The Battle to Bless

Michael Beck

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To “bless” another means more than to wish them well; it means to speak well of them.

bless > Greek – eulogeo >

eu = good, well + logos = word, speech

We don’t normally “speak well” of those who mistreat us.

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (Luke 6:28)

Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. (Romans 12:14)

A mother that has diligently and kindly cared for her family is blessed by her husband and children.

She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. (Proverbs 31:26-28)

We bless those who we remember as good and just.

A good name is better than precious ointment… (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot. (Proverbs 10:7)

Whether toward God or man, a bitter attitude can block the flow of blessing.

Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? (James 3:9-11)

When children view their parents with bitterness they struggle to “arise” and bless them.

There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother. (Proverbs 30:11)

Satan does not want men to think of God as good or just.

But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. (Job 1:11)

Satan does not want men to bless God.

And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (Job 1:21,22)

In the beginning, the serpent pretended to know God’s heart and called His consideration of man into question.

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4,5)

Satan is a “whisperer” who seeks to separate us from God by slandering His character and questioning His care.

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

When the slanderer gets our ear we begin to murmur against God and believe false things about Him.

And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. (Deuteronomy 1:27)

Satan will have his tool in the last day, even as he did in the first, to blaspheme (i.e., speak evil of) God.

And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Revelation 13:11)

At the second coming of Christ, the world will be full of “hard speeches” and a murmuring spirit against God.

And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts… (Jude 1:15-17)

Apostasy begins with a failure to believe what is true about God.

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12)

We must take down from the walls of our mind any portrait of God which the devil would “paint” for us (and we must not allow one new “stroke” from his brush to be applied.)

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4,5)

Our attitude toward God can be poisoned if we receive the “seed”  of the “whisperer” that God is not properly caring for us and will not come through for us in the right time and way.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. (1 Peter 5:6-9)

In Isaiah’s generation, the children of Israel charged God with neglect.

Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the LORD, and my judgment is passed over from my God? (Isaiah 40:27)

Israel believed that God was unresponsive to their prayers.

Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? (Isaiah 58:3)

With words of strong comfort, God rebuked the slander against Him that was working in the midst of His people.

But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. (Isaiah 49:14-16)

God promised Israel a future day when they would no longer doubt His care as a “good parent.”

As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. (Isaiah 66:13,14)

We can refuse to be comforted in the “now” because God is not coming through for us in the way we want.

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. (Psalm 77:2,3)

sore > Hebrew – yad > hand

ran > Hebrew – nagar > poured, stretched out

Unhappiness or discontent with our present situation can “open the door” to questions of God’s goodness and care.

Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?
Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. (Psalm 77:7-9)

There are times when God indeed wants us to “wrestle” with Him in prayer until the blessing comes.

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. (Genesis 32:24)

There are times when we can become “demanding” because we are at a “point” where we must have something.

And Jacob sod pottage: and Esau came from the field, and he was faint:
And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom.
And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright.
And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? (Genesis 25:29-32)

Children can demand certain things of their parents (according their own strong desires) and become angry with them if they don’t cooperate.

And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.
And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.
Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. (Judges 14:1-3)

We can “paint ourselves into a corner,” when we insist God answer our prayer only one way.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. (2 Corinthians 12:8)

There are times when we need to change our prayer.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

God wants us to make our requests known, but He knows what we need far better than we do.

…For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:8)

When God was not answering Israel’s prayers they began to believe He was either too weak or too insensitive.

Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1,2)

God rejects prayers which are foolish (i.e., asking for something we think we need but don’t.)

Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. (James 4:3)

To have complete confidence that a petition will be granted us we must know it is God’s will.
(All other requests must be “left in His hand” to do as He sees fit.)

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14,15)

Even God’s own children don’t always know how to pray in God’s will.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26,27)

Beyond presenting requests to God, we must present ourselves (along with our groaning and unrest of heart.) 

I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before thee; and my groaning is not hid from thee. (Psalm 38:8,9)

God’s desire is to work in our lives in a far greater way than the best we could imagine or ask for.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)

We must rebuke anxiety over whether God is able to take good care of us before we pray and if we are to have a peace which will guard our heart and mind.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6,7)

If fear concerning our future is to be “cast out” of our heart we must “know and believe” the love God has for us.

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. (1 John 4:16)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18)

Only those who know God in truth seek Him and trust He will wonderfully take care of them.

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. (Ps. 9:10)

Those who believe God is good can bless Him “at all times.”

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. (Psalm 34:1)

Michael Beck is a pastor in the Dallas, TX area and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.