God wants to bless us. “The Lord bless you and keep you.” God created the heavens and the earth and blessed all creation. He blessed Adam and Eve. He blessed the Sabbath. The blessings that God gives is an overflow of the life that He carries. When a seed is blessed, it grows to be a big tree. When a seed is blessed, it blooms and bears fruits. For a seed to be blessed means that God’s life is at work in the seed. When God’s blessing is upon us, we grow, develop, and flourish. We become prosperous.
God has called Abraham (Gen. 12:1), and He blessed him (Gen. 12:2). Because Abraham was blessed, his descendants grew and flourished (Gen. 22:17). Abraham’s life can be seen as before and after he received God’s blessing. Before Abraham received God’s blessing, he was an idol worshipper. However, after receiving God’s blessing, he became the father of faith. His name was made great. He became a channel of blessing (Gen. 12:2). All people on earth are blessed through him (Gen. 12:3). God’s blessing followed him when he put his trust on God and walked in obedience.
In order to receive God’s blessing, we must know the value of God’s blessing. We must understand how valuable God’s blessing is. There is a limit to human effort. We cannot live an abundant life just by human effort. No matter how big of accomplishment one person has achieved by one’s effort, his accomplishment doesn’t guarantee an abundant life. Instead, it increases a sense of emptiness and vanity. We sometimes see how one’s accomplishment is taken away by others in one moment. Unless the Lord is with them, the builders labor in vain and the guards stand watch in vain (Psalm 127:1).
I have said that the blessings that God gives is an overflow of the life that He carries. The life that God gives is one that heals and brings abundance. It is life that betters and overcomes. It is life that turns around and overcomes the power of sin and the devil. It is life that makes the weak strong and the small great. When God’s life enters into our lives, we gain an abundant life (John 10:10). In order for God’s life to enter into us, we must open the door of blessing wide open. There is a door through which God’s blessing enters into us. It is the door of blessing. We must not forget that along with the door of blessing there exists the door through which the devil works. We must not close the door of blessing nor allow the door of the devil’s work to be opened. We must close the door of the devil’s work and keep the door of blessing open.
God’s blessing comes through prayer. When God blesses, He gives blessing through the prayer of blessing. He gives blessing through the language of blessing. The Bible illustrates the importance of the prayer of blessing. The prayer of blessing is like prophesying. A prayer of blessing toward our children is the future image of our children. When Isaac offered a prayer of blessing for Jacob, the prayer was the future image of Jacob.
When we pray, there is one thing that keeps God’s blessing away from entering into us. It is the unforgiving heart. When we hate someone and embrace a retaliatory spirit, God’s blessing cannot flow into us. When Jesus prays, he teaches us to forgive other people’s sin. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:24-25). Forgiveness allows the door of blessing to be wide open. In contrast, a retaliatory spirit, resentment, hatred, and a blaming heart is like closing the door of blessings. In addition, when we embrace disobedience, pride and anger, then we can give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27). When such characteristics are filling your heart, repent quickly. Repentance and forgiveness opens the door of blessing and closes the door for the devil’s advantage.
There certain things that open the door of blessing along with prayer and forgiveness. They are praise and worship. When we praise and worship God, God’s blessing comes upon us. The life of God opens the door of blessing and rushes into us like a flood. Also, when we give thanks, the door of blessing opens. When we give thanks, blessings enter. An abundance of the good things of God will come to us. Moreover, when we welcome God’s Word with a Amen and we are obedient to the Word, the door of blessing opens. Blessing begets blessing. Pray for others to be blessed and share the blessings. That’s when greater blessing comes upon you. Close the door of the devil’s work and open wide the door of blessing. Receive God’s abundant blessing and become a pathway of blessing unto others. May God’s abundant blessing be upon your family.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.