Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore!—Psalm 113:2
As Christians, we use the word "blessing" more than most words. It is commonplace for us to talk about the blessings of our day, our family, our church, etc. We love to pray blessings upon those we love and upon ministries that are doing powerful works. We often make our exiting statement to one another a blessing by saying, "God bless you." We even will stretch our faith and "bless our enemies" at times. Though we do this, I wonder how many of us understand this act.
Among the Jewish people, there are hundreds of blessings that are a part of their synagogue service. They make it a practice to bless all that they enjoy as a part of their daily lives and corporate gatherings. Hebrew blessings can be easily identified because they all begin with the phrase, "Blessed art Thou" (birkhot atah). This is often called the Shem umalkhut, which means, "The Name and the Sovereignty." This recognizes Adonai as King over the entire universe.
The Name and The Sovereignty
A number of years ago one of our children began a relationship with the opposite sex that my husband and I completely disagreed with. When I went before the Lord to seek counsel on how to handle this situation, I heard the Spirit say, "I want you to bless them." I immediately began to rebuke this voice since I was sure that the Lord did not want to bless this unhealthy relationship that was budding. I went back to prayer. Once again I heard, "I want you to bless them."
Thoroughly confused, I decided to go to my husband to hear what he was sensing. When I told him what I had heard he began chastising me! But, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't hear anything different. The next day we went to our local ministry team and shared with them the situation and what I had heard. They went to prayer and heard the same thing. Although this went against everything we thought to be proper and righteous, we began to pray blessing upon them. We even spoke a blessing over them.
After doing this we began to see God move sovereignly in their lives. We had not spoken agreement with the unhealthy aspects of their relationship, but we had released "The Name and The Sovereignty" of God over their lives and relationship. The reality was that we had – without realizing it – invited the Holy Spirit to begin to move the way He wished in the situation.
Initially we had taken a firm stance against all aspects of this relationship because of what our eyes could see and because of our beliefs on the subject of "dating," but God didn't want us to stand against what was happening; He wanted us to stand in agreement with His Kingship over their lives. We stopped standing against "flesh and blood" and began standing with the King and His sovereignty. The Lord had humbled us and moved us out of His way. This act of "blessing" began a life-changing process in both of these young peoples' lives that continues to this day.
Blessing Your Enemies
It is easy to bless what we agree with and what we view as good, but to release a blessing upon someone who is doing wrong or leading a life that is full of things that we don't agree with can be very difficult. We often look at blessing as agreeing with the person that we are releasing it upon. But Jesus spoke of it as agreeing with God to have His way in their lives.
"But I say to you who are listening, love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who are cruel to you. If anyone slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other cheek, too. If someone takes your coat, do not stop him from taking your shirt. Give to everyone who asks you, and when someone takes something that is yours, don't ask for it back. Do to others what you would want them to do for you.
If you love only the people who love you, what praise should you get? Even sinners do that! If you lend things to people, always hoping to get something back, what praise should you get? Even sinners lend to other sinners so that they can get back the same amount! But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without hoping to get anything back. Then you will have a great reward, and you will be children of the Most High God, because He is kind even to people who are ungrateful and full of sin. Show mercy, just as your Father shows mercy."—Luke 6:27-36
Doesn't this truth make blessing your enemy far easier? You are agreeing with God for His sovereign power to begin to move in their lives! We spend so much time and energy trying to figure out our next move, thinking of strategies to see our enemies confounded or how to get the prodigal children to return home, when perhaps we just need to bless them! I think we spend a lot of time trying to give the Holy Spirit counsel on how He should move and what He should do.
I have personally heard parents pray misery on their children so that they would stop having an appetite for sin. But, why not leave the work and the "how tos" up to the King of the universe who made them and knows their every thought? Let's begin to bless our children who are astray, so that God's Name and Sovereignty would be made known to them. Let's bless our enemies, bless our governments, bless our leaders, bless those we don't agree with, even bless ourselves just in case we are the ones who are in need of His sovereign work in our lives.
Bless Your Nation
I am often dumbfounded at how I hear some Christians speak about our president here in the United States of America. I have heard derogatory words spoken – jokes, anger and even curses over his life. How does this help? Once again, you do not have to agree with the actions and beliefs of an individual to bless them. We need to begin to stand in a posture of blessing as we speak about our leaders and our government. Let us release God to be sovereign in our nation and in our government. When you hear a Believer speaking curses or making jokes about someone or something they disagree with, don't hesitate to tell them about the power of blessing.
The experience that Jeff and I went through involving our child was one of the hardest choices that we ever faced. This person who had entered our child's life was a threat to their destiny, their walk with God and their relationship with us. If we had stood against the two of them, we would have lost them both; by blessing them we gained another child. Could it be that if all Believers in our nation began to bless our leaders maybe we would gain people after God's own heart?
Luke 6:36 says to show mercy. Let us make a commitment today to "show mercy, just as our Father shows mercy." Let us love, bless and pray for those that need mercy. May it begin to rain mercy and blessings over our homes and over our nations. May the heavens begin to be filled with the sounds of God's people speaking blessings. Let us saturate our nations, our families, our churches and our cities with the chorus of blessings.
The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace."' So they will put My name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."—Numbers 6:23-27
Let us put His name upon our leaders, our families, and our nations so that the Lord can have His way and move in their lives.
I speak a blessing over you and your loved ones!