This month has been devoted to thinking about God’s blessings in our lives. Today’s Scripture comes from Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” (NASB) As I was thinking about this section, my mind focused on Spiritual blessings, partly because my Pastor has been doing a series on “Blessings That Can Be Lost”.
I have never realized until this series that we can lose the blessings God has granted. I wasn’t intending to do today’s post on that, but God just won’t let me get away from it. We are given so many blessings from God, that sometimes it’s hard to count them all. When we are in a state of depression or a difficult time, it’s good to think over the blessings God has given us. Yes, the physical ones such as healing, provision, and the blessing of family, but also the Spiritual ones such as salvation, redemption, and God’s love and kindness to us.
Other blessings are experiencing power with God, the joy of our salvation, boldness and testimony for the Lord, and our first love for God. I’m sure there are many more, but these are blessings that my Pastor touched on by using different characters and their stories of how they lost the blessing God gave them. In difficult times, thinking of what God has granted us with, changes our perspective on the situation. And, in the case of losing our blessing, it causes us to reflect, take stock of our lives, and make changes.
The first blessing is power with God. Samson is a case where he should have stopped and taken account of where he was with God. Samson’s mother was barren, and she prayed to the Lord, asking for a child, and she made a promise to raise him as a Nazarite. The Nazarites took a vow never to touch wine, eat or touch any unclean thing, or to cut their hair. They were to remain separate from the rest of the world. Samson’s mother, was not to drink wine or strong drink, eat anything that came from the vine, or eat any unclean thing while she was pregnant with Samson. When he was born, his parents taught him in the ways of the Nazarite. God had blessed Samson with overwhelming strength as long as he followed the Nazarite vow and didn’t cut his hair. God also instructed, that when Samson was of marrying age, not to marry someone who was not an Israelite. This is where Samson started down the long road of destruction. He decided to marry a Philistine woman. The Philistines were wicked people and dreaded enemies of the Israelites. Samson was looking in areas he wasn’t supposed to look, and it started his downfall. It resulted in Samson falling away from the vow he had taken and away from God.
When he met Delilah, he was smitten, but she was from another country and not Israelite and she used her feminine wiles to try to get Samson to reveal the source of his strength so that she could tell the Philistine army the secret of his strength. Samson had gone so far away from God that eventually he succumbed to Delilah’s pleas to know the truth, that he finally gave in and told her. She told the Philistines and they came and cut his hair, bound him and gouged out his eyes. Samson didn’t know that his power had left him. He didn’t recognize that God’s presence was no longer with him. As a result, he was captured and used like an ox to grind grain in the mill in the prison. Samson lost the blessings of power with God by his disobedience. He had strayed so far away that he didn’t even recognize that the presence of God was no longer with him. You can read the whole story of Samson in Judges chapters 13 through16.
We also can lose the power with God we have. We can get ourselves into such a position that we no longer realize that the presence of God is not with us. My Pastor said that when we become like the world, we frustrate the work of God and therefore we lose the power. It’s something that is progressive…very subtly it leaves because we aren’t focused on keeping our relationship with God strong and we walk away from Him, leaving us defenseless against the enemy.
Today, take stock of your relationship with God. Have you strayed? Do you feel God’s presence with you? Are you being obedient to what He has asked you to do? Don’t lose His blessing of His power. Count your blessings.