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Every blessing a test
- Jacob Ninan
It's great to be blessed of the Lord, and a greater blessing to bless the others in turn (Ac.20:35;Ge.12:2). It's good to long for more blessings, and much better to desire to become a blessing to the others. We know that it is the blessing of the Lord that makes us truly 'rich' (Pr.10:22) and fulfil our life. Unless He blesses us, anything we do or have will be hollow and worthless (Ps.127:1).
We are living here on the earth, and material blessings are necessary for us, and it is 'super-spiritual' to imagine that thinking of and asking for earthly needs is unspiritual. At the same time, spiritual blessings are more important for us because they are useful for the life to come as well as this life (1Ti.4:8). We will find ourselves poor in eternity if we seek to accumulate material blessings and neglect spiritual growth. It is also wise to choose spiritual blessings in place of material blessings when it comes to a direct choice between the two on any occasion.
But whatever blessing we receive also exposes us to a test about how we will use that blessing. Health and strength are great blessings, but we can use them for ourselves or also to serve God. Natural abilities we are born with are also in the same category. Spiritual gifts, ministry and authority are also things that we are accountable to God for. We see from the Bible and from history how different people who were faithful with their blessings continued to be blessed, and those who took blessings for granted and failed in the tests lost out (Mt.13:12). King Solomon was faithful to God and His people when He asked God for wisdom to lead the people. But he apparently did not realise that God's subsequent blessings of wealth and fame were also to be used for His people. Instead he spent them on himself, giving in to his desires in various directions. Finally he lost out in every way. But the apostle Paul realised the significance of God's trust in him and worked more than all the others for God's kingdom (1Co.15:10). He recognised that it was the grace of God that had given him the blessings and he also knew that the blessings demanded greater accountability from him.
One mistake we make is to assume that the blessings are for us to enjoy, and fail to see that they are added responsibilities too. The more we receive from God, the more we are accountable, because He has enabled us to become more useful to His kingdom. He blessed us because we found favour in His eyes and He felt we could be trusted with greater spheres of responsibility and larger scope for blessing others (1Ti.1:12).
Let us not forget ever that whether we live or die, we do that for the Lord and not for ourselves (Ro.14:8). We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices to Him to do His perfect will at all times (Ro.12:1,2). Let us remember to place every blessing that we receive also on the altar to be used for Him according to His will and for His glory. A blessing placed at His disposal can become a greater blessing.