I Am the Blessed of the Lord
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Genesis 26: 1-6, 12-17; 23-29
Sunday 23rd March 2014
Last week, from the message titled 'Re-digging the Old Wells' we began by agreeing that God is a generational God. He desires that you continue to be a channel of blessing, and not a reservoir. God's purposes stretch beyond a generation, and we must recognise that our lives are launching pads for the next generation. The true essence of enlargement is to ensure that our Christian faith is passed on to the forthcoming generation – it must not end with us; hence positioning the next generation at an advantage.
The wells as described in Genesis 26:15 represent the legacies passed down by our forefathers – both in scriptures and in our nation today. We must determine, just like Isaac to re-dig the wells that have been filled up. Looking at the wells that Abraham dug, we picked out two of those wells – Obedience and faith. In rounding up, we examined two things that we must do in re-digging those old wells, namely; (a) Locate the wells, by desiring it and praying, and (b) Banish all humanistic ideas that have filled up the wells hitherto.
Today, as we round up this series, I want to share a message titled 'I am the Blessed of the Lord' with you. The story recorded in Genesis 26 can be described as a prophetic allegory, both for the church corporately today and for each of us, individually. You will notice that this scripture opens with the phrase 'There was a famine' and rounds up with the phrase in verse 29, 'You are now the blessed of the Lord'. So, in the grand scheme of things, despite the on-going challenges facing the church, she remains blessed and will emerge victorious and glorious. Similarly, as you are a part of Christ's church, I want you to know that you too are blessed of the Lord.
I did a quick search on the word 'now' and discovered that it connotes: this time, henceforth, from now on, from this time forth, from this day forward. The word blessed means; there is a transfer of something valuable and precious – grace, favour, wealth, from God to you. It also implies from this story that better is the end of a thing than its beginning. Hence, you must be careful not to draw a conclusion on your life based on your current difficult circumstances, as there is a better ending in store for you. This story brings to mind phrases such as 'For every trouble, God will give you double'; 'there is hope in your future', 'God has set a table before me in the presence of my enemies'. This story concludes with the visit of King Abimelek of the Philistines to Isaac, to tell him this: 'We have certainly seen that the LORD is with you... You are now the blessed of the LORD' (Genesis 26:28, 29).
Isaac's enemies contended with him, knowing fully well that he was a blessed man. It is not surprising that Isaac went through challenges, as it was an indication of the blessing he carried upon his life. Likewise, I am not taken aback by the various challenges that you are facing today – It's obvious that the enemy is not happy with the future God has in store for you. As long as you remain a threat to the enemy, he will try all he can to stop you. However, one thing is sure: 'no weapon formed against you will prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn' (Isaiah 54:17) and the good news is this: 'And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.' (Romans 8:28). There is something about your future that is making the enemy quaver, and your simple response to all his attempts should be 'I am now blessed of the Lord'.
While you are on the way to your enlargement, you need a new perspective; you need to know how to interpret what you may be going through, to see with the eyes of the Spirit and see through the promises of God. If you consider what you are going through, you will find legitimate reasons to give up. But if you consider Him who promised, if you consider that His word cannot fail, if you hold on to Him, you will surely get to your destination.
In Ezekiel 37, we read of the revelation that the prophet saw of dry bones. God questioned Ezekiel to get his attention, 'Son of man, can these bones live?'(Verse 3). From God's perspective, those dry bones were a mighty army. A lesson we must all learn is to be careful about the names we call our present situations.
So how should we interpret this phrase 'I am the blessed of the Lord'? Remember that this phrase was brought to light by a heathen king, Abimelek. It must be safe to say that Isaac may not have seen himself as blessed because of the troubles he had been through, and God had to bring Abimelek his way to confirm this to him.
Here are ten ways to interpret this phrase:
God's Presence is with you: In Genesis 26:2, we read of God appearance to Isaac to warn him from going to Egypt, and to assure him of the blessings that awaited him in the Gerar. Likewise, in every circumstance facing you today, be assured of God's presence. He has promised to always be with you – never lose sight of this. When you catch this truth, it becomes easy to build your confidence and strength in God. This is how Isaiah 43:2 puts it: 'But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, "Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you (NLT).
God's Guidance: Isaac was led by God to stay in Gerar as recorded in Genesis 26:2-3. His reliance on his experience or expertise would have been disastrous. I pray that the Lord will continue to order your steps, as recorded in Psalm 37:23 'The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way'. Abimelek's observed that Isaac's decisions were being led by God.
God's Covenant: In Genesis 26:3, God reminded Isaac of the covenant He had made with his father Abraham; ‘Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father’. Hence, God categorically announced to Isaac that he was set up to succeed because of that covenant that was in effect. Conversely, you must also realise that it is impossible for you to fail, because of the covenant of Christ’s redeeming grace upon you. Whenever the devil shows up, turn his attention to the cross and the victory that Christ has already won on your behalf, on the cross.
God's Favour: Again from Genesis 26:3-5, God listed the promises He made to Abraham for Isaac. Notice that Isaac did not have to work for any of this promises – it was simply passed on to him. Declare this with me ‘God’s favour is upon my life’. Here is what Psalm 102:13 says about favour: ‘You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favour to her; the appointed time has come’ (NIV). May you walk in favour all the days of your life in Jesus name (Amen).
God's Provision: When God provides for you, you will lack nothing, even when a recession (famine) is going on. In Genesis 26:12, we read this: ‘Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him.’ Isaac continued prospering and he became very great to the point the Philistines began to envy him (Verses 13 & 14). I declare that your hands and the work of your hands are blessed in Jesus name.
God's Restoration: Isaac re-dug the wells of Abraham and restored all those wells for use (Genesis 26:18). I declare that everything stolen from you is restored – your peace, joy, favour, blessings in Jesus name.
God's Victory: You are victorious, because you are blessed of the Lord. In Genesis 26:19-22, we read of the contentions of Isaac with the men of Gerar over the wells that his servants dug. He finally dug the last non-contentious well, which he called ‘Rehoboth’, meaning ‘The Lord has made room for us’. Everything Isaac’s enemies did was being used by God to gradually and progressively nudge him towards his destiny. Likewise, everything you may be encountering today is working together for your good; it is a launching pad for higher heights. I declare that you will flourish and experience God’s victory in your life in Jesus name.
God's Enlargement: After all the troubles that he went through, Isaac eventually declared, ‘For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.’ I declare that the Lord makes room for you from today in Jesus name.
God's Prosperity: Genesis 26:22 reads: ‘Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means "open space"), for he said, "At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land" (NLT). As Isaac prospered, so you will prosper in Jesus name. The days of limitations are over in Jesus name (Amen).
As I round up, let me encourage you not to just read these words, but ensure that you obey and live in the realities of these words. You must always see yourself as the blessed of the Lord. Remember that (a) You will only attract your kind (b) You will reproduce your kind (c) You will attract resources that are proportionate or matching to who you are (d) Your strength is rooted in who you are (e) The outcome of your life is a function of who you know you to be. So it is imperative, that you see yourself as God sees you – the blessed of the Lord.
I pray that you will experience God’s presence and guidance, enjoy God’s covenant in your life, experience God’s favour, provision, protection, restoration, victory, enlargement and prosperity (Amen).
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