Blessings or Blesser?
Reading: Numbers 22:7-18
"Though Balak were to give me a palace full of silver and gold, I would not go beyond the Word of the Lord my God" (Num 22:18)
No doubt obedience is a condition to receive God's blessing. But we don't obey God with the primary motive of wanting to be blessed by Him. This is one of the gross errors at the root of the modern health and wealth gospel. The purest motive of obedience to God must be to please Him. I may or may not be blessed; but God must be pleased. We obey Him because He is Lord! Not for any other reason! This is the logic of the first of the Ten Commandments: "I am the Lord your God!" (Ex 20:2a).
We repeatedly turn to Abraham to learn obedience. He was abundantly enjoying the earthly blessings in Ur. But to him obeying God was more important than holding on to the comforts of a settled life. Isaac was a blessing Abraham had longed for, for many many years. But again obeying God was more important to him than holding the cherished blessing tight against his bosom (Heb 11:8,9,17,18).
It is God who gives us fields, flocks and families. They are His blessings. But how disappointed is He when these blessings become barriers for us to obey His missionary call! The endowments become excuses! (Lk 14:18-20). While talking to prospective missionary candidates, I have found that most of their excuses fall into one of these three. Is not the Blesser more important than the blessings? We also present a clever argument for our disobedience. "I will use these blessings to support God's work!" This is what King Saul said when Prophet Samuel cornered him (1 Sam 15:15). Beloved, God first of all wants YOU, not yours!
God in His mercy may continue to bless us even if we do not obey Him. God's blessings are not endorsements of our ways. Beware of being blinded by blessings!
We must also learn to distinguish between the blessings of obedience and the benefits of disobedience. If we disobey the laws of the government and cheat the tax department, our savings will mount up. Tithing and offering from such dishonest gains is abominable to God (Rom 13:1-7). The devil is after us with his attractive offers. They are ours if only we can make some compromises. A promise of promotion by the boss if only we would bribe or write a false account. A job or a scholarship if only we would state a small lie in the application form. Prophet Balaam's reply to King Balak's fabulous offer is today's memory text. It's a timeless truth!
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