This morning during my quiet time with the Lord, I had an epiphany. I had begun a process a few weeks before of beginning each day by praising and thanking God for all the blessings He has given me, reminding myself that Scripture tells us that all good things come from God.
not some things.. but
good things come from God.
As I was pondering that this morning, I heard the whisper of God: ” Joanne, kingdom currency is based on blessing not cursing, on releasing blessings not judgments. What? So I sat and waited to hear if more instructions would come. Silence. As I reflected on this, it occurred to me that since I had begun to release blessings over anything and everything pertaining to my life, things had shifted. The first thing was my attitude, but the second thing I noticed was a change in people, in relationships, and in some cases even in circumstances shifting.
Now I am not saying that if you release prayer blessings on people and circumstances that life will be rosy. This is not a formula to get God to do what you need or even want Him to do. This is a place of obedience and God does bless our obedience.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psal 1-7:1
I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord the Most High. (Psalm 7:17)
Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Giving thanks is Biblical and and when we praise and thank God, we are leaning into His Word as our plumb line and guide in our lives. As we release blessings and praise and thanksgiving to our God, there is an overflow of thanksgiving for others, even for situations in which we find ourselves that may be unpleasant. The Lord inhabits our praises and gives us a fresh perspective.
On a practical note, I had a situation that was challenging and I was stuck. I found myself judging those involved and becoming increasingly frustrated. As I mentioned, I began a season of beginning each day with thanksgiving and that is when the Lord spoke to my heart about the Kingdom value of praise and thanksgiving. It releases the Presence of God into our situation. Instead of judging, I began blessing and things shifted not only in my heart, but in the situation. Again, this is not get-what-I-want formula— I put blessings in a slot machine and out comes the desired outcome. No, but it is an obedience that brings forth a different kind of blessing; some tangible and some not.
Friends, we live in a vitriolic world filled with negative rhetoric. The church, intended to be a city on a hill, salt and light to the world, must respond differently. Our obedience to love our enemies, even bless them, to pursue truth, to honor the Lord by praising Him, will bring forth the fruit of righteousness. I have seen a shift in my personal life and would like for us as a Drawing Near community to give it a try. Lets be a community of blessing, not cursing, releasing peace and not anxiety, intentionally not judging but speaking truth kindly. As we praise Him, our mouths will speak what our hearts are full of:
The good person out of the treasure of his heart produces, good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45)