In the past couple of letters we’ve been taking a close look at the new covenant promise we have in Christ Jesus. We have seen that the blessing God spoke over Abraham, that was then passed to Isaac, then Jacob and continued through their lineage until Christ Jesus - is now available to anyone who receives Christ as Lord!
However, the blessing has now changed somewhat - nothing has been taken away from it, it has just become far better! If you remember we read what Hebrews 7:22-23 says, “In keeping with [the oath’s greater strength and force], Jesus has become the Guarantee of a better (stronger) agreement [a more excellent and more advantageous covenant].”
Now in the first of these three letters on the blessing of God, we saw how the Hebrew translation for the word blessing essentially means, empowered to prosper. When the blessing of the Lord rested upon Abraham and his descendants, it was easily identified by His protection and provision.
Interestingly, the Greek translation for the blessing of the Lord in the New Testament defines it as being far more than just an outward demonstration of God’s prosperity. It describes it as being a divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in a life, in the form of favour, benefits, joy, liberty, pleasure and a matter of bounty. (Strongs concordance).
The true blessing of God that we can embrace and enjoy as His own children, is - His Own Spirit living inside us, and His glorious nature radiating through us.
In the words of Pastor Kevin Davis, when we encounter the Person of Jesus Christ, “...it is the most precious and beautiful experience any human being can have. With every attempt to describe it, words simply fall short of its eternal significance on our hearts and souls. That’s because when God created man, He placed a void inside of him that can only be filled by Him.”
What Abraham, Isaac and Jacob experienced was only a shadow and type of what God had established with Adam before the fall, and what Jesus would once again restore to us through the finished work of the cross.
Somehow, in Genesis 32, Jacob must have sensed and even recognised that without an encounter with the One, true God, the spoken blessing was not enough to reassure him that God was with him, and for him.
Even after stealing his brother’s birthright, there was a distinctive void in his heart that could not be filled, except by a supernatural encounter with God. That void pushed him to desperation. In verse 23 and 24 of Genesis 32, Jacob purposefully set himself apart from all the wealth and prosperity that birthright brought him, so he could be alone with God.
In verse 26, we see how Jacob has a face to face encounter with God and he clings with all his might to Him, crying out, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” . What a strange thing to say. Jacob was already blessed. He had already received the spoken, promised blessing through the birthright he stole. There was plenty of evidence in the form of wealth and prosperity of that fact.
Could it be that he somehow recognised and knew the true blessing ran much deeper into the crevices of his very soul than just a superficial, casual acquaintance with the God of His father? Jacob wanted more - he wanted to encounter God for himself, with his own willing and surrendered heart. Jacob recognised that the true blessing was not something that could be inherited or passed on, or by trickery be manipulated into his life. He had to personally seek after His God and experience Him for himself.
That night in his encounter with the Living God, Jacob received a blessing that changed everything about him. His identity and destiny were forever altered. God called Him Israel, the name He set aside for His Own people. It means contender with God. In other words - Jacob had a face-to-face encounter with God, where he personally looked into His face while exposing his own vulnerability and flaws. He finally gave up hiding behind his father’s faith and his own schemes, to face the truth of who he really was in the light of how God saw Him to be. The most remarkable truth became a revelation to Jacob that night that would never leave him. God saw him entirely, and in spite of what He saw, chose to be the One who would personally be with him and lead him every day of his life.
For us, knowing and experiencing the true blessing of God is not something we can receive from others either. It can’t be inherited and passed down from our family members. Neither can it be manipulated into our lives or received by a mechanical formula or religious ritual. We must hunger for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ Himself, in order to receive and experience the blessing of God in our lives.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].”
God Himself is the reward we receive when we come to Him in faith. All we will ever need to live the abundant life He has secured for us can only be found in knowing Him. The growing epidemic among Christians to chase after the blessing as the answer to all their problems and a means to achieve success and prosperity in life, will only result in disappointment and disillusionment.
That’s why I wanted to spend some time in these letters bringing things into God’s perspective. When we begin to seek after the things He calls a priority, over and above the things we think are our priority, we will see His blessing come in its fullness in every area of our lives. Seeking God and His ways first and constantly being aware of Who is living inside us, will cause God’s blessing to be secure and established in us.
Why not take the time to draw near to the Lord this week, open your heart to Him today and experience the true blessing of knowing Him.
All my love,