I am blessed!
 
 
But, I also realize because blessed has its origin in God, because it is divine in nature, it isn’t like anything of this world. I can humanize blessed and attach my thoughts and ways and assume what being blessed looks like.
 
 
I sometimes assume blessed means I have everything I need.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise to provide all my needs?
 
 
I sometimes assume being blessed means everything will go smoothly, with no problems.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise He will go with me and protect me wherever I go?
 
 
Sometimes I assume being blessed will enable to me do everything I need to do.
 
 
After all doesn’t God promise that in Christ I can do all things?
 
 
So, what about those times when I don’t have what I think I need?
 
 
What about when times get really tough and aren’t going the way I think they should go?
 
 
What happens when I find myself unable to do what I need to do?
 
 
Does that mean I’m no longer blessed by God?
 
 
Does that mean I’ve done something to hinder His blessings?
 
 
Do I need to do something to earn back His blessing?
 
 
When I read through the many, many times God uses the word blessing
in the Bible I realize His blessing isn’t something that changes. His blessing isn’t affected by what I do or don’t do.
 
 
God’s blessing isn’t affected by my circumstances!
 
 
God’s blessing is constant!
 
 
And because God’s blessing is constant He works in and through all my circumstances; my need, my turmoil, my inabilities, to show His goodness, His greatness, His glory!
 
 
God’s blessing isn’t about my circumstances, but its about God working in all my circumstances for His glory! 
 
 
God’s blessing is the ability to trust God even when I don’t think I have enough.
 
 
God’s blessing is when I know He is walking with me even when I go through difficult situations.
 
 
God’s blessing is when I believe God will enable me to do what I never thought I could do.
 
 
God’s blessing is always available, but only realized when I trust the power of God, know the love of God, and believe the character of God!
 
 
When I was spending time with God on my birthday, contemplating the meaning of His blessing on my life, He whispered into my ear…
 
 
“Wilma, My precious daughter, blessing is found in looking at My face.”
 
 
When I consider God’s love for me demonstrated by what Jesus went through so that I can have a relationship with the One who created me and knows me perfectly, so that I can walk and talk with Him, so that I can see His face, I realize how truly blessed I really am and it changes my perspective of my circumstances.
 
 
Blessing is found in taking my eyes off my circumstances and by putting my eyes on my Heavenly Father!
 
 
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.” Ephesians 1:3
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Why have I called you…

I am reading through the book of Isaiah and I came across some verses that caught my attention…

“And why have I called you for this work? Why did I call you by name when you did not know me? I am the Lordthere is no other God. I have equipped you for battle, though you don’t even know me, so all the world from east to west will know there is no other God. I am the Lord, and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:4-6


I grew up with the understanding there was different types of work. There were those who worked jobs around the community. They were considered secular jobs because they were among the people of the world. There were those who worked in the church and they were somewhat separate from those of the world. Then there were those who were really radical that went to other countries to be missionaries. They were willing to leave everything to tell others about God. 

I always admired missionaries. I considered their passion and selflessness something I longed for. To leave this culture of entitlement, to be free from the things of this world, and to lay up treasures in heaven by telling those who never heard about Jesus of His power and love! 

There was a separation in my thinking.

People here in America do secular jobs, missionaries do godly jobs.

I now see that this way of thinking goes against everything God says in His word. 

“So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

I finally realize there is no difference in the work we do. If we belong to God we are called to leave this culture’s ways of thinking, be free from the desires of this world, and lay up treasures in heaven by telling others about the power and love of God found in Jesus!

As I spend my days behind a desk, answering the phone, and cleaning the office, I am learning to change my thinking about what I do.

Because the way I think about what I do greatly affects what I do and the impact it has on those around me. 

So when I read this verse in Isaiah, God whispered into my ear that He has called me to this work so that others all around me will know that He is God and that there is no other!

I’m finding it difficult to understand what that looks like. But I know in the depth of my heart that this is what God has for His people. He has placed His people all throughout this world so that we shine His light in all we say, and in all we do because we are surrounded by people who live in the darkness of not knowing Him. It isn’t only the people in far away countries that don’t know Jesus, but in every corner of this great world! 

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-17

 

 

A New Room

Wow, I have missed this! Sitting down to write here is definitely a happy place for me! I can’t believe it has been several months since I wrote my last blog entry. The topic of my last blog, An Open Door, is the very thing that has kept me too busy to write. God opened a door for me to work at Cordes Printing. An employee retired and Mark needed someone to fill her place. These last several months I have been learning many new things as I receive and process orders for prescription pads, Digi folders, and answer phone calls. It isn’t something I would have chosen. It isn’t something that I’m passionate about. But, I know it is where God has called me to. This season looks very different then any other season of my life, and honestly I never thought I would find myself here. Here, meaning behind a desk in an office, using a computer, answering phone calls… It just never looked like me. For many years I have worked on and off helping Mark with work that needed to be done at Cordes Printing. I have done a lot of finishing work, folding, glueing, shrink wrapping… Generally mindless work with flexible hours. And that was perfect to fit around the other things I did in life. But now, this job is different. I need to use my brain to learn so many new things, so many details, so much new information, every day.

So these last several months I have been mourning the loss of my time. The flexibility I had for so long is gone and now I have the challenge of working some of the things I once enjoyed, like writing, around my work schedule. But, with all that said, I am completely convinced this is what God has for me in this season. I know He has opened this door to me and I am thankful for all that I am learning. I have needed to face my fears of making mistakes, my fears of answering the phone, my fears of not knowing enough and am finding that God’s perfect love and power have been helping me to do the very things I thought I could never do.

The thing about walking through the door you never wanted to walk through is that it positions you in a room where you can’t do it alone. And in that room you realize you don’t need to. As a matter of fact, you were never meant to.

In this room of working at Cordes I have needed to rely on God for so much. I have been humbled as I have made so many mistakes, but I am learning that others are gracious and that it is okay to make mistakes and learn from them. It has caused me to be patient with others as well, for perhaps they are just learning or are having an incredibly hectic day. I am more aware that the Holy Spirit is always with me and wants me to ask Him for help. He has alerted me of things and reminded me of details I didn’t remember on my own. I am learning to trust Him all throughout my day. I have learned to pick up the phone afraid, and found that I don’t need to know all the answers. There is are several great options, the Hold button, and the Transfer button. But I have also found that I enjoy talking with the customers and find it very pleasant to help them with what they need. And I am learning that it is good to learn new things. I am finding business is interesting and I enjoy working with Mark and being in an environment where we can produce products for the needs of others. So much of what we do at Cordes is producing products to promote other businesses.

And as we work to produce product to bring material increase, it is my prayer that we work in such a way as to bring spiritual increase, both to those we work along side, and to those we service.

I pray that in this new room my reliance on God becomes deeper, that my trust in Him becomes stronger, and my faith in Him becomes greater.

For every new room God leads us into has opportunity to remove our fears, to humble us, to increase our trust, and to develop our character so that we become like Jesus, displaying the power and love of God wherever we are!

An Open Door

Sometimes in life you find yourself in front of an open door. It is a door that leads to something you never considered before. It is a door that you would have walked right past if it hadn’t been opened a crack. But, there it is…just opened enough to get your attention. You’re not really sure what it looks like on the other side, but you begin to imagine what it might be like.

You go up to it with curiosity, but with your first peek you are convinced it isn’t a door you want to walk through. With a closer look you see the difficulties, the impossibilities, and decide it isn’t for you.

But then someone comes along and tells you that it is a door you should walk through. They say you are able to accomplish the difficulties, and can do the impossibilities. You appreciate hearing their confidence in you, but you find it hard to believe.

Now you stand there in front of that opened door with your own thoughts of insecurities and with the words of confidence from another; torn between the two.

How do you decide?

I’m sure if you asked others for advice about their open door experiences you would get many different answers. Some would have stories of success and fulfillment as they courageously walked through an open door. Others would have regrets of missed opportunities from being too afraid of the difficulties and impossibilities.

The experiences from others will give you knowledge, but it won’t give you the wisdom you need for your open door.

Your open door is unique and specific, intended just for you! 

It could be that facing the difficulties and impossibilities you first saw as you peeked through the door are the very things God intends to work together for your good.

Don’t allow your first peek through an open door to determine your response!

This is where the wisdom that comes from God is needed!

God alone knows what is best for you!

God is for you and always has your best interest in mind!

God knows you better than you know yourself and He has good intentions to use the situations in life to mature and perfect you!

So even if your first peek leads you to assume the open door isn’t right for you, know that when you ask God He will give you wisdom and courage to make the right choice.

What is so amazing about God is that when you begin to tell Him all the reasons why you don’t want to walk through the door He listens and understands, but He doesn’t discuss your emotions, fears, or insecurities with you.

Discussing them only keeps you convinced you can’t do it!

Instead, God takes your excuses and begins to show you a different way of looking at them!

Just like the open door Moses faced when God called him to set his people free. Moses kept telling God the reasons he couldn’t walk through that door. But God kept taking the focus off of Moses’ excuses, and reminded Moses who He was and what He was capable of. God told Moses that He would walk through the door with him and help him accomplish what Moses had decided he couldn’t do.

So, as you look at the open door in front of you, choose to take your thoughts, feelings, and emotions to God and ask Him to replace them with His truth and to give you wisdom to walk through the door with courage and confidence, not in your own strength or abilities, but knowing God will equip and enable you to accomplish all the difficulties and impossibilities!

And you can believe you will have no regrets!

 

 

 

“It is Not Good…”

God’s creative, powerful words brought forth all creation and after each He declared, “It is good!” Then God’s hands formed and shaped man in His own image and He breathed His very breath into his nostrils and Adam became the first human.

Then God brought all the animals to Adam so he could name them, but among the animals no suitable helper was found for Adam. Adam was alone; the first thing Adam heard God declare was not good.

God’s response: “It is not good that man should be alone;” 

This seems to a problem, but God doesn’t make mistakes!

God intended good to come from this first problem!

Adam realized that all the animals had a suitable helper, yet none of them were suitable for him. Perhaps God allowed Adam to experience the “not good” of loneliness, and incompleteness so he would fully appreciate the “very good” He had yet to provide. God created man for fellowship; God enjoys and longs for relationship! God and Adam had a good relationship as they walked and talked together in the garden.

It was beautiful and satisfying, but God intended something else “very good” for Adam!

God intended something else “very good” for Him!

God intended a suitable helper, also created in His image, that would fully complete Adam, and whom Adam would fully complete!

And together they would complete the plans and purposes of God here on earth!

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it;” Genesis 1:27-28

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

The problems we face in life aren’t intended to be seen as mistakes. When we have a relationship with God, and walk and talk with Him every day, the problems we face are intended to show us something else that is “very good!” They hold within them the “very good” God intends from them if we yield ourselves to Him and trust Him to do what He alone can do. As God brought forth Eve from Adam’s rib, we must submit to God and allow Him to miraculously create and completely provide what we could never accomplish on our own. When the “very good” becomes a reality in our lives and we embrace what God provided we will realize it was worth it! And it will strengthen our faith to face another problem down the road of life.

Job went through many problems when Satan asked to test his loyalty and love of God. Was Job loyal to God and love Him because was wealthy and healthy, or was it because of who God is?

Jesus faced some problems in the wilderness when Satan tempted Him three times, but each one was a test of Jesus’ loyalty and love for His Father.

Satan asked to sift Peter as wheat, and the problems he faced tested his loyalty and love for Jesus.

Each of these problems had different situations, yet they all had a similar purpose, to test loyalty and love of God.

And each was intended to increase faith and fulfill a greater destiny!

Whatever “not good” you may be facing today, may you choose to see it as an opportunity to prove your loyalty and love of God. Let it be what draws you near to God to know His truth, to see how awesome He is, and to repent of any ways you haven’t trusted or loved Him as you should. For in every “not good” situation, God has something “very good” intended to increase your faith and propel you into a greater destiny!

Job saw the incredible power and love of God in ways he had never seen before and bowed down in awe and repentance, and after praying for his friends God added to him double all that he had lost!

Jesus resisted temptation by using the true words of God, proving His loyalty to God, and afterwards the angels of God came and ministered to His needs. Then Jesus began His three years of powerful ministry.

Peter did deny Jesus, but afterwards Jesus revealed His power and love by filling his fishing nets to over flowing and gave Peter the chance to prove his loyalty and love for Him. Peter went on to become a powerful preacher and writer of the love and truth of the  Good News of the gospel!

The results of the “not good” situations in life are intended to increase your faith and propel you into greater ministry for the kingdom of God!