How to Experience God’s Blessings
I received a question this week from a reader asking why, if God desires to bless us in so many ways, do we sometimes fail to experience His blessings?
In order to understand how God’s blessings work, we must understand three things: The first is that God has specific plans for how he would like each of us to live. The second is that we have free will, which allows us to either follow his plans or ignore them. The third is that his blessings, to a large degree, are determined by how closely we follow his plans.
One day, Peter was asked if Jesus paid the temple tax. Being a good Jew, Peter said yes. God had a plan to help pay the tax, but Peter needed to do a couple of things in order to experience the blessing he intended. The first thing he needed to do was bring the matter to Jesus. The Lord told him the Father had a plan to take care of the taxes: “Go down to the sea, throw in your line and look in the mouth of the first fish you catch. Use the coin you find to pay the tax for you and me.”
Peter now understood the plan, but before he could experience the blessing, he needed to take action. And this is where many of us fail to receive what God wants to give us. We receive the dream or the prophetic word revealing the plan. We realize he has provided an opportunity for blessing, but we don’t follow through. The instruction Jesus gave Peter was a bit far-fetched. He could have chosen not to obey and few people would have blamed him. But he exercised his free will, did what the Lord told him to, and he experienced the blessing of God.
God is not in control of the things that happen to us. If he were, we would not have free will. He has plans, and He provides opportunities. But we have free will, and many times the exercise of our free will causes us to miss out on His blessing. If you choose to eat nothing but junk food, you may miss out on His plan to bless you with health. If you choose to spend what extra money you have on video games instead of investing it, you may miss out on His desire for you to have a comfortable retirement.
Other people are allowed to exercise their free will against God’s plan for us, and He doesn’t (generally) interfere, lest he remove their free will. If someone sues you, it may frustrate God’s desire to bless you financially. If someone stabs you on the street, it can negate his desire for you to live a long life. The unwise or unrighteous exercise of free will is the main way in which we frustrate Gods’ desire to bless us.
When we are in danger of losing His blessing, He’ll usually send us a warning and instruction. Of course, we may not recognize His voice or understand His warnings. When we fail to experience God’s blessing, it is often because we’ve failed to understand His plan or because at some point, we’ve wandered from the path He set before us.
If you’re not experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised, you might ask him if you’ve gotten off the path he’s chosen for you. This isn’t about doing things to earn God’s favor. It’s about living in the center of God’s will for your life, where his blessings flow continually, and he guards you like a strong tower. And if the problem is that you’re not hearing His voice clearly, you might check out my book Hearing God’s Voice Made Simple.