There is a story (1) of two employers named Abraham and Lot. Both had shepherds tending their sheep and both used the same pastures and watering holes but they were not getting along very well. One day Abraham and Lot decide to separate ways and the Abraham, the older of the two lets Lot choose first as to where he and his shepherds will go. As he surveys the country side from the top of the hill, he sees the well watered valley of the Jordan River and has no difficulty choosing. Abraham went the other way to the plains of Canaan and settles at Mamre.
I learned through this story a wonderful life principle.
Lot made a decision based on what he saw before his eyes and as a good businessman looking for the best return on his investment, he probably made the right choice. Abraham, on the other hand, had no problem going to the less watered plains for his decision was not based on what he saw, but it was geared towards well being of his nephew Lot and all the staff. Though he was very rich, he was not looking for wealth as his nephew was. Blessing, well being and prosperity to Abraham were not dependent on well watered pastures but rather on being the friend of God.(2)
I have for many years considered blessings as something that was a result of the choices and decisions I made. Blessings to me were always a result of my performance. If I tithed on my earnings I would prosper financially. If I was diligent in my work I would be well rewarded,(3) If I played my cards right; did all the right things, I would be successful. This to me was a summary of blessing.
Recently I learned that blessing is not a result of good performance but rather the heart of the Father and design of the Creator. Blessing is like a river that flows through the land and waters it as it flows through. The thing that stops the flow of blessing is not poor performance but disregard for the Creator’s directives. Disobedience will stop the flow of blessing and as a result of the stoppage, curses take effect.(4)
A true definition of this word 'blessing' is hard to find. The word embodies prosperity, health, peace and tranquility as well as contentment. Blessings are not earned and have no substance in and of themselves but are conveyed from one individual to another. It is the design of the Creator of heaven and earth and as such, when used as designed, bring glory to the Creator.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.(5)
(1) Gen 13
(2) James 2:23
(3) Proverbs 10:4
(4) Deut 28
(5) Eph 1:3