Saturday, August 28, 2010

What is joy? What is blessing?

By Odon Bulamba (26 September 2003)

The Bible says that when two or three are gathered together to serve the Word, God is always with us. And the Spirit of God is here to lead us and teach us more. Blessed are those that believe in the Lord because the Lord will trust them. Blessed are those that believe in the Lord because they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who believe in God because the kingdom of God belongs to them and I am very happy because we believe in Him and because we are going to reap the fruit of all these blessings. We are going to talk a little bit about blessings but before talking about blessings I am going to ask about joy. What is joy?

God’s joy comes from the depth of your heart and there is also joy that is showed by our physical being and when God’s joy is with you, you sometimes don’t even feel hungry. And that is why some people can fast for 50 or 60 days without dying, they can fast for 20 or 30 days without eating or drinking anything. They completely forget about hunger because they are joyful and when a human being is joyful, all the body is excited, he will have a smile on his lips and everything around him will please him and he will forget about his problems and will feel something is boiling in his heart and this makes him happy.

Who doesn’t need joy in his life? I’ve never found someone who is an enemy of joy but always enemies of anger or mistrust. When you don’t have joy you feel sick. Sometimes even your body doesn’t want food and what is pleasing to the eyes doesn’t even attract you when you are in distress because you don’t have joy. But when you have joy, even if you break glass, this is a small problem.

This is the first point to help a Christian to solve his problems. If you have a problem and need a solution, try to find joy in the Lord first. Joy in the Lord will make your problem very small and when this problem is minimised you will have enough time to think about it and act accordingly. So when you have a problem, don’t accept this problem to lead you to distress because if you lose your joy you will be very annoyed and you might not even find a solution to your problem. Joy also helps in times of temptation. When you are tempted and you have the joy of the Lord you will always feel victorious and feel that God is with you. You will understand that this small problem will pass and you will be victorious. Many people when they have joy they don’t fear death. They say even if death would come now I would be ready to go and I would be in God’s kingdom today, because of joy only.

We won’t talk too much about joy but we are going to talk about blessing. What is a blessing? Every day people say God bless you, what is it?

If we look at blessing, a blessing first of all is eternal and difficult to define because it is very big. It has a few dimensions. As for us Christians today, God has called us to bless. A blessing might be a prayer, it might be a wish, a prophecy, and it might be also a will of a man towards a man. If I want for example God to bless your work I am ready to kneel down and I will tell God that my will is that Michelle’s work might be blessed and because God said that every word that comes from my mouth might be considered, from there you will be blessed.

In Genesis 24:35 we find an example to see how God blesses His own. This is Abraham’s servant that talks, ‘God blessed my master and he found material goods’. We can all ask God to find material things. God is able to give us material things if we ask him and this will be a blessing. So when I need clothes or a house or a car, or camels, I am entitled to tell God, ‘I want you to give me this to me. I won’t buy it or ask anyone but I want you, God, to give it to me’.

How does God give us material things? Sometimes through other people and sometimes miraculously. So if I need something and I need to be blessed by God it means I need an abundance in these things. When I tell God I need shoes, God can give you one pair of shoes but when you ask God, I want a blessing to find shoes God might give me ten pairs of shoes and that is what makes the difference between a prayer. Many Christians pray and say give me the gift of the Spirit for example and God is able to give you one or two gifts or give it to you for a short time. But if you really want God to give it to you always tell God, bless me, I need your blessing by receiving your gift of the Holy Spirit. Because an eternal blessing I will be with us forever.

Another example, someone asked God to give you work. It is good to ask for work, but maybe you will work for one or three years and then it will be over. But if you asked God for the blessing of the work, God will open the doors of blessing, you will have this work and everything that you do at this work will be blessed. And God will always be with you. This is the first way and through that, people will start testifying that you are blessed. People will never say, ‘Colleen knows how to find money’, they will say, ‘Colleen is blessed, Sylvie is blessed, Michelle is blessed, everybody is blessed’, because we don’t find it with our own means. When men look for things there are always limits. But when God blesses, men get more and the blessing too can be given to our families.

God bless my children so they might know you. God bless my husband so he might be saved. God bless my brother or sister so they might see God’s hands in their lives and this is a prayer of freedom. Freedom comes from blessing. When you want to set free someone who is sick, or in distress, of course to use the name of Jesus is good but ask for God’s blessing first. Say to God, may your blessing be in the life of this person.

Genesis 1:32, when God met Adam He said, be blessed and multiply and this multiplying keeps going today. Up to today we keep seeing Adams descendents but Adam had a problem at the beginning and his problem was that he couldn’t find some one that was similar. He was annoyed with that and God gave him a wife. God knew that with only one wife they wouldn’t be happy. When they argued, who would intervene and when they will be in distress, nobody would comfort them. So God said, here it is, I give you the blessing of multiplication and when God gives a blessing, nobody can stop it. The devil can never stop it and men can’t either. So please ask for the blessing every time you pray and there you will be really victorious.

Psalm 103:1,2. First of all God blesses man and it is up to us now to bless God. What does it mean to bless God? To thank him for everything He has done in your life; physically and spiritually. Tell your soul, my soul bless this Lord. Bless the Lord for all he has done for you.

Before telling your soul, bless the Lord, you must know what your soul is. What is your soul? It is life. Our lives must bless the Lord and to bless the Lord is to be thankful for what He is doing. When we see the sun in the morning we must bless the Lord. When for example we have a rest during the night, we must bless the Lord. When we walk we must bless Him and everything that breathes must bless the Lord. So the soul that is alive must absolutely bless the Lord. Why don’t we bless the Lord in our actions? Because often we don’t realise that God needs a blessing.

This is God’s principal; if you want more you must give. If you give Gods blessings, God in His time will bless you too. But if you don’t bless the Lord, you will be blessed of course but not to the point you will be very joyful. And the Bible says that whoever will bless Israel, I will bless him also. We have already talked about Israel - it means to fight with God. And when you bless this step of this fight between you and God, God will bless you too. When you go through difficulties and you want God to do something and you bless God during that time, you will be really blessed.

Isaiah 65:16, Whoever asks the blessing for himself the blessing will be given to him. It is written that what was in the past won’t be there anymore, it is going to disappear. So when you ask for a blessing you must get expect a change. Tell God, bless me Lord, for eg bless my studies and I will pass with 90% this year, last year was 70% and the year before was 60% but this year I want 90% so bless me in that. And I believe that the past is the past and I believe in something new and God will do something if you bless yourself.

Who would not like to bless yourself? Every day we say God bless me, so say today in Jesus name bless me. In Jesus name I bless myself. Because my son does not believe in Jesus Christ, today I will bless him and what was past was past and from now on I see him as a Christian so I bless myself with that prayer. At work for e.g. you go through a difficult time, bless your time, bless your surroundings and bless yourself and you will see how God will do something.

Genesis 31:55, in the morning Laban woke up to bless his children. The first thing was the blessing. I’m going to ask you a question; Colleen, when you wake up in the morning, what do you tell your husband? Colleen said, “Are you awake”. Sylvie when you wake up in the morning what do you tell Michael? Sylvie, “I say, I love you Michael”. Early in the morning we must absolutely bless others. Oh God bless this man, bless my wife, God bless my family, my children, I bless you, my husband I bless you this morning may God be with you during the day. Because a blessing is a door and you will never enter a house if you never open the door. You must open the door first so that you might find your way. And if you leave the door closed you will not go through. So it is better to bless our families in the morning. It’s better to bless our children, our husbands and wives and every body else with us in the morning without forgetting God. Amen!

Isaiah 2:20, when the morning came people started throwing away every thing they offered to idols because it was a new time, it was a time when they realised that they didn’t have to keep this anymore. They discovered it was not the right time to keep what they had any more. So we must think about the rats and the bats. We must throw away everything we have as idols and when we speak the blessing we must reject the curse. And the curse represents things that are like idols, the curse represents everything that comes from the devil, it represents hatred and jealousy and every power of man. We must throw it away as the bible says to the rats and the bats. We have already talked about the bats here and who knows what the rats are?

It’s a very clever animal and it is a destructor, it doesn’t care about what man likes. The rat doesn’t say sorry and his teeth are always here to destroy. And the rat will never be afraid to destroy your clothes and you will never know if a rat is happy or angry and sometimes rats attack people. When you sleep at night the rat comes and attacks often the heel, he smells and then he eats the man’s heels. And when you move it stops so that you might not feel the pain and then it keeps eating. This is the principal of the rat. The rat always hides what he is doing. He will put his nose underneath the cushion of a chair, he will hide his nest in a place where man can’t see. And his nest will be built with clothes or books and he does everything to destroy.

And we know some people have rats as their friends and as pets. They eat with rats and walk with rats and spend money on the rats. But the rats will never spend anything for you. They will only be there to destroy. And there are people who give opportunities to the devil and don’t want blessing in their lives and they want to use lies. They prefer to use deception and hypocrisy and using things that are not really blessed and all these just eat up their souls. But if we ask the blessing from God we are asked to throw all this away and ask ourselves what I am doing, is it a blessing or not, isn’t it idolatry? Even if it is gold, diamond or silver or something valuable, am I not worshipping another god apart from my God.

Once when I was praying to God, God told something to me through Jeremiah 2:22. Even if you use soap, even if you clean yourself for five days with soap your sin will still be there. And many people wash their body and use deodorant and use nice soap, they wear make up but this doesn’t change anything before God. What is the role of soap? I think we use it to clean and to kill germs. But for God that is not enough. It’s like the blood the Israelites used to clean themselves, the blood of animals was not enough, it would only cover sin.

Only the blood of Jesus is sufficient to purify. That is why last time I told you that the Bible is a holy book. When we talk about holiness we see straight away sanctification and sanctification is something very useful in the Christian life. We have talked about sanctification superficially but I think we will talk about it more in depth so we might understand what it means to be holy, so we might understand what soap means for the Christian life.

When you are holy, whenever you ask for a blessing, the blessing will be given to you. When you are holy, whenever you go through a problem, God will always be with you. When you are holy, even if people laugh at you, at the last minute God will raise you up as He did for Job and others. Blessing doesn’t cost anything and doesn’t require a 15 minute prayer; it’s just a question to open your mouth and talk, that is it. If for example, my friend is a sinner, I can tell God, ‘I bless this girl, may her sin be erased. I bless this girl’s life and may her life be changed immediately’ and her life will change abundantly.

Eventually we are going to read Numbers 6:23-27, so if you want the name of the Lord to be on the life of your brother or sister, if you want your life or surrounding to be blessed, the formula is there. It is very simple. It doesn’t take 15 minutes of prayer and if you don’t know this one by heart, open your Bible and read it and you will tell God, I want to bless Sylvie, oh Sylvie may the Lord bless you. May the Lord shine on you, may the Lord give you his peace, may the Lord give you his grace and may the Lord’s hand be with you and that is it. This is the blessing that she gets, whether she wants it or not, she gets it. She might accept or not, but this blessing is given.

Blessing is like rain, when the rain falls even if the rain is ready or not to receive this water, the ground will get it. Even if the ground says I am wet, that is enough, the rain will come and water will never reject water. And when the rain falls even if there is thunder, thunder will never stop the rain. Maybe people will be scared but the rain will never be scared, the rain will keep going and that is the same thing with blessing.

The Bible says that satan makes the noise of a roaring lion but the noise it makes will never stop the blessing because the blessing is like rain. Even if you bless someone who is in satan’s camp or if you bless a problem that is so big to you, nobody will stop this blessing and God will be over this person and God will be over everything that you blessed.

Do you know the little secret Moses had? When Moses talked, God would always manifest Himself; when Moses would say make this water turn into blood for example, God would just do it and this is the secret of the blessing. Open your mouth, talk and it’s up to God to do it, that’s it. Don’t minimise yourself, don’t say no for me it won’t work. Try and you will see. And if you want it tonight, try it and you will see the result. Blessing is not a gift from God, to say that I don’t have this gift, to say this gift belongs to Michael only, it’s not mine, no blessing is for everyone. If you believe in God you are here to bless and your blessings will be blessings. The blessings you give will really be given and God will fulfil.

We are going to pray and bless whatever and whoever you want, bless your family or whoever and we will see what God will do.

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