Stop asking God to bless what you’re doing. Find out what God’s doing. It’s already blessed. – Bono
What’s a blessed life? Is it tangible – like a job promotion, or a good deal on a house, or savings for a rainy day? Is being blessed the product of doing something for God and receiving something from God in return? Is blessing the result of obedience and performance – like getting a gold star on a test?
Or is the blessed life something entirely different from all of the above?
As you read through the Old Testament, it becomes clear that God has always desired intimacy with His people. “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God” - (Exodus 6:7; Leviticus 26:12; Jeremiah 30:22).
If Israel obeyed God’s commands, all would be well with them. If they disobeyed, they’d experience exile from God’s Promised Land and His presence. It sounds pretty basic, but Israel was still unable to perform. And as a result, God was unable to bless them.
But rather than withhold His blessing, God replaced the covenant.
Now, I know some of you struggle with that. After all, God gave us the law, didn’t He? And everything He gives us is perfect. So why did the old need to be made new?
For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people…. (Hebrews 8:7-8)
The problem with the old covenant wasn’t the covenant; it was the people. No matter how many sacrifices the priests offered on behalf of the people, Israel continued to rebel. And so God introduced the only High Priest who could atone with a promise rather than a prescribed performance. No more priest-led sacrifices.
Instead, we were given a Priest who became the sacrifice.
Because of Jesus, anyone and everyone can live the blessed life. What does that life look like?
In Christ, we can stop performing. As we become home to His Spirit, nothing separates us from God any longer – not sin, not the law, not even the inability to be holy. There is no separation, only intimacy. This is the blessed life – one based on His promise and not our performance.
Jesus, I have You and I’m blessed – I believe this to my core. If I’ve been pursuing cheap blessings – blessings that rot or fade – steady my gaze upon You instead. Whisper to me the promise every morning: I am Yours, and You are mine. Amen.
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