Blessed with Every Spiritual Blessing
by Pastor Greg Hoffmann
Last week we had guests in our home: our daughter, son-in-law, and their two children, ages 15 months and 2 months shy of 3 years old (so a two-year-old). I had forgotten how self-centered we are when we are two. I know Jesus talks about being like a child, but there is a difference between childlike and childish—and all 2-year-olds are definitely the latter. As much as her parents (and grandparents) have tried to instruct her otherwise, when she finishes her food and wants more she says, “I want more.” Now as adults, we are a bit more refined and say, “May I have…” But in many ways, we are still what I would call, “want-driven.”
We see it demonstrated in many ways in our world today, such as the hoarding of toilet paper at the beginning of this pandemic. The rioting and looting that is taking place in too many of our cities. The fires set by arsonists, wanting to see the effect of their action. “I want” is different from “I need.”
In Ephesians 1:3 Paul says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Hmmm, spiritual blessings…in the heavenly realms. Obviously, this is different from material blessings. In many ways our lives are driven by what we don’t have rather than by what we do have. As we look around, we see bigger homes, better cars, more possessions, more wealth, and in our heart of hearts we say, “I want” (and Amazon only feeds this addiction). But rather than giving free reign to our wants, what if we tempered this with a different perspective that says, “I have”?
“I want” approaches life from a position of scarcity. “I have,” although it can morph into possessive selfishness, can also generate a perspective of contentment and security. “I want” grasps after things; “I have” approaches life from a place of abundance and sufficiency and can set us free to be givers.
It is like David said in Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” What if I were to approach prayer from a position of blessing and abundance rather than scarcity and fear? “I want” drives us to feverishly pursue things for self. To say, “I have,” as in I have every spiritual blessing in Christ or with the Lord, I lack nothing, frees us to live life with open hands rather than clenched or grasping fists.
Those spiritual blessings free us to live in a certain, unrestrained manner as Paul says in Colossians 1:9-14. We are free to:
- bear fruit in every good work,
- grow in the knowledge of God,
- be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that [we] may have great endurance and patience,
- give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified [us] to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light.
Do I pray for family, church, community, nation, and the world from a desperate position of scarcity that says, “Lord, I want”? Or do I approach the Throne of Grace in faith that in Christ, “I have” been blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms, allowing prayer to be the opportunity to share the needs that I see around me with the Heavenly Father who loves me and is the God of all creation?
It may be helpful to take inventory of the countless spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ. Such an inventory may well change our prayer perspective. If the church is going to stand in prayer in the midst of adverse circumstances, such prayer begins not from a place of fear or scarcity, but from a place of faith in God’s abundance in Jesus Christ.