What if blessing doesn’t come in the form of gross sales, Facebook likes and career promotions? What if instead, it comes in the shape of heart lessons, contentment and peace? What if the way we’ve been taught to measure blessing is actually the world’s view of success? What if “blessing” is NOT measured by worldly standards but by the very presence of God in our lives?
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is in the Lord." Jeremiah 17:7
Blessed is the man who trusts. Not blessed is the man who has everything. Not blessed is the man who wins elections, has a million twitter followers, has the biggest house or the most friends. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.
Scripture tells us that God’s plan for us is, indeed, prosperous, good and blessed - but somewhere along the way we have turned it into a story of worldly success over simply being God’s vessel.
When I was in Africa several years ago, the term 'blessing' impacted me greatly after precious women, who had nothing, would exclaim over and over that they were so very blessed.They had great contentment, joy and the overflowing presence of the Holy Spirit. They worshiped Jesus with every step they took. They saw their very breath as a blessing from God.
They didn’t question quantity of quality because all they had was quality - and they viewed themselves as so very rich. I fear that I’ve gotten this wrong for so long, y'all. I fear that I’ve valued success over blessing - I fear that I’ve put them in the same bucket when they were never intended to be.
In scripture, the way of blessing was the way of the wilderness, but the Israelites questioned and argued and complained the entire way. Moses, however, trusted God to deliver time and time again and was blessed. The way of blessing was the fiery furnace. Their faith was extreme - and only grew after God saved them. Their trust in the Lord was contagious. The way of blessing was through the death of Ruth's husband. She persevered, experienced God’s faithfulness and then became a woman in the line of David. Her trust in the Lord deepened. I have to stop thinking of blessing in terms of the way the world thinks of it. I must start looking at blessing through the eyes of an eternal God. But still, it is hard to come to the conclusion that blessing does not equal success nor does success equal blessing.
Let's look at the prayer of Jabez, a popular prayer of blessing that has become a great model of how we can pray over our lives. He asks the Lord: "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me." (1 Chronicles 4:10, emphasis mine).
Isn't it interesting that he asked for blessing AND that God would grow his reach, protect him and that God would be with him? Could that be because blessing is within and all the other parts of the equation is simply part of God's divine ordination?
Of course God desires success for our businesses, our families and our volunteer positions. Of course blessing can come in the form of growth.
But it is when we value the success OVER the heart lessons, contentment and peace that we can get into trouble.
For me it boils down to this : I am a writer so I deal in terms of page views, likes, shares and readership. I am a shop owner so I also deal in terms of sales, revenue and measured growth. I am an artist and deal yet more in technique growth, finding my voice and education. These are all good things.
But they are not the best thing.
They are not the thing that we should be after as believers! The thing we should be after is Christ, because the thing He is after is our heart.
Maybe you are in a place of discouragement today. Maybe you feel down about your numbers or not getting that big promotion. Maybe you simply feel small - and you see women all around you who are “enlarging their territory” and it seems as though God’s hand is on them but not big enough to cover you as well.
Friend, I have been there. Heck - I find myself there most days. But the encouragement is that our God loves us and blesses us from the inside out. He is teaching us, shaping us, molding us to be more like HIM to be used by HIM so that we might speak about HIM.
It’s not about us, but it is all about Him. It always will be.
I am more convinced than ever that God's blessing is not, in fact, measured by how successful I am, but measured more by how much I trust God - and the result of that is peace, joy and contentment - all of which money (and success) could never buy!
So we have two choices today. We can leave this time here together encouraged that God’s hand of blessing isn’t necessarily measured by numbers and let that carry us through our successes and failures OR we can start our day still questioning whether or not God loves us because our measured growth isn’t going up fast enough.
Which will you choose? I pray you will choose encouragement and trust alongside me today! It is never the easy choice - but it is always the best choice!
This post originally appeared on the Texas Eagle Forum Blog. You can read more of their posts here.