Many times we miss out on God’s greatest blessings because we’re not spending time in a RELATIONSHIP with him.
“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed. I have made Israel for myself, and they will someday honor me before the whole world. But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened you or wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.”Isaiah 43:18-24 NLT
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heart from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”Philippians 4:6-9 NLT
God wants to bless you! Did you know that? God longs to pour out his blessings on you. But so many of us are missing out on the fullness of God’s blessings. There’s so much more that God wants to do in our lives, but we often stand in our own way.
Maybe you’ve already seen God do amazing things in your life. Even so, there’s so much more God wants to do for you. Perhaps you’ve read through the Bible and enjoyed stories of some of the great miracles that have occurred through the scriptures, and you’ve wondered, why don’t I see these types of miracles in my life?
Has God changed? No. God’s still in the business of doing miracles. He’s still pouring out blessings on his people. But we’re often losing some of the greatest blessings he has in store for us for several different reasons. Let’s take a look at what’s holding back our blessings, how we can uncover God’s blessings and the importance of time in God’s presence.
God Wants to Do Great Things for Us…But Here’s What’s Hurting Him
“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!… But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel!… Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.”
In this passage in Isaiah, it talks about the mighty things God had done for Israel, including parting the waters so the children of Israel could escape Egypt, and then drowning the entire Egyptian army beneath those waves. The miracles God had already done for his people were tremendous.
But the chapter goes on to say, “forget all that.” Those incredible miracles, they’re nothing compared to what I (God) is going to do in the future. God wants to do new things for his people. He wants to pour out fresh blessings. But something is holding those blessings back.
The children of Israel have stopped asking for God’s help. In fact, God feels like they’ve grown tired of him. And instead, the Israelites have burdened God with their sins and faults.
God loves his people. He’s promising to do great things for them. But then he tells his people what is hurting him:
- Not talking and communicating with God
- Failing to worship and praise God
These were the things that were holding back the fullness of God’s blessings on the children of Israel. And these are often the very things that are robbing us of the full blessings God wants to pour out on us today.
If there’s sin in our lives, it begins to create a barrier between God and us. Ultimately, it begins to stand in the way of what God can do in our lives. When we’re not communicating with God regularly, it hurts the relationship and hurts God. Just think about it. When you don’t talk to people you care about often; distance begins to grow between you. It’s not like it used to be.
And then there’s failing to worship and praise God. The children of Israel were failing to bring God his sacrifices. And while God doesn’t want animal sacrifices from us today, he does want the sacrifice of our praise. He wants us to worship him. He wants us to become living sacrifices for him.
What we’ve seen God do in our lives is nothing compared to what he wants to do. But to uncover God’s blessings, we have to get rid of sin, we must begin to communicate with him regularly, and we must come to him in worship and with praise.
Stop Worrying, Pray, and Give Thanks to Uncover God’s Blessings
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
In Philippians, we’re given a recipe to uncovering God’s blessings and to finding His peace. First, the scripture says we’re not to worry. In fact, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything. Instead, he wants us to pray about everything. Once again, we see that God wants communication with us. He longs to have fellowship – to build a relationship with us.
God wants us to come to him and tell him what we need. It’s easy to say to yourself, “Well, God knows everything. He already knows what I need.” But God wants us to tell him. He wants us to ask him. And then, the verse goes on to say we should thank him for what he’s done. Worship and praise.
Nothing Happens Unless We Spend Time with God
One of the key messages in both of these passages of scripture is this: nothing happens unless we spend time with God. You see, many times Christians live with the misconception that because God promised something, he’ll do it no matter what, even if we’re not obeying or failing to pray. That’s not how it works. Unless we spend time with God and pray the promises of God and believe his promises, we won’t see the blessings he wants to pour out on us. We’ve got to pray those promises.
Think about all of the great people throughout the people who were blessed by God and saw incredible miracles in their lives. Consider the great saints of God throughout history who saw God’s blessings poured out in unimaginable ways. Everyone one of those people spent time with God.
God loves us so much, and he’s wondering why we don’t spend time with him. How many of us say that we love Jesus, yet we don’t take time to communicate with him? When life gets busy, it becomes so easy to leave God out of our day to day life. There’s work to do, bills to pay, family to care for, social media accounts to check, events to attend, and before we know it, we’ve entirely left Jesus out of our lives. And then we’re wondering why we’re not seeing the blessings of God poured out on our lives.
We’re tying God’s hands when we don’t spend time with him. Just as it says in James 4:2, “Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” We have not because we ask not. God wants to help us. He wants to bless us. But what can he do if we don’t ask for help? God won’t work over our free will.
It’s also essential for us to realize as Christians that we become weak when we don’t spend time with Jesus. Being in God’s presence heals our heart. Time spent with him helps prepare us for the things we’re going to face in life. Drawing close to God, and communicating with him gives us the ability to withstand temptation when it occurs. When we’re failing to take time to be in God’s presence, our eyes get closed. It’s easy for us to be deceived. We fall prey to temptation. It allows room for other things in life to come between Jesus and us. And before we know it, we’ve drifted away from where we should be. Daily time spent with Jesus is our strength and our key to opening the door for his blessings to pour out on us.
Christianity is about a relationship – our relationship with Jesus. And Jesus wants to do great things for us. He’s saying to us, what I’ve done in the past, that’s nothing compared to what I want to do for you. But it’s up to us. If we want God’s blessings, we must spend time in his presence.
What would happen if we as Christians just started taking 15 minutes every day to just get into God’s presence? If we sat down with God’s word, and then came to God in prayer and just talked with God and listened to God.
How would your life change if you started coming into God’s presence daily? If you spent more time with Jesus, how would it change you?
Coming into his presence – that’s the key to unlocking those blessings. Praying the promises is the way we started seeing those promises fulfilled in our lives. Spending time with Jesus is how we unlock all the great things he has for us until we’re overwhelmed with God’s blessings. When we give our time to Jesus to be in his presence, we’ll receive “…a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38 NLT)
In this life, we don’t have what it takes to live a Christian life. We don’t have what it takes to do what God has called us to do. But when we come into God’s presence, he communicates to us the grace that we need. He gives us the strength and the abilities required to become victors. He brings peace in the middle of chaos. And when we come to him, we pray his promises, and we ask him for what we need, then we uncover all those blessings he has for us. Remember, what God’s already done for us, it’s nothing compared to what he’s going to do. But nothing happens unless we spend time with God.