Expecting the blessing of the Lord:
Matthew 14:17-21: “And they say unto him, we have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, bring them hither to me. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.”
We who serve Him must look to Him for His blessing. Without that, our faithfulness, our diligence, our faith and our prayers will be unavailing. Feeding the 5000 illustrates this truth. The supply was totally inadequate to meet the need; nevertheless, the need was met. The meeting of this need did not depend on the supply in hand, but on the blessing of the Lord. The same is with us today. No matter how talented we are, or how well trained we are, or how great our resources we might have, it will be totally inadequate to meet the needs around us and to fulfill our ministry and calling. We must have the blessing of the Lord.
It is so important that we value God’s blessing and expect His blessing. Without His blessing, all our efforts will be futile. So many of us, instead of looking to the Lord to bless what we have, are looking at the resources that we have! Someone once said, “If God wants to perform a small miracle, He will place us in a difficult situation. But if God want to do a great miracle, He will place us in an impossible situation.” The feeding of the 5000 was as a result of God’s blessing. We will see similar miracles when we look to the Lord for His blessing.
When we realize that everything depends on God’s blessing, this will bring a radical change in our ministry and our work for the Lord. We would cease to depend on people, money and natural resources, but we would look to the Lord to make up for everything that we lack. His blessing is bigger than all our deficiencies! There will be no limit to what the Lord will do through us and for us. He will even turn our weaknesses into strengths. We will realize the reality of His grace, that when we are weak, He is strong. In 2 Corinthians 9:10 it says, “… God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” The Passion Translation says, “Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.”
We need to always rely on God’s blessing and live in such a way, that we never lose His blessing. Although the Bible says, “That we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places, (Ephesians 1:3) it is evident that that there are those that live in this blessing and there are those that do not. God is no respecter of persons, therefore there is nothing arbitrary about God’s blessing, and it follows a specific course. So if we lack the blessing of the Lord, it is because of us and not because of the Lord. We should then seek the Lord to show us why, so that we can seek His mercy so that we can abide in His blessing. Although we may have certain weaknesses, there are some things in our lives that God will not tolerate.
One of the greatest threats to future blessing is past blessing. We can limit our future by what we have experienced in the past. Right ahead of us lies a work immensely greater than what we have done in the past. We should always be expecting increase and never limit God by what we have experienced in the past! Even under the most trying circumstances, we must be full of expectation. The greater our expectation, the greater will be our opportunities.
Although it is God who blesses us, He is the source of our blessing; it is very easy on our part to lose His blessings. It is like a bird that settles on our shoulder. A few careless, moves and the bird will fly away. Sometimes it takes a few careless words, a bad attitude a conflict situation to lose His blessing. If we want to put no restraint on His blessing, we should put a restraint on our words. The Bible says that the “The power of life and death are in the tongue, they that love it will eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21) God’s blessing will never abide on that what is wrong, but it will not necessary abide on that which is right! It is not only our actions that are important, but our attitudes and motives. God’s blessing will be found when we are in unity and we are living in harmony and never when there is contention and discord in our lives. (Psalm 133) Therefore we should avoid criticism at all costs! It is more important to be blessed than to be right. It is better to be blessed than to win an argument and get our own way.
What do we mean when we talk about God’s blessing? It is God’s divine activity that is not based on our activity. It is not earned by our efforts and is not based on our work. The blessing brings us into a realm where all reasoning is ruled out. If our expectation is not based on who we are in ourselves, but solely on the blessing of the Lord, then we shall see fruit beyond our wildest expectations.
At times it seems that God not only grants no blessing, but that he deliberately withholds it. For God to withhold His blessing is very different for not adding His blessing. It is like the disciples who fished and said, “We have toiled all night and caught nothing.” A huge amount of effort and resources are used up with very little fruit! The fact is that God’s blessing has not rested on our work! There were many imperfect people in the Bible that God blessed, such as Abraham, David, Jacob, etc. Therefore, even though we do make mistakes, we can still be vessels of blessing!
We should always expect the supernatural and God to do great miracles. We should never limit God by our limited resources. We need to realize that the reason for our ineffective ministry is because of us. We must always provide God with the ground on which His blessing can lie. We should always expect His blessings. For the Blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow: Amen