Chapter 3: The Source of Blessing
To tell the truth, all blessing originally comes from God. Have you ever heard the devil bless you? Can you imagine Satan wanting anything good for you? If he ever says anything like that, you can be sure it’s a lie. He’s trying to trick you into thinking he has your best interests in mind, so that you’ll fall into his trap. God is the source of all blessing and when He blesses, you’re enriched and you get no sorrow with it! Happiness, health, and prosperity are things that God wants for all of us:
(3 John 2) Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
There’s a great account in the Bible, which talks about a man who lived about four thousand years ago over where Iraq is now. This man really knew God. And because of him, you and I have received some great blessings from God.
(Genesis 12:1-4) Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
Did you see that? All families of the earth shall be blessed! That’s us! We’re all descendents of Abraham, if we have faith. He is our father of faith. Abraham is our father and because of this, God will bless us. This is a profound statement and a true one. “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those that curse you.” Abraham set the standard, because he obeyed the word of the Lord. This is something we can all have, if we obey. Obedience is the key! When we obey, we get blessed.
We are descendants of Abraham by faith and it is very important that we realize we do not have to fight against people. I tell those who want to be antagonistic towards me, “If you bless me, you’re blessed, and I’ll love you even if you curse me—but you’re still going to be cursed. Do you know why? Because Abraham is my father of faith. I have inherited this blessing.”
We don’t always have to be busy getting even anymore. It makes quite a difference! We don’t have to fight the battle. Before I turned to the Lord, I used to be the kind of man who would go out and get even. I was really into “Vengeance is mine, says Carl!” It wouldn’t bother me a bit to throw a man out of the car at 70 miles an hour on the freeway. That’s the kind of man I used to be! But now I really believe that “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:19). And now I pray that God’s vengeance will be that the person repents and comes into the family of God. It’s my business to love. It’s not my business to hate.
For example, one time I prayed for a lady who had a brain tumor and was due for surgery two days later to take it out. When God healed her of the tumor and she told the people of her religious denomination about it, they said to her, “That man heals with the power of the devil!” I was so mad that I went out into the wilderness and started screaming out to the Lord about it. Guess what Jesus said to me? He said: “You should have heard all the things the religious leaders said to me and about me!” So, what was I going to do? I needed to repent and ask the Lord to forgive me. Then I could pray for those people.
It is great how God has things set up. You don’t need to go to the Ouija board or crystal ball to figure these things out. It’s here in black and white in the Bible! You have, through our father of faith, Abraham, the ability to be blessed—to know that if you bless someone and if you obey, you’re blessed. And when people bless you, they are blessed. These are principles God established from olden times, and they are still relevant to us in the age of grace today.
Was Abraham disobedient when God told him to get out? Did he say, “I don’t feel like leaving. All my relatives are here. I’m staying here. Get lost, God?” No, he didn’t. He left Haran as the Lord spoke to him. Abraham was seventy-five years old when he left his home and family. This is a straightforward example of God blessing those who are obedient to His instruction. Even if His command does not make sense to you, when you obey it, you are blessed. How about letting Him prove His word to you? How about being simple about obeying as He instructs? Sometimes people with all the religious theology and doctrines don’t have a clue about how to obey. The first sin in the Garden of Eden was about knowledge. It included the knowledge of good, not just of evil.
BLESSINGS COME FROM GOD BY OBEDIENCE
God loves to bless us when we don’t hold back anything from Him that He has asked us for. Abraham not only obeyed God down to the letter, but he didn’t hold back his son for whom he had waited for so long. He was a hundred years old and his wife was ninety and they hadn’t been able to have any children. So, when they finally had the promised son that God had spoken of, God turned around and asked him for his son back—sacrificed on an altar! I don’t know if I could have done that. You probably already know the story, but just as he’s ready to kill his son on a pile of rocks, and angel of the Lord calls out of heaven and stops him.
Abraham changed all of our lives—he was an example of God and his son was an example of Jesus.
(Genesis 22:15-18) And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
There’s nothing here about going to war, is there? Is not that amazing? It says we shall possess the gates of our enemies. Do you know how this happens? By obedience, just like Abraham.
Obedience is a very important key to avoid curses. If God says to do something, who do we think we are to sit back and wait for Him to talk us into it? How many times do we just put something off? Abraham didn’t do that. Isaac was no twelve or thirteen year-old child at this time. I believe that he was about thirty years old. That would have made his Papa one hundred thirty years old. He could have said, “Hey, old man, you’ve had your life—let’s barbecue you!” Isaac knew the power of obedience, just like his father did. He knew that if he obeyed God he would be all right, because he knew that God did not lie when He made promises. If he died on that altar, if he died in that fire and sacrifice, there would be no promise. That is how we obey God. If He said it, He really means it, even if it looks impossible! They traveled for three days and Abraham didn’t carry anything with him to sacrifice.
I’ll bet Abraham had some doubt to deal with! And don’t you think that about an hour into the journey, Isaac was starting to wonder, after he had been taking inventory on what was loaded up into the four-wheeler? “Just a second, Dad! We don’t have any lamb here!” If we will believe God, we can overcome doubt. We don’t have to figure out how He’s going to do it! We don’t have to! If we start trying to figure out how God is going to do something, that’s exactly how we don’t get it done! We can set aside the doubt and do what God asks. The results will follow.
I get called into situations in which I have no idea what’s going to happen. I just try to be obedient to the Lord. I remember there was one time with a poor girl who had been seeking deliverance for ten years. She had so many devils in her life, and her daddy was a pastor. It was a tragedy in that family. When she started to get rid of the devils, what happened was amazing. There were people standing around watching and praying, so I told them to start singing praises to the Lord. Satan does not like that and God does! Also, it attracts the angels and we needed some help. Then Satan said to me very clearly (he does not usually talk to me): “Look at these people, they think you really know what you’re doing!” I just told him, “No, but I know who does!” That is the key. That girl got delivered and to this day, she’s delivered. And the church changed because of what happened that day in the girl’s life. It was not the praise that delivered the girl; it was obedience to the revelation of the Lord.
It is God’s heart that all should be saved and come to a knowledge of Him. That’s a real blessing that God wants for mankind. We don’t have to get into difficult theology about what is God’s will in this matter. If the heavens are like brass, I know a quick way to get brass to melt—with heat and with praise! Just start praising God! Praise is always God’s will.
I learned a lesson about praise one time. I went to pray for a man who had cancer. He was bedridden, in agony, a sack of bones. His wife was down the road in the office trying to keep the business afloat. So, not thinking, I went into his room and asked him, “Hey man, what’ve you been doing all day?” As soon as I asked the question, I realized it was very insensitive of me. But as I asked it, I looked into his eyes and saw a man with so much life in him. He answered, “What can a man in my position do? I’ve been praising God all day!” Now, that’s the sacrifice of praise!
We obey God by continually praising Him. There are so many intercessors that spend so much time doing warfare and very little praising God. If they would praise God more, the warfare would go quickly. You’ll draw so many angels around you. Angels “encamp around those who do warfare,” right? No, that’s not what it says; it says, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Psalm 34:7). Real warfare is fearing God, praising and respecting Him. He’s the General, the Commander in Chief. God’s love is more powerful than a nuclear bomb. God’s love takes away envy and jealousy. His perfect love casts out all fear. This is the kind of blessing that God has called us all to impart in Jesus’ name.
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