*See video at the end*
Have you ever listened to a sermon and then out of nowhere you hear the following lines being shouted by both the speaker and the congregation.
"I am the head and not the tail!
I am blessed in the city and blessed in the field
I am above and not beneath
Everything I touch is blessed
I am blessed when I come in and blessed in my going out."
... these among others of course.
The above saying is actually taken from scripture - Deuteronomy 28. These scriptures are often used to teach faith and to the support the fact that God will grant you whatsoever you desire. But is this all true?
And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: - Deuteronomy 28:1-2
Usually when these scriptures are quoted it is never mentioned that they were given to the children of Israel. Deut 28, was the promise that the nation of Israel would be blessed if they would obey the commandments of the Lord. They were given laws to abide by, and if they followed them, wealth, riches, success, and protection would shower down on them from the Lord. However, many today have wrongly divided the Word and applied this scripture to the household of faith. We, however, are not under the law.
If Deuteronomy 28 is read in its entirety, we would realise that there are many references, to Israel, because it was only given to the people and land of Israel. It does not apply to the Gentiles or to the sons of God. However many today apply this scripture when they have an idea or a goal that they want God to grant them. They begin to quote this scripture to encourage themselves that God will give them all the natural blessings they desire to make their dreams come true. But this is false.
What is the law for those that are the sons of God?
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. - Matthew 16:24
Self-denial is the prerequisite to following the Lord. You must deny yourself of all your wants and agendas, and submit to the will of God for your life. Your goals must be God's goals. Your wants must be God's wants. Your meat must be to do the will of the Father. You must then take up your cross which is your life of suffering for Christ. No man can enter into heaven without suffering for Christ.
...For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? - Matthew 16:25-26
Consider the verses that follow. They further explain the importance of self denial. If we run after the things of this world we will lose our soul. The word tells us that all that is in the world is the lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. He would not then point us to them, telling us to use our faith to attain them.
So, if Deuteronomy 28 is to the Jews, what then is the word to the sons of God? The word to the Sons of God is Ephesians 1.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: - Ephesians 1:3
The blessings given to the sons of God are spiritual blessings, found in heavenly places in Christ (the Holy Ghost). The blessing is the fact that we are filled with the Holy Ghost. Why is this a blessing? See the following verses.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. - Ephesians 1:4-12
What are the blessings given to the sons of God?
1. They have been handpicked by God before the foundations of the world to receive the Holy Spirit and to be saved from His wrath.
2. They were chosen to know the love of God, and to be in love with God.
3. They were chosen to be a holy people, by being delivered from their sins and given the Holy Ghost.
4. They were chosen to be the manifested sons of God.
5. He has given them the riches of grace, which is to know the mystery of the gospel and to know the mystery of his eternal will.
6. They were chosen to be in Christ and one with Him, even while they are upon the earth.
7. They were chosen to receive an inheritance, which is not only immense glory in the world to come, but right now, the nature of God, the power of God, and the character of God.
8. They were chosen to be those that would glorify God in a world of darkness.
9. They were chosen to receive eternal life, and a new body which is spiritual.
These are the blessings given to the sons of God. However, even as Israel had to obey the commandments to receive their blessings, likewise, the sons of God must first deny themselves. They must choose to be content in whatsoever state they find themselves in. They have to learn how to be abased, and to how to abound. How to be full and how to be hungry. How to abound and how to suffer need. (Philippians 11-12). They have to learn how to be godly and content with whatever God gives them, this is great gain.
Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. - 1 Tim 6:5-8
Let us be content today, that we may manifest the blessings of wisdom and holiness in our lives.
Activity: Find scriptures that support today's devotional. Discuss the Sunrise with friends.
This series is based on the book "Discerning Faith", by Mary Banks. Get your copy on Amazon at the link below