Being in the right position

We live under the covenant of grace therefore, all that we receive is because of what Jesus did for us on the cross for us by faith. We cannot earn God’s blessing, it is a gift from God. In Ephesians 1:3 we read that God has “… blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.’’ God blesses us because we are in Christ and not because we have earned His blessing. We also notice that the blessings are in heavenly places. In other words, in order to receive these blessing we must be in the right position to do so.

In 2 Peter 1:3 we read that God’s divine power has given to us … all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” Again God’s divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, but it is “through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” It is from a position of relationship with Jesus that we experience all these things being given to us.

Again, this is what God has done, and not what He will do. There are many other verses that speak about this, for example in 1 Peter 2:24 we read that: “by His stripes we were healed.” It doesn’t say here that “we will be healed!” If God has done all these things for us, and it is given to us because of what Jesus did on the cross for us, how can we experience that what God has given to us. The answer is, we must be in the right position!

Some examples:

Let me give the following illustration. Imagine that I phone you and I tell you that I have decided to give you a thousand dollars. But in order to receive this money you must meet me at 7 am on Monday morning at MacDonald’s restaurant. The money is a free gift, you do not need to earn it, but you must be in the right position in order to receive the money. Let us look at a few examples in the Scriptures:

Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them. They had an encounter with Jesus because they were together at the right place. Thomas was not in the right place so he did not see Jesus. In the same way today, the right position to have encounters with Jesus often takes place in the context of fellowship and relationships with other believers. Another example of this was on the day of Pentecost. Only those who were together in unity in the upper room received the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Mary at the empty tomb:  She saw Jesus because she lingered at the tomb while the other disciples went home. She had a greater desire to see Jesus than the rest of the disciples. Therefore, when we have a hunger and a desire to see Jesus, we put ourselves in the right position to do so.

Wise virgins: They we in the right position to meet the Bridegroom because they had extra oil in their vessel. The oli speaks of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The foolish virgins did not have enough oil, and they were not in the right position when the Bridegroom came. Therefore, being filled with the Holy Spirit will always put us in the right position to be ready for and to meet with Jesus. Furthermore, being filled with the Holy Spirit puts us in the right position for God to use us. We often miss the wonderful opportunities that God has planned for us because we are not filled with the Holy Spirit.

The children of Israel: They had to go out and gather manna in the desert every morning. Manna did not appear in the tents, they had go outside and collect it. Therefore, in order for us to receive from God, we often need to take the initiative and go and fetch the blessings by faith. Many people are waiting for God to bless them instead of taking steps of obedience and faith to experience the blessing. Blessings don’t always come to us, we have to go where the blessings. This may take effort, obedience and faith in order to receive God’s blessing.

Jehoshaphat: God told them in 2 Chronicles 20:17, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord.” All they had to do was be in the right position, and God gave them the victory. Therefore, one of the greatest keys to have victory over the devil, is to be in the right position. We read in Ephesians 6:13: “Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Therefore take up the whole armour of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” We need to stand in the victory that Jesus has already given us when He conquered the enemy at the cross. We must confess it and believe in it.

Some important positions:

1: The position of prayer:

Prayer will always put us in the right position to receive God’s blessings, be fruitful and advance the kingdom of God. In the Old Testament, in the time of Hezekiah, the Assyrians came to attack Jerusalem. We read in Isaiah 37:15, “And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD….” In verse 21, Isaiah tells him, “Because you have prayed to Me against Sennacherib king of Assyria.”. In verse 36 we read how God answered this prayer: “Then the angelof the Lord went out, and killed in the camp of the Assyrians one hundred and eighty-five thousand…” When everything seemed hopeless, “Hezekiah prayed.” Isaiah said to him, “… because you prayed…” What if he hadn’t prayed? We will always be in the right position when we pray! No matter what challenges we face today, we can pray because God is the God who answers prayers.

We have an example in the New Testament when Peter and Cornelia prayed. In Acts, chapter 10, we read how an angel of God spoke to Cornelius during prayer and told him to send for Peter. Then Peter prayed, and God told him to go to Cornelia. Because they both prayed, a wonderful door was opened for  the Gentiles to hear the gospel of Jesus. This happened because they were both in a position of a prayer. In James 4:2 we read: “You don’t have because you don’t ask.” This implies that we have because we ask! In James 5:13 we read, “If any of you are suffering, let him pray.”  When we pray, with expectation we will always put ourselves in the right position.

The position of faith:

Everything we receive from God is by faith for  He responds only to faith. In Hebrews 11:6 we read: “But without faith it is impossible to please God; for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him.” Faith is the language of God. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 4:13,And we believe, therefore we speak.” When our words, our thoughts and actions are motivated by faith, we put ourselves in the right position to experience everything we desire from God. We read in 1 John 5:4: “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”

The father of the demonized boy asked Jesus in Mark 9:22, “But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”  But Jesus said to him in  Mark 9:23, If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.The father said to Jesus: “If you can do it.” But Jesus said to him, “If you can believe.” We often want God to do something for us, but God wants us to believe. It is important for us not only to have faith, but our faith must constantly grow.

We read in 2 Thessalonians 1:3: “… We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly,” In Romans 1:17: we read, “the righteous shall live by faith.” Jesus said in Mark 11:22:Have faith in God or have faith in God.” No matter what we go through, we need to have faith in God. If we are worried about the future, we need to have faith in God. If we are struggling with our health, we need to have faith in God.” If we are going through a difficult time, we need to have faith in God. We must always be in a position of faith.

The position of gratitude:

Gratitude is a very important principle in the Kingdom of God. Gratitude is focused on what God and people have done for us, not on what we expect them to do for us. There are many wonderful blessings that we will experience when we are grateful. Gratitude will also protect us from resentment and disappointment; it will strengthen our faith and also make our hearts soft and open to God. Psalm 92:1 it says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.” In Psalms 103:2 we read, “And forget not all His benefits.”

In Luke 17:11-19 we read about Jesus and the ten lepers. One of the lepers returned to Jesus and thanked Him. In verse 19, Jesus said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Jesus healed all the lepers, but this man got more. Not only was he healed physically, but he was made well. Gratitude always puts us in a position to receive more from God. The word “saved” also means “protected”. Therefore, gratitude will protect us from the attacks of the devil. Gratitude always puts us in the right position to receive God’s blessings and to keep them.

The position of humility:

Humility is the decision of the will to put God and others above oneself. Humility is also demonstrated in our submission to God and those to whom God has put in authority over us. We read in Philippians 2:3: … in lowliness of mind let each (one) esteem others better than himself.” Humility is one of the greatest keys to God’s blessing. There is no limit to what God will do for us, in us and through us, if we humble ourselves before Him. The Bible says in James 4:6: “… (God) gives grace to the humble.” Humility therefore, puts us in a position where we can receive the grace of God. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” Humility – puts us in a position where God will promote us, use us and bless us. Jesus said that if we want to be great in the kingdom of God, we must become servants. Humility will always be the right position before God and others.

Position of right relationships:

God highly values our relationships with others. In fact, it is in the context of relationships that God will bless us, use us, and guide us. Therefore when we gather together in unity as the local church, we will place ourselves in the right position to receive from God. In Psalm 133:1 we read, “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity.” In verse 3 of the same Psalm we read, “There the Lord commanded the blessing even life forevermore.” We read in Psalm 36:8: “They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house.” God’s provision is often in His House, which is the church.

Psalm 92:13-14 says: “Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, who have committed relationships with other Christians, will be fruitful and blessed. We read in 1 John 3:14: “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren.” One of the signs that we have a spiritual life is that we love other Christians. To love someone means that we have a relationship with that person.

Through our relationships with other believers, God gives us His grace. In Acts 4:32-33 we read: “Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; … and great grace was upon them all. .” When we have a connection with other Christians, we put ourselves in the right position. God will often use others to give to us what we need.

Position of obedience:

Obedience is a very big topic. Jesus has already obeyed the Father on our behalf when He died for us on the cross. However, although we cannot earn God’s blessings through our obedience, obedience will put us in a position to receive God’s blessing. When we speak about obedience, we are not talking about legalistic obedience such as: “I don’t smoke, I don’t watch TV and I don’t wear miniskirts, etc.” But to do what God tells us to do personally. Jesus said in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Obedience will protect us from the influence of the devil and his demons. We read in Ephesians 2:1 that the devil, he is the spirit who now works “in the sons of disobedience.” Therefore, sin, compromise and disobedience give the devil the right to influence our lives. On the other hand, obedience puts us in a position of victory over the devil and his kingdom. In James 4:7: we read, “Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We first submit, then we resist!

We read in Psalm 81:14-17: “Oh that My people would listen to Me… I would soon have humbled their enemies … I would feed them with the fat of wheat and feed them with honey from the rock.” If our hearts are open to God and we want to do His will, we put ourselves in the right position to receive His grace. When Abraham obeyed God and sacrificed Isaac, God said to him: “… all the peoples of the earth will be blessed in your seed because you have obeyed my voice.” We don’t have to ask and beg God to bless us, just to be in a position where He can bless us. For example, when husbands love their wives and wives respect their husbands, their marriage will be automatically blessed.

If our hearts are open to God and we want to do His will, we put ourselves in the right position to receive His grace. When Abraham obeyed God and sacrificed Isaac, God said to him: “… all the peoples of the earth will be blessed in your seed because you have obeyed my voice.” We don’t have to ask and beg God to bless us, just to be in a position where He can bless us. For example, when husbands love their wives and wives respect their husbands, their marriage will be automatically blessed.

And finally, the most important position is our position in Christ.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we will put ourselves in the right position to receive eternal life. The Bible says in John 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the [a]right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” We don’t go to heaven because we are good people, go to church, or because we perform spiritual rituals. We go to heaven because we personally give our lives to Jesus and accept Him to be our Lord and Saviour. (Romans 10:9) We need to be in the right position on earth to be in the right position in eternity! Therefore, may the Lord bless you as you put yourself in the right position to receive God’s blessings. Amen.