In the past number of months as Wendy and I have had this overwhelming sense of God’s blessing, not just in terms of the lovely home we are in, or what the bank might report on us, but being close to Philip and Amanda, our ability to work remotely, our new neighbours, the experiences of living with some sense of freedom and with good health.
But beyond that kind of blessing, there is a deeper understanding of being held in God’s hand. The imagery from Isaiah 49, that He has carved us into the palm of his hands…that imagery is the kind of definition of blessing we are feeling.
In my reading, I have been reviewing again Eugene Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. Today these words jumped off the page…
“The blessings that are promised to, pronounced upon and experienced by Christians do not exclude difficulties. The Bible never indicates that. But the difficulties are not inherent in the faith; they come from the outside in the form of temptations, seductions, pressures. Not a day goes by but what we have to deal with that ancient triple threat that Christians in the middle ages summarized under the headings of the world, the flesh and the devil.” – p 119.
There is much to be contended with and contended for. Our constant need for affirmation, for comfort and for selfish behaviour means we must continually see our need for a Saviour who did not seek HIs own agenda but sought to live out a life obedient to HIs Father.
So what does the Father want for us? And what does He want for you?
In the end, He wishes to bless you but be assured that along the way you must contend with the world, the flesh and the devil.
This week, as we have together sought to hear God’s voice in and with each other, I am more and more convinced that you do not retire from covenant and calling.
So hear this prayer – or if you wish make it yours.