Are we Christians because we seek the benefits or are we Christians because we seek intimacy with God? The sad truth is that most Christian people seek more of how God can bless them, instead of seeking to be with Him. They start out with times of praise and worship to God, but when the blessings start to flow, they quickly reduce their time with Him. They find themselves “Too Busy” to have time with God. Their adoration for Him diminishes. They start by attending church less and less, the Wednesday night Bible studies that they used to attend frequently, becomes less important to them. They read the Bible less and less, until their reading of God’s Word diminishes all together. Their prayer life goes away all together, unless it is a 9-11 situation. In essence they begin to let their relationship with God, slip away. The danger of this lack of relationship is that if we do not seek God and all His righteousness, we start to lose the blessing, they will not come to us as they did when we had the relationship.
We must understand that everything that we are, we owe it all to God. Everything that we have, we owe it all to God. We must seek Him at all times. We must desire to continually be in His presence. We must seek Him daily, so that we can have intimacy with Him, this is the first thing that we must do, and the second will always follow the first, which is, receiving “favor.” Favor will always follow intimacy. Sadly though, we seek God for all the wrong reasons. We seek Him for our healing, deliverance, and prosperity, but we aren’t seeking His face. In order for us to have all these things, we need to seek to be in the Father’s presence. We have to stop putting God second place. The Creator should be first in everything. Christianity was never supposed to be a religion, it was set-up for the purpose of being in a relationship with Jesus Christ. it was not set in place for us to do something to get something. Christianity was not intended to be a religion, it was established so that we as the creation could have an intimate relationship with our Creator.
What are we doing if we aren’t loving the One who gave us life? If we aren’t loving God with our heart, soul and mind, how can we come to know Him? If we don’t have an intimate relationship with God, how can we say that we know Him? How can we keep prancing around in our shirts that say, “I am a Christian,” but we don’t know who God is? What will happen when we go up to heaven and we walk right by Jesus, because we never knew Him? Sad as it may be, that is what people are doing. They don’t know God! They pretend to know Him, by going to church on Sundays, singing songs and calling it worship but that isn’t all there is to worship, there is so much more. Isn’t God worth our worship? Think about this for a moment. Isn’t God worthy to be praised and worshipped? Isn’t He above all that we have and all that we are? isn’t God worthy to be praised?
We must get to a place of worship, where we have only one desire, and that is to be in His presence and get to know God intimately. Look at this for moment, Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” “Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law….” The law that Paul is talking about, is the Law of Moses. You see, there was 613 laws that Moses set up. If we could keep all 613 laws, then we would be blessed. This was all because it was set in place by God for us to be obedient to the laws set up by Moses, it was a condition. The other part of this condition was this, that if we couldn’t keep the law, then we would be cursed. Let me show you what Jesus did for us, He became the curse for us. He became the payment for all of our sins. He became the peace offering, the ransom for us. He was able to keep all of the law, because He was without sin. He was entitled to the full blessing, but He instead chose to take all the curse, by going to the cross to be crucified. Isn’t He worthy of our praise?
If we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives, then we are no longer under the curse. We can no longer be cursed for not obeying the 613 Laws of Moses. Why? It is because Jesus absorbed all of the curse upon Himself. Why did He do this? Look at verse fourteen, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus died, becoming the curse for us, and He became the payment for sin, the ransom for sin, and the peace offering so that the blessing of Abraham would be put upon us.
Look at this now, according to the law, we had to do something in order to get blessed. That was the condition of the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, performance was used. If we performed well, we got blessed, but under the New Covenant, (which is called the “Covenant of Grace), we are blessed because Jesus died, became the curse, and He gave us the blessing of Abraham. Jesus did all this for us! Isn’t He worthy of our praise?
We aren’t blessed because of what we did. We aren’t blessed because we are good. We aren’t blessed because we fill a quota. We are blessed because of what Jesus has done. The Bible says that we are given the blessing of Abraham. We receive this blessing when we became born again. We were given this blessing, when we asked Jesus into our hearts. We have the blessing of Abraham, not because of our own works, but because we believe that Jesus took the curse for us, by being our Savior and hanging on the cross for us. He paid the price, so that we could receive this blessing.
Say this: “I have the blessing of Abraham in my life, because of what Jesus has already done for me, by being the price for my sin, taking the curse for me so that I might receive the blessing and the promise of the Holy Spirit.” Start saying this every morning, when you get up, giving God praise. Watch now as your world changes.
God says, “That there is a massive wave of change coming for you, because as you see the blessing come upon your life, your desire will be to have more of God.”
Jesus is the blessing! Our healing, deliverance, and our prosperity are not the blessing, because they are the results of the blessing. To illustrate what I mean, look at what happens when leaves are blowing in the wind. Their rustling in the trees is the result of the wind, they are not the wind. We must know what the blessing is by nature, not its results. If we start saying that the blessing is money, then every time we think of the blessing, we will associate it with money. This is the problem for most of us today, we try to define the blessing as a miracle, but this isn’t true, because it is only the result of the blessing. We must know what the blessing is by nature and not know it solely by its manifestations. Once we understand this, then we can have a relationship with the blessing. Then we can see the benefits that will come out of the relationship. Look at this, turn to Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” What Paul is saying is that Jesus is the seed of Abraham, and because we are in Christ, we are also the seed. Jump down to verse 29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Notice what is said in this verse, “If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed.” How do we become Christ’s? We become Christ’s when we are born again. If we are Christ’s, then we are Abraham’s seed. If we are Abraham’s seed, the Bible says, “that we are heirs according to the promise.” If we heirs of the promise, this means that we are given the promise. In other words, we are in Christ, so we are Abraham’s seed, and being his seed we inherit the promise made to him by God.
Say this: “I am in Christ! I am Abraham’s seed! I am heir to the promise!”
We are in Christ Jesus! We have the blessing of Abraham upon our lives. We are the seed of Abraham! We have the promise that God made to Abraham. We need to remind the devil of who we are. We need to remind ourselves of what we have. Go to Romans 4:13, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” We are in Christ! We have the blessing of Abraham. We are the seed of Abraham. We have the promise. What is the promise? That we will be “Heirs of the world.” This means that we are the heirs of the whole world. If we are heirs of the world, that means that we inherit everything in the world and around the world and under the world. We inherit all the goods of the world. We inherit all the riches of the world. We inherit everything in the world.
God is about to turn things around for His children. Another wealth transfer is coming. He did this in Egypt and now He is about to do it in the near future, in our time. The last are going to be first. The poor are going to be rich. Waves of blessing are coming to those who are in Christ.
Ask yourselves this question, “Why aren’t Christian people living in the promise today? God doesn’t give people the promise when they are living under the law. What does this mean? It means that we are working to get it. The promise is a gift from God to Abraham and his seed. If we are working to get it, we will not receive it. A worker expects payment. A gift is no longer a gift when we work for it.
Why aren’t more Christians experiencing the full blessing of Abraham? Think about this now! We either have the blessing or we don’t. If it is in the Bible, and we know that the Bible is truth, then why aren’t Christian men and women experiencing the blessing? The blessing of Abraham is made void when we try to gain it on our own effort. We must stop trying to obtain the blessing through our own works and allow our faith to activate the blessing. We must remind ourselves, that we are in Christ. We are made righteous through Christ. We are the seed of Abraham. We have the blessing of Abraham through faith. One of the reason that people in Christ don’t experience the blessing is because they try to do something to earn it. This promise was given to us because we are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, we have the blessing only through faith.
Look at this, turn in your Bibles to Romans 4:13 and let’s read it from the New Living Translation, “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. The blessing comes to us by having a right relationship with God and that only comes by faith. Out of the relationship, the benefits are born. The blessing comes to us, because we believe that Jesus died for our sins and that we have Jesus in our hearts. It is our belief that we are born again and that we are in Christ. It is our belief that we are the righteousness of God. It is our belief in the relationship that we have with Jesus. The relationship is not about what we do, it is all about what Jesus has already done. The blessing comes to us only by faith, and it is only by faith that we get all of it. Our relationship with God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is our relationship with God that directs our lives. We do not have this relationship by obeying the law, we get it through faith. We may not be perfectly obeying the law, but the relationship fixes that for us. The relationship keeps us from sinning. The relationship with God keeps us away from our addictions. The relationship keeps us in-tune with God and His Word. The deeper our relationship with God, the more benefits we receive. The more time that we spend in His presence, the more He reveals His heart to us. It is up to us how deep this relationship goes.
We must be in it for the relationship! We must be in the relationship with God in order to expose His promise. We have to be in the relationship! You see, we aren’t saved because of the benefits, we were saved for the relationship. When we are benefit driven, we seek God for what He can give to us, instead of seeking Him in order to know Him. We seek the benefits over the relationship. When we seek the benefits, we are not comfortable with them when we receive them, because we have forsaken the relationship. We have the benefits for awhile, but they quickly fade away, because there is no substance to them without the relationship. When we seek a relationship with God, we get to know Him intimately. Take a look at Abraham, he had a relationship with God. Out of his relationship with God, he got to know God personally. God gave Abraham the promise because He considered Abraham his friend. Abraham didn’t have his relationship with God because of the benefits, no he sought God for the friendship. Abraham sought God for the relationship only, the benefits came as a result of the relationship.
Are we Christians because we seek God for His benefits, or are we Christians because we seek God for a relationship? Anytime that we go after the benefits only, it won’t work.
Let me ask you some questions: “Where is your relationship with God? When you go to pray, are you seeking a relationship or are you seeking the benefits? When you go to church, are you there for the fellowship with God, or are you there for the benefits? When you sing and give praise to God, are you there for the relationship, or are you there for the benefits? When will it just be about God?”
Paul the apostle, asked God for only one thing and that was to know Him. He said, that he wanted to know the fellowship of God’s suffering, he wanted to know how to do his part, so that he could know God intimately. When will we as Christian men and women become satisfied in just knowing God? It is a sad thing though, we all want to know God, but for us this isn’t enough, because we want more out of the relationship. We want to know Him so that we can get something from Him. If the only reason we are in the relationship is for us to see what benefits we can get, then the relationship with God will not last long. We will eventually walk away from Him. We will only be in the relationship for a season. We will pray but nothing will come from it. Will read the Bible, but it will become boring to us. We will worship, but no power will be given. We will become discouraged and we will walk away for God. Why you ask? It is because our hearts are not in the relationship and God knows our hearts. The relationship that we desire isn’t what we can do for God, but what He can do for us. We must come to the point in our lives where it is all about loving God first and then the benefits won’t matter anymore. When we come into this type of relationship with God, then yes, the benefits will come to us, but they will be so much more beneficial because our heart’s desire is to know God personally. These benefits will come because our heart’s desire is to be intimate with God, but they are received with a thankful heart. There is a big difference to be seen here. A benefit driven relationship won’t be satisfying, whereas, a relationship based upon getting to know God will provide overwhelming joy, because this relationship is to be with with the One we love.
The Bible talks about planting seeds and harvesting what we sow. If we give financially and we do it with a desire to receive a benefit, we are not going to see a healthy harvest. If we sow into God’s ministries with a heart’s desire just to please God and to bless Him, we will reap a healthy harvest. The reason for the healthy harvest is because our sowing wasn’t based upon the benefits, it was based upon the relationship. If we seek God first, then all things will be added unto us. God knows our hearts. If we are in it for the benefits only and not the relationship, we will never want the relationship. We must come to that fork in the road in our lives where we can say from our hearts, “I want You God. I want You. You can have everything I have, all I want is You.” This my friends is the relationship that we should desire.
Say this with me: “I am not going back to a benefit driven life. I only want to be in a relationship with Jesus. Nothing else matters. I only want You Jesus.”
Are you in it for the relationship? The relationship with is the ultimate goal, even though the benefits are given to us, the ultimate goal is being in the presence of the Father. Where are we? Are we in the relationship? If we could stop setting our minds on the benefits of knowing God and set our heart’s to know Him intimately, then things will change. Everything changes! Not just some of the things change, but everything changes. Look with me at Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” Notice what is said here, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, THAT HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD….” It didn’t say that Christ suffered our sins to bring us to the benefits. As I have said before, Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with the Father. All other religions in the world require us to do something to get something. Not so with Christianity! With Christianity, the only things that is required is that we believe in the One that God sent. Believe that we can have an intimate relationship with the Father. You see, Christianity is all about the relationship. It isn’t about what we can get from God by scratching His back, it is all about receiving from God because He loves us. A relationship with the Father who wants to be with us, and a relationship that we only want Him. Nothing else matters! The benefits don’t matter. The only thing that matters is being with God.
It can be insulting to God if we want the benefits, but not the relationship. Let’s look at the verse that we just read in the New Living Translation, “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.”
Why did Christ die for sinners? He died to bring us safely home to God. Did you know that the Father is hungry to have a relationship with us? The sad thing is that we don’t share this hunger, instead we are hungry for the benefits. We think it is satisfying, but it isn’t. What is Christianity? It is a relationship with the Father. What is Christianity without God? What does it mean to be a Christian? We are all going to die one day, when that happens, we don’t want to stand before God saying, we only wanted the benefits and not the relationship. We only wanted to know You for what You could give us and not having a relationship to know You.
Say this: “God I want You. I want only You. I don’t care about anything else, I want You.”
We all know that money can’t last forever. We all know that our lives are just a vapor. We all know that eventually our time will expire. All the riches of life will expire, but Your love for us will never cease. Our relationship with God will never fade away. I don’t know about people reading this, but I choose the relationship. I want more of the relationship. I want to know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I want to know their hearts. I want to know what makes them happy and sad, I want to know what makes them joyful and what makes them cry. I want to know what they think about. I want them. I want to be in their presence. I want the relationship.
Say this: “Father I want You. I want to know who You are. I want to know Your heart and I want You to have my heart. I want our relationship to be special. I want You Father.”
Jesus gave us something that can never be taken away from us, He gave Himself willingly. This can never be taken away from us. God loves us. We must love Him. God speaks to us, we must speak to Him. God wants a relationship with us, we must have a relationship with Him. The blessing comes from the relationship, therefore we already have the blessing if we are indeed in the relationship. The blessing is a gift! It is the results of the finished works of Jesus Christ. Is healing the blessing? No, healing is the result of the blessing. It is the benefit that comes out of the right relationship with God. Look at what Paul says in Roamans 4:14, “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,” This is why so many believers aren’t receiving the promises, they keep trying to do something in order to get something. Let’s read on, look at verses fifteen and sixteen, “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Read this from the New Living Translation, “For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!) So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.” The promise is given to us as a “Free Gift.” We keep trying to get it by doing something to deserve it. The promise of the blessing is a “Free Gift.” We ask God for the gift, but if the gift is free why should we give? All of our lives we have been taught that we have to give in order to receive. Religion has taught us that we have to give in order to receive the blessing. If we have to give in order to get the blessing, then the Scripture that we just read that says, “The Promise is a free gift,” Is not true. When we give something to get the promise of the blessing, then it is no longer a gift, it is earned. It is a wage that is paid to us that is deserved. It is no longer a gift that was given to us. When we come into an intimate relationship with God, then the truth will be revealed to us. Revelations knowledge of God’s Word will open up to us. God will open up the dark areas in our minds. No longer will our eyes not see or our ears not hear. We will know about God and His Word, but it only comes by the relationship. Turn to 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of [a]necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” When we give to God, it should be according to the purpose of our hearts. We are not to give grudgingly, or out of necessity, we are not to give because we want the benefits. We are to give because we want to bless the Lord. We give because of the relationship. We don’t give to get blessed, we give because we are already blessed. Our giving is the result of what God has already done. Our giving is now a type of worship, a thanksgiving, a gratitude for what Jesus has already done. We take what He has given to us and we give it back as a worship to Him. We use what He has already done and we give it back to Him as a thank you. We give it back to Him and we give Him the glory. We use this to say, “God I worship You.”
We may not have everything that we want, but we know God has blessed us and we need to thank Him for what we do have. We should thank Him for His mercy and for His healing. Why does He heal us so that we can be healthy to keep worshipping Him. We should thank Him for our financial breakthroughs and give Him what He has given us. We say we worship and adore Him. We need to give to Him our everything. Our giving is not for us to receive something, it is worship.
What is worship? It is giving! It is giving of what we have to the One we love. It is an act of honor to the One we love. It is not giving to get something. My friends, that is why so many Christian men and women are not receiving the blessing, they give to get the benefits without having the relationship. Look at Proverbs 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;” How do we honor God? We honor Him with our possessions and our first fruits. Look at this verse in the New Living Translation, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Are you seeing this? He is honored with our wealth and our best. Wait a minute, let’s look at this verse in the Amplified Bible, “Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income.” What does all this mean? I means that we are to worship Him with all He has given to us.
I asked the question, “What is worship?” It is the expression of love from us to the Father who created us. It is loving God and a desire to know Him. It is wanting to be where God is, just to be with Him. It is to be intimate with Him and it is a wanting for a relationship that can never be broken.
Where are you? Are you searching for God for the benefits or are you searching for Him for the relationship?