Tuesday, June 14, 2011

June 10th – Proverbs 10: The Blessing of the Lord

“The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.” – Proverbs 10:22

This is an amazing scripture and also an amazing observation. I’ve seen so many people working for the blessing of the Lord, increasing their hours each week they are working, increasing their responsibility to attain God’s blessing and favor. The only problem is that isn’t God’s blessing! When God blesses us, He simply adds to what we are ALREADY doing. We see an increase in production, effectiveness and income WITHOUT added toil or energy being expended!

But first, let me qualify that… We are all called to work diligently and with excellence. Is this because we just love our boss or company? No, it’s because we are truly working for the Lord, not men.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” – Colossians 3:23,24

Some people are just lazy and don’t work diligently or with excellence. When they begin working diligently, there is an increase in production and hours or energy. When they see God blessing this effort, they associate blessing with hard work. Yes, we need to work hard and work diligently, but the nature of God’s blessing is that it comes WITHOUT added toil or energy being expended. I can always tell when God is blessing me because I am not doing anything additional to earn it!

The word trouble here is translated: sorrow, grievous toil and even “idol”. This is important that we understand this! Many folks begin their quest for the blessing of God when the Lord gives them a promise that He is going to bless them! When it doesn’t happen in their time table (and it never does) often folks are prone to work hard for what God has promised freely! With us, when God promises blessing and that blessing seems delayed, we are tempted to “help him out” by working more, starting a new business, becoming a real estate investor or stock market analyst, etc. forgetting the very nature of God’s blessing: “He adds no trouble to it.”

It was the same way with Abraham, God promised to bless him dramatically. When the blessing didn’t materialize, Abraham figured he would help God out a bit by sleeping with his maidservant, Hagar. That effort produced Ishmael, not Isaac. Isaac was the child of promise, Ishmael was the product of Abraham’s fleshly effort.

Virtually ALL of the conflict in the Middle East today comes from the enmity between Ishmael and Isaac. I wonder how much of the conflict in our lives is due to us “helping” God bless us?

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