Say what? 🙂 The headline don’t make much sense, does it? For good reason- it’s out of order. If I put it in order- “Things must be in order to work”…. it makes far more sense.
Can you imagine building a model out of order? Sure, some steps can get swapped around. Contrary to popular belief among modelers, the Earth won’t spin off it’s axis if you don’t build the cockpit first. (Seriously- it’s true. I’ve tried it.)
Some steps can be done out of the suggested order. Maybe you can assemble the landing gear first, or the propeller. Maybe the engines. Still, at some point, the only way to get the model done is to follow the correct order. Like paint before the decals. Get that out of order and you’ll feel pretty silly.
To receive the benefit of a good looking kit, you have to do things in the right order. There’s no other way.
When it comes to receiving the blessings God promises us, it’s the same way.
The Bible is very clear- God wants to bless us. When Moses was giving the people of Israel God’s word, he told them what would result if they would “fully obey the LORD your God”, (Deuteronomy 28: 1):
12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.
God wants to bless us- He truly does. Often times though, we get things out of order. We look to God for the blessing, but if it doesn’t show up, we get upset with God. If you’re not receiving God’s blessing, it’s not Him. That’s for sure. It’s us. God is our rock and our fortress.
Sometimes it’s a case of God blessed us in a way other than what we were expecting. But often, the real problem is we’ve gotten things out of order. So what order do things need to be in to receive God’s blessing?
A good place to find the answer is in the story of the five loaves and two fish.
10 When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus what they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida, 11 but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
12 Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”
13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”
They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.” 14 (About five thousand men were there.)
But he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 The disciples did so, and everybody sat down. 16 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to set before the people. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.
There are some really important points to learn from in this story, all of which show the correct order.
- First step: Obey- Notice that Jesus gave the disciples a very specific action He wanted the people to take. “Have them sit down in groups of fifty each”. The very first thing you’ve got to do to receive God’s blessing is obey. Listen to instruction. Follow it.
- Second step: Give thanks- Wait…. huh? I haven’t received anything yet? That’s what the world would say. What would prompt someone to give thanks before the blessing? When Jesus gave thanks, it was because He knew God would bless it. He had faith in God that He would honor Jesus’ obedience. If you are in obedience to God, go ahead and give Him thanks. The blessings are already on the way.
- Third step: Eat! Receive the blessing.
Two other things to point out. First, notice that before Jesus broke the bread, He told the disciples “You give them something to eat.” Was Jesus mocking them? Toying with them? Hoping they’d head over to the 7-11? Absolutely not! Jesus was always about showing people God’s way. What He was trying to tell them was they could feed the people. Their faith and obedience in God could do great things- they just had not learned that yet.
And also notice that it says “the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over”. This wasn’t an accident that it was mentioned. There is a lesson there. God not only wants to bless us, He wants to bless us in abundance. So when His blessings overflow our stomachs, or our baskets, or our wallets- we are to be good stewards of that overflow, spreading it to those around us. No matter if it’s food, money, or just the love of the Lord- we must share in the blessings.
God wants to bless you, but you always need to remember how blessings flow. Getting things in the right order is the key. Out of our obedience and our thanks flow the blessings- God’s blessings. And we are to take those gifts and use them to bless others in His name. Why not take some time today to seek God, His blessing and His abundance?I urge you, if you have not done so, to accept Jesus as your Saviour today, and place yourself in obedience to Him.