How Many Blessings Have You Missed?

A number of years ago I heard a story about a flea that was put into a jar with a lid on top.  The flea kept jumping trying to get out but it would hit its head on the lid with each jump.  After a number of tries the flea would quit trying, not wanting to endure the pain, and you could remove the lid and the flea would remain in the jar.

We cannot explain how Satan’s forces influence our thinking.  By faith we trust Scripture that tells us he is a negative influence.  Let me illustrate what it may be like to be under Satan’s control.  We have been placed inside the devil’s box with a lid over us.  Many of us have committed the sins of: pride, greed, envy, anger, lust, gluttony and laziness just to name some.  Our conscience tells us this is wrong and we feel guilty, unworthy and go through life with a lot of baggage.  We have been hurt by our mistakes as the flea was each time he jumped and possibly by what others have done to us.  Our baggage that we drag along with us keeps many of us from thinking positive thoughts and a willingness to take on life’s risks.  Satan’s emissaries use this guilt and baggage to keep us from stepping outside life’s box and allowing us to live as God had intended for us to live.  The goal of these evil forces is to keep control over our lives through guilt and fear and being disobedient to God’s ways.

Christ came that He may take the lid off the box that Satan’s forces have us in so we might enjoy the blessings that God has for us.  At first we rejoice in salvation and begin a new life while the lid comes off the box.  As we grow in spiritual maturity Christ keeps reaching His hand out to us trying to help us learn how to live outside the box with our new freedom.  However, we are often like the Apostle Peter who asked Christ to allow him to walk on water.  Christ did and Peter took a few steps and sank.  Often our situation is very similar.  We may take a step outside the box only to feel more secure getting back into our comfort zone inside the seeming security that the box presented.

It isn’t easy living outside the box because more is expected of us.  Satan’s forces often tell us living outside the box will require risk taking and it’s a boring life.  Like Peter, we do not have the faith or the trust to realize; outside the box was where God had intentionally planned for us to live.  He really can’t bless us as long as we are in Satan’s box; because Satan tells us we are not worthy enough to be blessed.

In some cases, Satan has made a pact with some individuals and has released them from the box because he knows they will serve him and they can be trusted.  Some become wealthy, powerful and others even idolized.  They can be politicians, actors, musicians, business people or religious fanatics.  There are no limits as to whom satanic forces may use to influence the world.

The Christian must realize that we too can live outside the box but, live by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and compete with those serving the forces of evil.  The prince of darkness took control of the world when Adam and Eve relinquished the control God had given them prior to their sinning.  It is easier for some people to have allegiance to the world than to God.  The world is visible and can be seen and those who live by the rules of the world, many times receive greater material rewards and recognition than those who separate themselves from the world and live holy lives for God, who is not visible and live according to His ways.

What does it take as a Christian to grasp the hand of Christ and live outside the box and receive the blessings of joy, peace and eternal hope?  Scripture tells us we must be willing to give of our best, have faith and trust to believe the promises of Christ, be obedient and persistent, develop a relationship with God and others and be willing to do good deeds with unconditional love.  We must realize that negative fear comes from the devil and Christian love comes from God.  We must allow Christ to change our lives to such an extent that we no longer allow guilt and negative fears keep us from living as God had meant that we live.

Hebrews 12:14 – “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” NIV

I believe one of the greatest blessings is knowing and never doubting that we can live in eternity with God.  However, we must escape the devil’s box that has enclosed us from childhood.  The only way that occurs is the acceptance of Christ as our Savior.  Our blessing is knowing the truth and the truth is what sets us free.  Are you rid of the baggage acquired from the past and have been forgiven of your sins?  Do you feel worthy of God’s love and have you accepted His offer to be one of His children?  When you have, begin watching for the many blessings that God can then give to you.  If you haven’t, you will not realize how many blessings you may have missed.

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