The Purpose of Being Blessed
Jan 16, 2014
I'll never forget senile Aunt Bethany's prayer in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. She's asked to pray "The B-l-e-s-s-i-n-g" by her excellent-toupee-wearing husband, and she begins with, "I pledge allegiance to the flag..." I laugh every time. Yep, every time! The family request to "bless" the food goes wrong just like everything else the Griswolds do.
The reality is that God really is a God of blessing, and he does a much better job of it than Aunt Bethany. The King of all creation purposes to bless His people so that they can be a blessing to the world in which they live. His words to a man named Abram are encouraging:
"And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing." (Genesis 12:2, ESV)
When God chose Abram He told him to "Go." He told him to leave his land and his father's house, and to go where God would lead. Abram would experience famine, political challenges, war, and extreme marriage difficulties. Abram was specially chosen to be blessed by the King, by God Himself, but it's the stories of his struggles along the way that encourage me the most!
- His political turmoil with the Egyptian Pharaoh (all over his beautiful wife!): God blessed a sometimes fearful, sometimes deceitful man because God has a bigger plan.
- His adjustment to real life issues when a famine forced Abram to move his family and sizeable animal herds to Egypt in the first place: being blessed doesn't mean being "babied" or "coddled".
- His recapture of his kidnapped family along with the goods and citizens of wicked kings (like the king of Sodom); his refusal to accept payment but instead to honor God through extravagant giving: God's kingdom is apparently an internally transforming one!
God still blesses the citizens of His kingdom to be a blessing to the nations, whether they are Egyptians, Sodomites (yep, I know you raised your eyebrows on that one), Spokanites, etc. Our struggles are real but they will always serve a greater "kingdom" purpose. When God calls us out and chooses to bless us, drawing us into His mission in the earth, it may not look quite as we expect!
Consider your struggles. Consider your blessings.
Now consider the kingdom of God. What might he be doing through your life to bless the nations? It's worth thinking about.