"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Having it all

Ephesians 1:3

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.

Paul begins by saying "Blessed be God." God is worthy of our worship, because He is adorable, worthy, good, etc. I believe that this is the beginning of the gospel. God is good, and is worthy of our praise no matter what. Paul expounds more on the greatness of God in other places, one of my favorites being Romans 11:33-36. Not only does Paul say this, but he lives it. It was this thought, I believe, that carried him through the many torturous events in his life. Prison, stoning, shipwrecks, murderous threats and so on. It seems that nothing ever got Paul down. It was this thought that also got Paul through the good times, through times when he might otherwise have been tempted to rely on the things of this world rather than on God. Paul always understood that God is in control, and that God loved him very much.

I think this thought is echoed in the Lord's prayer, where Jesus beings, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." God is holy (hallowed). Can there be any greater acknowledgment of God's worth than to call him holy? This is pinnacle to us worshipping Him. We need to see Him as holy, perfect, sinless, all-good. If not, why would we worship Him? If so, we are crazy not to worship Him.

God's goodness overflows to us. He has "blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places." A few things to note about His blessings to us. First, we are blessed in Christ. I think this is a primary reason that many in the world can be satisfied with little, while many with much would not be satisfied with even more. God's blessings overflow through Christ. As Paul said, "I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need." (Phil 1:12) The secret is to understand God's goodness and how it flows to us in all circumstance. That is why the next verse in Philippians is "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." 

To continue with this thought, Paul states that we have every spiritual blessing. If we have every one of them, then we have no lack. This does not mean the we have every spiritual gift, but we have every spiritual blessing. We have all that we need, in Christ, to deal with whatever the world throws our way.

What is this spiritual blessing? I believe it is faith. Jesus said, "[I]f you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you." (Matthew 17:20) So even the smallest faith is enough blessing to accomplish a great task. If we have faith, we have all that we need. If we see God as beautiful, hallowed, wonderful, then we know that we have all that we need in this life.

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