Your definition of “blessed” is going to determine your ability to be used by God.
“Definitions” are important because we use them to order our world. If we believe that God’s highest and best for us is to be accumulating material goods and money, then we will order our world in such a way to make the acquisition and retention of these things “the” priority. Most people who believe in Jesus would never overtly state that materialism is next to godliness, yet, it is being taught in many circles and is believed by many to be true. While God knows we need goods and money to survive, He doesn’t define being “blessed” as the acquisition of such things.
I’ve learned that a sure way to make a bad decision is by using money and and the acquisition of goods as “the” barometer in ascertaining God’s will. God often promotes His people and increases their funds and position but satan can also use money and goods as an attraction to his will. Satan tempted Jesus to worship him by offering Him the world and its kingdoms (Matt. 4). If you look at what happened in the lives of Jacob and his brother, Esau, you would have thought that Esau was the favored brother. Jacob’s descendants went down to Egypt during famine and were eventually enslaved there for four hundred years. Meanwhile, Esau went straight into his inheritance in the mountains of Edom and lived as a free man. Yet, the Bible tells us in Malachi, chapter 1:2:
“Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated.”
Well, if you’re using the acquisition of money and goods as the definition of being “blessed” you wouldn’t come to that conclusion. It would appear that Esau is favored and loved and Jacob is hated and rejected. We must be careful to be sure that our evaluations are biblical in nature.
Another aspect of a “blessed” life is safety. If we are protected from all harm, we consider ourselves “blessed”. Once again, to make decisions based upon what will keep us “safe” is going to prohibit many activities from being considered as being God’s will. The apostle Paul would not have done one-third of the things that he did if his personal safety would have been his priority. Paul said in Acts 20:22:
“And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
I’ve noticed that when we pray over a mission trip, we often pray, “Lord, keep everyone safe.” Maybe a better, more biblical prayer would be, “Lord, Your will be done, no matter what.”
You see, the definition of success in the Kingdom of God is: Doing the will of God. A “blessed” life is not one which avoided all danger, or one in which decisions are made out of self-interest, but one in which the individual is able to say, “I finished what the Lord told me to do. ”
Be careful of the “definitions” that are formed in your theology. You will make decisions based upon these definitions. Our kingdom and our personal safety is not to be primary in the making of decisions as servants of God. Our primary consideration is His will.
Remember, a player on the sidelines does not have to worry about his safety and a thief makes every decision based upon his own personal gain. But, I know that you don’t want to be on the sidelines rather than in the game and I know that you don’t want to have the heart of a thief.
To be “blessed” according to scripture means “to be happy with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward conditions.”
Great things lie ahead for those whose definition of “blessed” matches God’s.