Friday, October 10, 2008

Blessing-Based Living

The blessing of the LORD makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it.
(Proverbs 10:22)
Listening to Kenneth Copeland preach this morning on the Believer's Voice of Victory, I was struck by the difference between blessing-based decisions and toil-based decisions. This gives me an important new way to evaluate my thoughts, choices and actions: Is this based on the blessing of the LORD, or on the toil of the world?

See, the world operates by toil, scratching and scraping just to get by. But God intends for His people to operate by His blessing. It makes life rich and brings no regrets.

Psalm 127, attributed to Solomon, puts it this way:
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
(Psalms 127:2)
Solomon was talking about operating in the blessing instead of by toil. He did not ask God for wealth, but for wisdom — and ended up with riches as well.

The world has it backwards. They think that if you add riches to yourself, you will then be blessed. But God says it is His blessing that makes one rich. Not toil, but blessing.

Toil is different from work. When God created Adam, He gave him an assignment — to be fruitful, fill the earth, subdue it and have dominion (Genesis 1:26-2). Adam was given a work to do, but it was not toil. It was a blessed work. It would be effective, an efficient and productive use of all his efforts. Toil did not enter the picture until Adam rebelled against God as disconnected from Him. God said,
Cursed is the ground for your sake [i.e., because of you];
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread.
(Genesis 3:17-19)
Operating under a curse, full of thorns and thistles, eating by the sweat of your face — that’s toil! It was never what God planned for us. Jesus came to deliver us from the curse, so that we might enjoy the blessing (Galatians 3:13-14).

Right now the world is all in a twitter, full of fear about the economy. Many Christians are, too. They are operating in a toil-based mentality, thinking that it all comes down to them and what they can do. But we have the promise of God, and it is the promise of blessing. It is not based on toil, or even on work, but on faith in what He has said. When we take God at His Word, receive His wisdom and believe His promise, our work will be effective and productive, not toil. Riches will then be added to us, with no regrets.

Let your thinking be changed by the promise of God. Examine your choices and actions to see whether you are making toil-based decisions, or decisions based on God’s blessing.