In Search of Spiritual Blessings
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:3-6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” ESV
Since the last blog, I’ve thought more and more about the idea of holiness. The more I think about it, the more I realize I fail miserably at “being holy as God is holy.” Should I give up? Do I settle for less than God expects? After all, my salvation isn’t dependent on my ability to be holy! My salvation is made secure in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross! So why worry about this idea of being holy?
Though I don’t recommend reading scripture this way as a daily habit, the other day I randomly opened my Bible and started reading in Ephesians 1. The words “spiritual blessing” jumped off the page at me! I’m all in for blessings! Aren’t we all? But as I read, even here in these few verses we are told once again that God chose us to be holy and blameless before Him. While this seems a tall order and an overwhelming task, in these verses there is hope!
I like how Eugene Peterson renders these verses. “How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.”
Spiritual blessings are not the things of this world. Spiritual blessings are not for toddlers in the faith who selfishly cling to more toys. Spiritual blessings are the things of God that transform us into his likeness making us holy as He is holy. It is His love and His blessing that make us whole and holy. The key, at least for me, is not to strive harder, but to dive deeper. Deeper into a life with God — where I surrender my will for His, where I long for the things of God more than the things of this world and where I seek spiritual blessings more than worldly material blessings that rust and decay.
So, I am going in search of spiritual blessings that I may learn to live in those high places with God, where His love makes a profound difference in my life and I may enter into the realm of holy living!