Genesis 12:1-3 Do You Really Believe That God Will Bless You?
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”
The fundamentals of the abundant life include the belief that God will bless us greatly no matter how imperfect we may be. This belief system is the engine that lifts our spirit and motivates us whenever we face insurmountable challenges through unchartered waters. However, there are still many churchgoers today, who could not bring themselves to believe and expect great things from God. Hence, they could not live an abundant and exciting life. Today’s passage reveals the concrete terms of God’s blessings and promises towards Abram. And the Spirit is speaking to you today concerning His unchanging ordination in your life. In Christ, the blessings promised to Abram is readily made available to all people. It is through the word and Holy Spirit, that the believer finds strength and perseverance to obtain the promise.
And I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing – God appears to Abram and gives him a promise: “And I will bless you…”, even though there are no prior relationships with him or his forefathers. Hence, there is absolutely no obligation on the part of God to bless Abram. However, God appears unannounced with only one objective: To bless Abram. These blessings comprise the abundant life, the heavenly experiences of peace, joy, love, longevity, relationships, prosperity and intimacy with God etc.
Under the same breath, God also says, “I will… make your name great”, which connotes the impartation of glory and honor. Glory and honor are indispensable components of God’s blessings to those who love Him. Paul says,
“There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good.” Romans 2:9-10
A person who is rewarded with glory and honor will be respected and honored by God, man and the angels and he carries the authority and the attributes of God wherever he goes.
Then, God continued, “and so you shall be a blessing… And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” This promise carries the mandate to bless others. It is good for one to be blessed, and yet greater is the one who has the mandate to bless others.
Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house – The instruction to “Go forth…” is the very first thing God says to Abram that precedes the promises. God instructs Abram to leave his family, which is something that Abram must do prior to obtaining the blessings. The burden of fulfilling God’s instructions must not be seen as a precondition to obtain the blessings; they are not a means to “purchase” the blessings of God but a practical necessity. The promised blessings are located at a place that is physically far removed from where Abram is currently situated and hence, he must make that migratory journey. For the Christian, he makes that migration through his mindset and lifestyle from darkness to light.
And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse – This must be seen in a context of the nature of God’s relationship with Abram. God is in fact expressing His jealous and protective possession of Abram, His son. Just as God protected Noah and his family from the flood, God protects Abram through the promise. This promise may be felt by the population at large through the repercussions of their treatment of God’s children: I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. By the reciprocative consequences of their actions, they may grow to respect and revere the children of God.
- Faith is about changing our mindset in accepting the intentions of God to bless. Many would say, “If God had an intention to bless me, then I would not be in this situation.” However, such people may not realize that it is their sin and unbelief that cuts them off from God’s blessings in the first place. There are many churchgoers who could not bring themselves to believe that God would really bless them; they suppose poverty is the evidence of spirituality. Therefore, it is my conclustion that many who claim themselves to be Christians are still standing outside God’s kingdom but thinking that they are inside. Theirs hearts are deprived of the blessing because they believe the circumstances more than they believe God. If God were to appear to you today and say the very same things He said to Abram, would you believe?
- If you believe in God’s promises, you will go and get it! Obtaining God’s promises involves the recipient of the promises taking the first step in making the journey from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light. Many are still asking, “If God is good, why don’t He just drop His blessings onto my lap without me having to do anything?” Because by reason that the location of the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of God being at two different places, one must necessarily make a journey across the distance. If one supposes that he does not need to do anything to obtain God’s blessings is tantamount to saying that blessings can be found where he is – in the kingdom of darkness and his lifestyle of unbelief.
- The promises given to Abram are made available to all through faith in Christ. If anyone regenerates his heart by acknowledging Christ as Lord of his life and obeys His instructions, the promises given to Abraham will be made available to him. When Christ sees that change of the heart, He immediately works out a plan for him to obtain the promises. It is important to understand that it’s first a matter of the heart, then of works. When the heart is first changed to trust Christ and to obey His instructions, the works will follow and eventually, he will obtain the promises in full. Paul says,
In Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles. Galatians 3:14
Then, Paul says in one breath, “…so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The promise of blessings, honor and mandate can only be obtained when the Holy Spirit enables the believer to overcome the challenges of life through perseverance and faith on a daily basis.
- The word and the Holy Spirit overcome our hindrances to obtaining the promises. The first hindrance relates to the inability to accept that God has a plan to bless us no matter how imperfect we may be. The mind throws up 101 reasons and objections that promote doubts against a loving and faithful God. The second hindrance relates to the fear of failure and disappointment; this has its roots in the emotional wounds accumulated from past hurts. The third hindrance relates to the lethargy of the physical body or the flesh. As the believer exercises discipline in reading the word and yielding his spirit, soul and body to the Holy Spirit, the objections in the mind begin to melt away. The fear of failure begins to subside and the body gathers energy and confidence.
- Ask God how He plans to bless you and write them down on paper. Begin praising God for His unconditional goodness and allow the Spirit to reveal His plans to you in greater detail.
- Regeneration of the heart through repentance is the prerequisite to turning on God’s wonderful plans for your life. The blessings of God are found in the kingdom of light and not in the kingdom of darkness. Hence, we must make the journey from the lifestyle of darkness to the light by reading the word and be filled with the Spirit daily.
Dear Lord, I believe that you have plans to bless me more than I can think or imagine. Reveal to me in greater clarity what steps I need to take towards God’s kingdom. Give me the mandate to heal those who are sick and to forgive the sins of those who are in bondage. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.