In the New Testament Book of Acts, chapter 10, the Apostle Peter was the first person employed by God to break down a barrier that once existed. In Old Testament times, God was looking for a people that would welcome a relationship with Him, and we can learn much about His unyielding faithfulness, love, and power through those He chose. They were not a perfect people and made a ton of mistakes. He didn’t destroy them, but loved them beyond their faults, just as He does with us. In the Old Testament, God’s people were the Israelites and they were called His ‘chosen ones.’ Again, it wasn’t because they were particularly special. He chose the Israelites because they recognized Him as their Almighty God, but He didn’t stop there. Expanding His family was always the plan.
1John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Love is who He is. Through Jesus Christ, God has demonstrated how His love behaves. One of its truths is that it expands. Love grows! It is the nature of what it does. God, being a God of supreme love, wanted to expand His family to include you and me. He chose Peter to break new ground, and to welcome others into His fold by showing them how to follow Christ. For the longest while, Peter and others saw things only one way, and it took quite a nudging for Peter to expand his heart for God’s purpose.
Philippians 4:19 (ESV) says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Heavenly Father promises to supply our need. In 2Corinthians 9:8(NLT), He also tells us that He will “generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” And Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7:11 that if sinful people know how to give good gifts to their children, how much more will our Heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask Him. We’re His kids, and He wants to see us happy and blessed all the time. But we must be mindful that the blessings He gives are not always based on what we want, but on what He knows we need. He tailors them for our lives, and sometimes we need a little nudging to see this.
Our Heavenly Father gives us good gifts, but we can be so preoccupied with the packaging that we don’t see the gift God is presenting. We’ve been burned before, and we’ve taught ourselves to only accept something if it looks as though it will meet our expectations. We miss a lot of blessings this way. Our need to control outcomes causes us to set up barriers so thick and high that nothing penetrates them.
These barriers are a form of fear, and fear is the enemy of love. Not only do the two not run in the same circles, they can’t survive in the same space. One of them will destroy the other. So, fear has got to go if we want God’s good quality love entering our lives and bringing with it all the yumminess He offers. For operating in the world day to day, a healthy fear reflex is one that warns us of impending danger, but it has no place in our relationship with God.
Many of us are complaining that He hasn’t answered our prayers, when truthfully, we’ve blockaded ourselves with such fear and negative thinking that we’re not even thankful for the air we breathe or the sun that shines every day. If our hearts are not overjoyed with blessings like these, the small stuff we want doesn’t stand a chance. Don’t miss your blessings. It’s a conscious choice to break down barriers around our hearts, and no one can do it for you, except you. Start by giving God some quality time. Talk with Him often so you’ll learn to recognize His voice. He’ll speak to your heart, and you’ll have confidence in ALL the gifts He gives, regardless of how they’re packaged. ■
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
“Don’t Miss Your Blessings”, written for Overcomingdomesticviolenceorg.wordpress.com. Copyright ©2021. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! our Lord!