“The LORD will command the blessing upon your barns, and in all that you undertake, he will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.” ~~ Deuteronomy 28:8
I’m a city girl, so I don’t have a barn, but I do have a storage unit that I rent by the month. It’s the place where I keep the things that don’t fit in my 768 square foot condo: my bicycle, my other grandmother’s pink Fostoria china, all the books I once used in my ministry, and all the items I buy in bulk. I also keep my tools and miscellaneous craft items there, since I only use them on occasion. I need to take some of the paintings I am storing here at the condo, but it’s almost time for annual conference and I’d only have to drag them out again; no sense moving them twice!
When I think about being blessed in all that I undertake, I am amazed at the graciousness of God and his largess. I think of my times in the local churches when I have asked the SPPR committees if they provided a Christmas bonus for the secretary and the janitor, and how often I got a blank look. Too often in the churches there was no tradition of giving their hourly workers a “gift” at Christmas, as if they were just “wage slaves” and nothing more. These people didn’t have a sense of being blessed, so they couldn’t pass the blessing along to others. No wonder their church was failing to thrive, and was just struggling to survive!
Part of the blessing comes, in old testament terms, from being obedient to the laws of God . It is the result of the right relationship with the LORD, which is one of obedience and honor of his name and person. As Christians, or new testament persons, our right relationship with the Lord comes from our understanding that we have no real life without him and that we owe all that we are and all that we have to him alone. Jesus Christ is our Lord and we are his servants, always standing ready to be of use for his kingdom purposes. Our whole lives, 24/7/365, are under his command!
This isn’t some burden that we bear with sorrow, but a joy that is part of our life’s blessing: “Better is one day in your house” as the song goes, than hundreds of days outside never knowing the blessings of the LORD. When I think of John Wesley’s life, how he struggled and worked to be good enough to earn God’s favor and blessing, only to discover that “faith in Christ” was the only prerequisite, and repentance the only door to the house of God’s blessings that come by faith, then I think of all the Christians I have met who are not living the whole life that God intends for them. They don’t know with assurance that Christ gave his life for their life because they are afraid to truly trust him with the rest of their days and weeks and years.
We can either visit our small store houses and count our boxes of our few possessions there, or we can give our lives over to God and find our blessings overflowing to the extent that our barns can’t hold it all anymore! Trust in the one who blesses abundantly!