I was watching a TV evangelist the other day, I don’t know why. You know the kind, the kind that preaches a man-centered prosperity gospel that is aimed at making them prosper more than anything else. While trying to get over the sick feeling in my stomach that rises every time I see their pathetic presentation, I realized that they really have it right……..sort of.
Is it true that God’s movement toward us depends on obedience to his commands? Is it right, that the degree of blessedness is connected to the degree of obedience to his will? Does obedience bring God’s goodness raining down upon us? I have fought this kind of doctrine all my Christian life, this performance driven means of obtaining blessing. But I now know that they are partially correct.
Of, course they are dreadfully wrong on so many levels for they preach that not only does blessing depend on obedience but it is my obedience that it depends on. That is so misguided and foolish when you consider that all our obedience (righteousness) is filthy rags. Which means that we have no obedience that does not have at its core some selfish and sinful motive and agenda. How can God’s blessing depend upon that? It can’t and it doesn’t.
So how can they be right when they are so wrong? Because while God’s blessings do depend on and rest in obedience…..it does not depend on obedience that is ours. Every blessing of God arrives to us by His grace through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ. His obedience that was fulfilled in His sinless life and in His substitutionary death. Obedience that was deemed by God to be good and sufficient in His glorious resurrection. It is not what we do that brings God’s blessings but what Jesus, the Son of God, has already done. Blessing does depend on obedience, but on Jesus’ and not ours.
The difference is seen in either God’s children striving, trying and doing better compared to God’s children who are resting in the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Sabbath and He is Canaan. He is our rest. We have because He fights for us. My efforts merit only chastening but the work of Christ brings to us the blessings of God–every second, minute, hour, and every day.
So now, you decide. Live your life working and trying to catch God’s attention or rejoice and praise the one who already has God’s attention–Jesus Christ. Trust Him and rest in what He has accomplished for you, as you, and in you. We are blessed with all spiritual blessings because we are IN CHRIST.