I sense the Holy Spirit telling us, “Not now. Dwell in the blessings. Enjoy your promised land.”
You see, I’ve been ready to start unleashing the ideas and vision God has for our little farm. But when doors open or I have a few moments to start working on one of the many projects, the Holy Spirit tells me to “dwell in the blessings.” Dear me, I’m finding dwelling, enjoying, and truly living in God’s blessings is even more difficult than being overwhelmed with a vision only God can deliver. How do I simply dwell in blessings? How do I be blessed? How do I receive from His hand?
I’ve come to realize living in blessings isn’t popular. It’s not something even the church finds fair. It’s part of grace and that’s hard to accept.
I also have found that I tend to focus more on trying to be the blessing than understanding how to be blessed the way God defines it.
Does any of this ring a bell for you?
The current of the cultural waters moves us toward sharing the blessing as quickly as we can, continually moving us on to the next assignment and sometimes creating guilt instead of praise for what God has given us, since others don’t share in the same story.
But if we miss the blessings, not taking the time to soak in them and be lavished with our Father’s tangible love, then we’ve missed part of the One we worship’s character and heart.
I’ve struggled with Sundays for a long time. Others seem to revel in the hammock, a good book, a family dinner, or time in nature. It’s almost a depressing day post-church for me. I’ve been praying for God to help me enjoy Sunday and worship Him as I should, and show me why Sundays can be a downer.
God came through and revealed how dwelling in His blessings and my problem with Sundays are centered around the same issue: Because I don’t know how to be blessed, it makes my times of rest and dwelling very difficult.
Blessings are a tangible way of being loved by God. It’s stories we share of how God came through and did the miracle. It’s walking in an answered prayer. It’s our Father giving us something we don’t have to have but makes us feel loved because He was gracious enough to know us intimately and give abundantly. Blessings are recognizing God breaking through our everyday (or worst day) and being God.
Grace is hard to accept. And I start to believe sometimes I need to do more for Jesus because of how much He’s done for me.
I don’t know about you but Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount gets me worked up — not sure if I’m convicted or guilt laden — and feeling like I am very far from being the light He needs me to be.
“God blesses those who realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is given to them.”
I typically focus on the first part, realizing my need for Him and forgetting the rest. But now I’m wondering if somehow, through years of trying to “realize,” to yield my will to His, read His word, and allow Him to transform me with the power of His Holy Spirit . . . that somehow I’ve been given the Kingdom of Heaven.
I’ve ignored part of the whole. I still deeply recognize my need for Jesus, now more than ever. But I also am beginning to recognize how He is giving me the Kingdom of Heaven through the life I lead now.
If His Spirit is asking me to dwell in His blessings, then maybe I should focus on the portion of each statement talking about the blessing. Maybe through His powerful sanctification, I have mourned, been gentle and humble, cried out for justice, showed others mercy, allowed God to purify me, worked toward peace in my heart, my family, and my neighborhood and accepted what God brings.
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” God has brought me out of mourning and is comforting me. I am blessed.
“God blesses those who are gentle and lowly, for the whole earth will belong to them.” God has raised me up to dwell in His promised land.
“God blesses those who are hungry and thirsty for justice.” God has helped me to learn about more needs and empowered me to help.
It’s both-and. The perfect if-then statements. Complex yet so simple. With these instructions from Jesus, we don’t miss God and His blessings.
God really does see us as Jesus because we’ve taken in the blood. The Holy Spirit really is active and working in our lives, making us holy, and there is fruit. God does love His children and wants to give us good gifts. God really does bless us and calls us to dwell with Him in those blessings to know His heart better.
And when the prayer is answered, the Spirit speaks, or the opportunity arises to serve with our gift and we know without a doubt God has burst through our three dimensions to give us a flash of His glory . . . that’s when we can BE blessed.Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
Running headlong through life, it’s easy to miss the celebration of God’s blessings. I want to go back and re-read and re-think the Beatitudes based on your insights.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I agree, I think it goes against our nature, or at least mine to dwell in the blessings…to stand still long enough to really soak them in and not put myself on a guilt trip for enjoying something, someone, or some experience that has come from God’s hand. If I have something that someone else would love to have, I often take on a sort of apologetic mode. Or, I worry that for some reason the blessing will be pulled from my hand. That’s not God’s nature; I have to remember.
I am learning, through this waiting period with a difficult surgery, that dwelling on my blessings is a safe harbor. It’s so easy to get caught up on what hurts, what’s difficult, how impatient I am, what I’m missing out on, that I overlook the blessings right in front of my nose. But, those blessings are the very things that God wants me to cling to, because in clinging to them, I am clinging to grace, mercy, love, and hope – all the things His Son went to the cross for me to enjoy. To deny them, to me, would be denying Jesus’ sacrifice and I certainly don’t want to do that. You’ve really got me thinking about slowing down and enjoying the blessings in my life. Dwelling with you….
Isn’t it’s so hard when we are slowed down to almost a stop? I am praying for a “good healing” for you during your Blessing Season.
And thank you Stephanie for putting my blessings , both good and hard ones , into focus in light of my Fathers Great Love !
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Thanks for your prayers for “good healing” as I have literally been brought to a stop, as you say. Your comment inspired my most recent post today on my blog….I called it “The Blessing Season” – your comment gave me the inspiration along with Stephanie’s post!
Blessings to YOU my friend,
Lisa Tindal says
I’m either looking for the next big thing, guilty over the goodness God has provided or I’m not quite comfortable with His provision. I believe it’s because we live in a comparison society. Thanks to you, I’m going to work harder to acknowledge my blessings in a way that honors God. I love the Sermon on the amount and will reread again now…it’s a “how to live” one.
I’ve been praying a while on this matter…
Thank you for sharing what He is teaching you!!!
Kelli McKnight says
Yours insight and encouragement that it’s OK and right for us to dwell in our blessing, well it was a word directly for my heart. This post resonates loudly in my head as a familiar path I take. I’m smack dab in a season of deep and rich blessing and struggling to feel fully present in the now, instead of my impulse to run ahead into more work. I’ll be chewing on this for days. Thank you!
Thank you for this today. How fitting that this is what you thought to write about on today! In the past I have cried, prayed, begged, given up, believed again and have succeeded on having children. The one thing I knew God put me on this earth to do. With his help and love I was able to get pregnant! Thank you Lord. It might not have been the easiest thing for me to do since I had to go through infertility treatments, dozens and two more last attempts which both took. (After trying to have a baby for about 3 years) God blessed my husband and I with a healthy baby boy! Bed rest for 10 weeks in the hospital with broken water God touched many lives. My son was born 7 weeks early. His brother’s embryo frozen for another two years and God once again blessed our family with another baby boy! Bed rest for 2nd child but at home and with gestational diabetes…. God gave me the strength I needed to follow doctor orders and stay still on the couch or bed. Thank you Lord for the two blessings you gave to our family. Today is my first son’s birthday… 12 years old and healthy. Praise God for his mercy, grace and love to help me fulfill my dream of being a Mother. What a wonderful reminder to sit and enjoy his blessings… children, sports, band activities, Cub Scout events, friend’s birthday parties… life is crazy but I will be sure to remember his blessings he poured down on my family. Thank you Lord… thank you…
I know there has to be a lesson in here for me. I am not feeling the prompting of “Rest”, but then this was such a hugely obvious reply to my secret thoughts this morning that there has to be a lesson in there for me…..
This is EXACTLY what I have been struggling with lately–the idea of being blessed. Of a good measure, poured until overflowing, in my lap. It seems a shameful secret–to be blessed when others suffer :(. I hate others suffering and yearn to help. I have wanted to know what I am to do, how quickly I can go bless others, how to not dwell in the blessings too much lest I be overrun by the enjoyment of them and forget God. The church does not seem to talk about “Ok, here is what you do when the Lord has just poured out into you”, except in terms of financial wealth. But what if the blessings are not financial but are a good marriage, great kids, plenty of food, ducks at your feet, hummingbirds at the feeder, fish in the pond, a compliment from a stranger, and shiny hair? What do you do when your are so blessed but they are not really “sharable”? I think therein lies the key–sometimes the blessings are for YOU individually and the Lord makes it so they are not things you can give away so that you MUST look at them and marvel and His goodness and mercy to YOU, to gaze at Him and really, truly know you cannot do anything to match His mercy and gifts and love. There is no offering enough, there is only Him and His blessings.
I still don’t understand it, tbh. Today I was writing that even my trials were blessings–I could SEE how they were. Sometimes what seems like trials are also gifts.
But sometimes the gifts are not hidden in fire, but are wrapped in bows! 🙂 I cannot thank God enough, and I don’t know what to do with these blessings–I was so happy to have a bit of ill health earlier this week because then I had I “struggle”! I knew that I should “work hard” and “overcome” and “still show Jesus when I didn’t feel good”. I got to DO something “holy” 🙂 Silly, isn’t it?
But as my body heals, and I see His grace and mercy poured out LAVISHLY and know I do not deserve any of it, but still secretly wondering if I did something right (mistaking reward for grace) and also being a little afraid the other shoe will drop, but being ok with that in a way because, again, I don’t deserve this much, and wondering how to give more, do more, thank Him more, and knowing I can never do enough, but not wanting to be a blessing hoarder, etc, etc, etc…..
Thank you for giving words to my thoughts, for daring to speak that sometimes the Lord. Just. Gives.
I love your thoughts on how God gives us blessings that cannot be shared so we have to look upon them and marvel at his love for us. The ‘just for you’ blessings. When I take the time to recognize them, they remind me just how much he loves his children. I know they are there more than I realize and its this awareness I’ve been working on lately. My gratitude journal helps me to see them and to praise him, sometimes to tears, for his goodness and mercy.
Pearl Allard says
Sdr, love what you said about the just-for-you blessings, also. I wonder how many blessings I’ve re-gifted or not ever used because of false guilt? Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
Melissa Henderson says
Dwell in His blessings…. yes, this is comforting. 🙂
Your thoughtfully written post really got me thinking,( thank-you). How many times have I needed to be stopped to accept my blessings? I should of been able to answer none but sadly that’s not true. From this day forth I will try to be more accepting of His gifts, and not just by uttering gratitude.
And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
His blessings can also come from hope. Hope that all will be well, and it is. Hope gardens will recover, and they flourish. Hope family & friends will be okay, and they get through. ‘There is no shame for hope’, and we can gratefully accept His blessings.
After a negative experience on Mother’s Day I wrote, ‘Do something, do something, be it for the good’. I hope I will always follow through, and would most gratefully accept it as a blessing.
I hope that you have a blessed day all,
Rebecca L Jones says
I wonder if it is not able to enjoy the blessings or just being able to rest in HIm. I find myself knowing things but sometimes it’s so hard to even rest and soak in the blessings and healing. Just breathe His love today.
Pearl Allard says
Stephanie, thank you for putting words to thoughts I’ve often had. I’ve been guilty of re-gifting blessings before. I’m starting to realize enjoying His blessings fuels me for whatever comes next. Thank you for this post.
Beth Williams says
We rush through life wanting to do/be more Christ like and miss out on blessings. Most don’t realize how rich we are because we compare ourselves-outwardly to others. In retrospect we need to stop and count the many blessings God has given us. Our thoughts should be on thanking God for these blessings. Often times when I get down I write out a thankful journal. I list ALL the things God has given me from Heaven & sins forgiven to small things like heat, websites, etc. It helps me realize how blessed I am. I am so loved & blessed that Jesus rejoices over me with singing: Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.