BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING!
By Rodney W. Francis
In the Scriptures we read of the Abrahamic Covenant, the covenant God made with Abraham for his obedience in serving God. For a number of years the interpretation I placed upon that covenant was the emphasis upon the word "faithfulness." In recent years, however, I have grown to see the Abrahamic Covenant as being so much more than his faithfulness to God. I have discovered that faith - and being faithful - has all to do with our ability to hear from God, and then to commit to whatever He says to us. For example, How does a Christian receive faith?
Romans 10:17 tells us: "Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (KJV).
That is the "rhema" or "spoken word of God." It is that word inspired by the Holy Spirit from the heart of God. It is a "now" word. God is a "now" God and wants to speak to us now - today.
That word "believed" is from the Hebrew "aman," meaning "to build up or support, to be firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally, to be true or certain" (Strong's Concordance). Abraham was devoted to God's cause. He chose to believe God before he believed his own heart, or other people’s opinions. To believe someone like that means you must have total conviction that that someone can be totally relied upon. Their word must be totally trustworthy.
The Abrahamic Covenant is the basis of Christianity. Christianity is based upon our ability to recognize the voice of Jesus through the Holy Spirit (in whatever way or form it comes). Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice" (John 10 ). Christianity is a covenant, or an agreement between two parties to trust each other's word.
The mark of Abraham's life and faith is that he chose to believe the voice of God before he believed himself, or anybody else.
Romans 4 tells us more about Abraham:
In a nutshell, to have faith in someone means we must know for certainty the voice of that someone and that they can be totally relied upon. More than anyone or anything else! Again I emphasize, Christianity is built on a covenant relationship between Jesus Christ and us. Jesus sets the standards to which we must agree. When that covenant is operating, there is a free communicating between Jesus and us. We get to know His voice as the "Spirit of truth"(John 14:17 ; John 15:26 ; John 16:12-15 ). The more we trust His voice, the less we depend on our own logical way of trying to interpret God.
The purpose of Christianity is that we learn to know what to do with the voice of Jesus. The reason God speaks to us is that He needs to communicate with us - and we need Him to communicate to us! He longs for our fellowship, and He desires we discover the great joys of obedience. Obedience can only come out of hearing the voice of Jesus. Obedience is the result of "a hearing attentively, or listening; hence obedience as the result of attentive hearing"(Bullinger's).
This is the basis of the Abrahamic Covenant of blessing. In Genesis 12:1-4 we read:
"The Lord had said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you' . . . So Abram left, as the Lord had told him . . . " (NIV).
Here we see God showing something of His desire to want to bless His people. The conditions for those limitless blessings came down to just two things:
God promised Abraham that if he would DO AS HE SAID, then God would personally make of Abraham a great nation. God would personally bless Abraham and make his name great. Abraham would be a blessing to others. Blessed to be a blessing! God would bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him (to "curse" here means "to execrate" or "to loathe, detest, abhor; to denounce or damn" - Collins Dictionary). Watch out any devil or man who tries to curse God's covenant people!! “So Abram left, as the Lord had told him.”
God's heart toward us has not changed. He still looks for people who will get to know His voice and do what He says. Listening and doing is what releases the blessings of God.The blessings are so great and powerful that they impact us:
Think about that! God's desire is that YOU have such a personal relationship with Him, and know Him in such a way that YOU will want to obey Him in everything! That obedience releases the heart and hand of God to use YOU, to bless YOU, your family, loved ones, community, nation and every nation on the earth! No wonder the Apostle Paul could pronounce under divine inspiration:
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3 , NIV).
To be "blessed" means to be "rejoicing in and receiving all the blessings of the promised redemption . . . a blessing is a bountiful gift" (Wilson's). It speaks about being "happy, to distinguish with favour" (Bullinger's). It releases an abundance of God to us in prosperity and liberty. It is God's benediction upon us!
The "obedient to God" people experience a release of blessing and power that no one else experiences. God lifts those people up by making them great (with opposition and persecutions, of course!). There are always benefits to those whom God lifts up. The promise of personal, national and universal blessing shows us the power of God at work in us to enable us to overcome every obstacle that life throws at us. It shows us how God wants to hold us up before the world, with the declaration, "Look what I can do with a person who listens to and obeys Me!"
Salvation is not about struggling through life with personal problems.
As we discover the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant blessing - and walk in it - we will see the power of the Gospel released in and through our lives and the Church to impact every nation on earth. The key to revival is right here. It is in our obedience! Obedience to the voice of God!
In Genesis 22:15-18 , God made it very clear to Abraham that "ALL THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED, BECAUSE YOU HAVE OBEYED MY VOICE!"
The Church of the 21st century needs to discover afresh God's "keys" to impacting the world. It is not in fancy programmes or gimmickry, nor in adopting "a more professional approach." We have to discover that God still holds to the principles He delivered way back in Abraham's day. If we will listen to His voice, and do what He says, we will know good success. We will live in His blessings and, at the same time, will be impacting others all around us. Let's make the difference!
Right now, let us adopt an attitude that we are going to bless other people, more than our looking to be blessed by other people. When we go to church, let's go "to give" (our worship, praise, love, finances, Spiritual Gifts, help, whatever is necessary to lift things up) rather than "to get." Instead of being focused on our own personal problems, let us see that there are scores of people much more badly off than we are. Know that:
See and know that He has saved us and blessed us to be a blessing! The blessings and benefits of the Abrahamic Covenant are there for everyone to lay hold of.
It all begins with our ears, and impacts with our obedience! Our ears pick up the mind of God, and our obedience releases the power of the Word of God.
God Bless YOU!