We in America are so blessed. Have you ever said that? What did you mean by that statement? When you count your blessings, what’s on your list?
Last Sunday, I listened to a group from our church report on their trip to Haiti to help build three houses. And again I heard what many others have talked about: the joy of the Haitian Christians, their deep connection to God.
Christians in Haiti might be sleeping in tents, eating once a day, owning nothing (according to our standards of measuring), yet I could tell that several of the team members who spoke yearned for what the Haitians do have … a deeper understanding of God’s love, an intense joy, a fervent spirit of worship.
Just want to throw out an idea here: We often speak of the abundance of our “blessings” here in the States. Could it be that our “blessings” keep us from experiencing the presence of God?
When you thank God for your blessings … of what are you thinking? The abundance of things in your life? Our very comfortable homes, a paycheck, plenty to eat, the option of worshiping without opposition …
Could many of those things we pronounce as “blessings” actually hamper us as we seek to go deeper in our relationship with the Almighty?
Take a look at what Moses tells the children of Israel as they prepare to enter their Promised Land. I know this is long, but don’t skim. Read all the details and try to get the picture. These people are about to enter a rich land that God chose to give them. After wandering in the wilderness for decades, now they will be living in super abundance.
“So obey the commands of your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
“But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the LORD your God and disobey his commands, regulations and decrees that I am giving you today. For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! Do not become proud at that time and forget the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.”
God also chose to place me in a rich land. I think these words might be meant for me, too.
Scripture: Deuteronomy 8:6-14 (NLT). Read the whole chapter. Good stuff.
(This post was originally much longer than usual. So I broke it into four parts. Come back again tomorrow…same time, same place … for more!)