How To Receive God's Blessings!

God calls us to live for Him, and we see many promises in the bible about what that NEW life would be like. Jesus told us that He came to bring us the abundant life. He said we would have persecution but also we would enjoy a blessed life folowing Him.

He also said that we would be able to do many things that were beyond the realm of possibility of ordinary men. So why is the typical Christian lifestyle little if any different to the rest of the world?

Let's look at what the word say we should be doing as followers of Jesus.

Before we get into this though I should perhaps state my agenda.

I believe that "God is Good", that "He has plans to do us good" and that He has provided us with "every good gift" and "every spiritual blessing" that we might need in this life. I therefore believe God wants us to know how to get the answers to our prayer's manifested into the physical realm sooner rather than later!

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;

God has done his part! So because of this I believe we should look to see all that we need to do to receive the "YES" that God has already given us to prayers that are according to his will.

The other thing to note is that God blesses us to be a blessing to others. It's not for our ego! God tells us through James in Chapter 4, verse 3...

Jas 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

So with that proviso in mind lets look at how we should pray to receive God's blessings in our lives.

Item 1. You have to do it; Not ask God to do it.

Let's look at Mark 11:22-24 and see how Christ explained that WE should command a miracle to happen.

Mar 11:22-24 Jesus said to them, "Have faith in God! I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Here Jesus told his disciples how they personally could access the miracle working power of God as they advanced the kingdom. The original greek text in verse 22 actually says "Have the faith of God", not "Have faith in God". We are to have God's kind of faith which, "speaks and it is acomplished!" Now with God's kind of faith in us (we have the Holy Spirit in us) verses 23-24 make perfect sense. WE say to the mountain (representing whatever trial we may be facing), "Get out of here, and don't come back! In Jesus' name."

This was Paul's mistake when he was being persecuted by that 'thorn in his flesh'. He pleaded for God to take it away three time, until God had to point out to him that he had God's grace/power sufficient to do it himself!

We don't ask God to say.   We say!

Item 2. You must not doubt.

This is brought out by Jesus in verse 23 above. We must not doubt in our hearts that it will happen. This is not the same as having faith. We can have faith and doubt, belief and unbelief, at the same time. Notice this earlier incident in Mark 9:22-24

Mar 9:22-24 The spirit has often thrown him into fire and into water to destroy him. But if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us!" Jesus said to him, "'If you are able?' Everything is possible for the person who believes!" With tears flowing, the child's father at once cried out, "I do believe! Help my unbelief!"

The father had belief and unbelief at the same time. You can believe God can do what you require but doubt that he actually will in your case. So you say "If you are able to help, have pity on me!" That is not how Jesus says we are to pray. When we are praying for healing or for favour based on God's promises we MUST NOT say "If God wills". God wants us well! God's promises are "YES" in Christ Jesus! Anything else is doubt. We must so know what God is REALLY like that we do not doubt him or his word. Let's be motivated to express the faith we have from Jesus Christ, and not doubt.

Item 3. You must believe you already have the request.

Before moving on to another scripture we can bring out something else Jesus said here in the book of Mark, Chapter 11, verse 24.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Notice that Jesus himself says that we must believe we already have what we ask for, and then we will get it. It's already ours, but we have to manifest it in the physical world through our faith, like the ten lepers did in the book of Luke, Chapter 17, verse 14. You have to believe you have it before you can see it. Most people want to 'see' the result before they will believe, but faith says believe the result before you see it!

Luk 17:14 When he (Jesus) saw them (ten lepers) he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.

To go and show yourself to the priests you'd have to be cleansed of leprosy. But these lepers acted on what Jesus said in faith. They believed what He said to them would happen and that what they asked for would be given to them.

Item 3A. Do the works that prove your Faith is sure.

Following on from having the faith which believes that what has been asked for has been given, we have to act upon that belief. I thought it worth-while bringing out this point separately so it isn't missed. The lepers not only believed Jesus, they put forth the works which were needed to accompany the faith. They started out to show themselves to the priests before they saw the healing in their bodies. When you ask for healing and you believe, you have to start to do those actions that go with being healed. When you have asked for a specific favour based on God's promises you must keep thanking God and believing that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24). You must also supply the 'seed' in faith that will grow into the harvest that you are praying for; i.e. the proof of your faith!

Item 4. Do not fear what Satan can do.

Fear brings doubt into our minds that what we want will come to us. So we must live in the love of God, as perfect love casts out fear.

One possibility why the disciples could not cast out the demon in the child brought to them in Mark, Chapter 9, could be because the demon was causing the boy to be dashed to the ground and convulsed. Seeing this could have made them fearful. If you've ever seen some of the reactions of people near to someone who suddenly has an epileptic attack then you will understand this. And if there's a demon involved as well! The disciples had successes before but this situation was not like the others and they had doubts and unbelief regarding sending this demon out.

We have to remember though that Satan has been defeated and that God loves us beyond measure. Holding on to that love, that perfect love, will cast out fear. Satan and His demons have been defeated!

Colossians 2:15 And when he had disarmed the rulers and the authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.

Item 5. You must stay close to God.

To be able to have the faith and lack of unbelief that's required to drive out demons like the one in Mark, Chapter 9, Jesus said that we must be focussed on God through fasting and prayer. Then, when we are in this situation, our minds will be stayed on God rather that fearful of the antics brought about by the demon, or the negativity of people around, or of failure, etc.

Mar 9:28-29 And after He entered into a house, His disciples asked Him privately, "Why were we not able to cast it out?" So He said to them, "This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting."

Prayer and fasting doesn't help God to defeat the demon. Satan and all demons have already been defeated by Jesus. Jesus has ALL authority in Heaven and the Earth (Mat 28:18). Fasting & prayer bring you closer to God and his love. Then the faith YOU are able to exhibit is raised and the doubt and unbelief is reduced as you get to know and live more fully in God.

Item 6. You must not let hangers-on steal your joy!

The unbelief of people in the neighbourhood where a sign or wonder is required affects the result for the worse. Jesus could not do many wonders in his home area because of their unbelief. When he was healing a blind man in Bethsaida he took him well away from anyone before commanding his healing.

Mar 8:22-26 Then He came to Bethsaida; and they brought a blind man to Him, and begged Him to touch him. And having taken the hand of the blind man, He led him outside the village, and having spit on his eyes, and having laid His hands on him, He asked him if he saw anything. (V.24) And when he looked up he said, "I see men like trees, walking." Then He put His hands on his eyes again and made him to look up. And he was restored and saw everyone clearly again. Then He sent him away to his house, saying, "Neither go into the village, nor tell anyone in the village."

Not only did He remove the man from his 'friends' before healing him but he told him to keep away from them for a while afterwards also! We should ask the Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be to someone receiving and keeping a miracle or healing or whatever and how to overcome them. Bring an atmosphere of healing and faith around the person for whom you are praying.

Item 7. You must reduce doubt in those for whom you pray.

There are three areas where faith is required for signs and wonders to take place. The person commanding the 'miracle'; the person receiving the 'miracle' and the people hanging around looking to see a 'miracle'.

If we continue to study Mark, Chapter 8, verses 22-26, we'll see that the man did not get full healing straight away. Because he was influenced by his neighbours his faith allowed for only a partial result. But Jesus could use this to build his faith as the man could see progress and thus have less doubt. Then with a second laying on of hands the man was fully healed. Jesus' faith was the same throughout but he allowed the Holy Spirit to guide him in how to remove the doubt of the blind man.

We must do the same thing by asking Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be and how to overcome them - Then build up the faith the person can express, by removing their doubt.

Item 8. You must show others how to do it!

Looking once more at the recipient we can study another incident where Jesus healed a blind man. This is in Luke Chapter 18, verses 41-2.

Luk 18:35-42 Now it came to pass, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat alongside the road begging. And hearing a crowd traveling through the city, he asked what this was. And they reported to him that Jesus the Nazarene was passing by. And he shouted, saying, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"

Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me!" And having stopped, Jesus commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he drew near, He asked him, saying, "What do you desire that I should do for you?" And he said, "Lord, that I may receive my sight." Then Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well."

As in the case of the woman with the issue of blood this man's faith was enough on it's own to make him well, so Jesus said 'Your' faith has made you well. There were no hindrances within the man. He just needed access to Jesus and he could receive his healing from Jesus through his own faith. If he had let those around him stop him from getting Jesus' attention he might have missed the opportunity to be healed at that time. Maybe in some cases we just have to show people how to access God's grace and get out of their way!

Item 9. You must work with their expectations.

In this same area of asking the Holy Spirit what hindrances there might be to healing or some other miracle, we should consider the expectations of the recipient which could be a factor in the faith they exhibit.

In the examples that we've already studied above one blind man needed a salve/ointment to be put on his eye for healing to take place while another needed nothing more than Jesus' word. Some might conclude that the differences were because God works in mysterious ways but could it be that the expectations of the people were different while God remained the same? Did one person expect that the man of God would use some special ointment and having been told of this by Holy Spirit, Jesus did what would bring the man's faith level up to the point needful for healing?

If someone expects to be annointed with oil but the man of God only lays on his hands, is it possible that the person's faith level might not become enough (or his doubt level be too much) for healing to take place?

If a person expects that an annointed cloth would be used but only a laying on of hands takes place, is it possible that the person's faith level might not then become enough (or his doubt level be too much) for healing to take place?

Now they can have been told that the annointed cloth or olive oil is not of itself doing the healing and that it's God who heals but that does not mean that they "see it", since why then are cloths sent out or olive oil used! If they see that in the original text (Acts 19:11) regarding Paul, the cloths were actually small items of clothing that had contacted the body of Paul and had not otherwise been annointed, their faith in 'the cloth' itself may actually be increased!

Act 19:11 And God wrought extra-ordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even napkins or aprons were brought from his body and put upon the sick, and the diseases left them, and the wicked spirits went out.

Holy Spirit of course has no concept of distance being a barrier or any physical contact being necessary (See Mat 8:5-13 The healing of the Centurion's servant). As reported in Acts 19:11-12, it seems more to be a way they extended Paul's "Tallit/Hem of his garment/('wings' - Mal 4:2)" to sick people at a distance than sending the annointing through olive oil over a distance.

Now in most cases I'm sure these cloths, and oils, and salves have the proper desired effect for all the proper reasons. My point is simply that their existence or non-existence must change the dynamic of the situation and therefore will affect the faith and unbelief of the people involved. And maybe it would help to know their faith expectations through the Holy Spirit's guidance when we pray for them? Then we can get closer to having perfect results to prayer every time.

Item 10. Don't put up with things Jesus suffered to remove!

This is just an observation but I've seen that people will not ask for healing for those things that they can easily put up with. For another person that thing may be considered debilitating and they 'will' ask for it to be healed. I've even heard of someone going to a minister for healing and giving a long list of problems when asked. He then finished his statement off by saying, "But, if you could just fix my back the others would be OK!" And so even when healing is asked for if the thinking is that they can live with some of it, the heart/faith may not be totally in step with the request.

1 Pet 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness— by whose stripes you were healed.

The healing has been provided. It's on the shelf but if it's not picked up it will stay there!

Item 11. You must discern the body of Jesus.

Paul tells us in 1 Cor 11:29-30 that by not discerning the body of the Lord some people were weak and sick and some had died. Not recognising that Jesus' body was beaten with stripes so that they were healed, some missed the importance of the beating and torture that Jesus voluntarily suffered for us and what the bread of communion represented.

1 Cor 11:29-30 A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing (separating, discriminating) the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

Jesus' blood was shed for our sins but his body was beaten for our healing. We are to recognise, discriminate, discern, separate the functions/effects of the two things.

Rom 5:9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.

The blood of Jesus justifies us. We are set right with God through the blood. But...

1Pet 2:24 (Jesus) who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.

1Co 11:23-24 For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; And giving thanks, He broke it and said, "Take, eat; this is My body, which is broken for you; this do in remembrance of Me."

So, do not underestimate the value of the sacrifice that Jesus made for you, to bring you forgiveness, redemption, deliverance, healing, wellness, wholeness and peace (shalom). Rather, have faith. As Isaiah himself prophesied, "With his stripes we are healed". So, when you take communion recognise that the bread represents the body of Jesus which was beaten with stripes to procure your healing.

Isa 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.

Item 12. We give because we have been given.

When thinking of the blessings we want God to pour out on us we must look to his word to see what principles lie at the heart of the matter.

In Malachi, Chapter 3, verse 10 God says this...

Bring all the tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. And test Me now with this, says Jehovah of Hosts, whether I will not open the windows of the heavens for you and pour out a blessing until there is no sufficiency of room to store it.

First of all we can see that in the Old Testament dispensation the "tithe" does not determine the measure received. The tithe belongs to God and so paying it does not of itself bring a blessing. It was the Israelite's duty.

Lev 27:30 And all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Jehovah's. It is holy to Jehovah.

What paying your tithes did is open up the windows of heaven so that God could pour out a blessing on the people. It did not apparently get the blessings pouring. What gets the blessings flowing from the heavenlies if we follow it logically is your offerings! Have a look at Luke's gospel, Chapter 6, verse 38.

Luk 6:38 Give, and it shall be given to you, good measure pressed down and shaken together and running over, they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure, it shall be measured to you again.

The tithe is according to these scriptures not a gift to God. It belongs to HIm. You are paying it back. But, your offerings are gifts and when you give, God says he will return it to you according to your measure. Jesus says in another place that we will receive up to a hundred fold, but it's measure for measure here. It's not according to grace.

So in this economy if you take your offerings to God you can expect him to honour His pledge and have His angels pour out blessings on you according to the good measure you give. On the other hand if you do not give or give grudgingly then although the windows are opened because of your tithe, nothing or very little comes out of them to you!

This is the way God's blessings worked under the Old Covenant where, because of the people's self-righteousness, God blessed them according to their performance.

We in the New Covenant live under grace not law (performance), and so God's blessings are not according to what we give to Him; we give to God because of our love for God and the grace He bestows on us. Our giving is a response to God's grace. Now bearing in mind that carnal people under the Old Covenant could give 10% of their earnings plus offerings then our love for God should surely encourage us to do at least that much, but we are not to give grudgingly because it's an order but in response to our heart.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Also because God has a heart for the poor and needy He wants us to be like Him. He wants the poor helped with the gospel, money, favour, our time. etc. To this end he even encourages us to be gracious to the poor.

Pro 19:17 Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed.

But we do all this, under the New Covenant, because we are responding to the love and grace of God out of our own love for Him; the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.

Item 13. Do not doubt Holy Spirit's desire to help.

There is no time or era when the Holy Spirit is off duty for healing or otherwise helping the sons and daughters of men. We can see this illustrated when a lady from Canaan came and pleaded with Jesus for her daughter's deliverance from a demon. Reading Matthew, Chapter 15, verses 21-28, we see that it was not time for the gospel to be opened up to the gentiles, but the Holy Spirit got Jesus to act even though theoretically outside the schedule. God is good.

Mat 15:21-28 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word.

And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Some people today may be convinced by others that God is not doing signs and wonders and miracles at this time and so their faith will not be at a level to receive healing or another sign/wonder. But the gospel has been fully opened up to the Gentile as well as to the Jew. And God is still good! God is good at all times! God wants you to be well. So, don't give up!

Item 14. Others may be involved in your receiving what you pray for.

We don't always think of this but what we ask for may be dependent on other human beings for us to receive it, so God has to get the whole chain to align with his will, which is for your good.

What if you have asked for promotion and God of course wants you to have it because he's put the desire in your heart. But, the position he wants you to fill has an incumbent whom God has to re-position. Satan therefore has an access point to block what God wants for you if he can hinder their move.

So if you ask God for promotion, do you pray for the person above you, that they will find a better post to move into, or is it all about you? God may be waiting for you to 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you'. It's maybe not God who's blocking things - it could be you! You haven't prayed for Satan's roadblock ahead of your boss to be moved.

Where your requests to God have a dependence on other people for their manifestation, Satan could hinder your prayers by moving against them. Bear that in mind as you make your requests known to God. Think about it. Pray for the other person!

Item 15. Don't let Satan deceive you into being sick!

Some people have been convinced that the sickness or disease that they have, has been given to them by God to teach them a lesson. This is most usually taken to be humility because it's allegedly what happened to the Apostle Paul, and God is supposedly having to deal with their problem of developing pride because of their greatness, in the same way.

As it happens Paul was not given a disease by God because he might otherwise have developed pride. See Paul's Thorn for a full explanation. The scriptures tell us that it's Satan (the devil) who brings disease and God (in the form of Jesus) who removed these diseases from people.

Act 10:38 God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and he went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with him.

But those who believe 'they' have their disease because of God, won't fight against this attack by satan and won't exhibit the faith to remove it.

There is though a simple way to understand the difference between the things God does and the things Satan does and thus know what is from God and what to have faith to fight against because it's from Satan.

God - Good!     Satan - Bad!

Item 15A. Resist The Devil & His Works!

Once you realise that Satan is the one that brings sickness against you and your loved ones you have to resist and fight back on all occassions.

Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Having prayed that the problem would be removed you must then resist (push back) against whatever the Devil has thrown at you. If you're down with something that is making you weak; an infirmity as the apostle Paul would put it; you don't give up but get on and DO as much as you can, working around and through whatever is debilitating you. You have been healed in the spiritual realm so resist Satan and hasten the manifestation into the physical realm.

Item 16. Pray In The Spirit For God's Best!

One of the most powerful weapons that the Christian can deploy against Satan and his minions is one of the least used; that is "praying in the spirit".

When Jesus was going back to heaven after His resurection he told His disciples not to do anything until they had received the Holy Spirit. A short while later at Penticost they received the "baptism of the Holy Spirit". NOW they had the power to turn the world upside down as they fulfilled their part of the great commission for their age.

After that you can see from the scriptures that every time new converts were made and they were born again, there would be a separate ceremony in which the the baptism of the Holy spirit was requested for them and the new converts received the Holy Spirit in a new infilling way and spoke in tongues. One such example is in Acts, Chapter 8, verses 14-17.

Act 8:14-17 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

This is the scenario that applies to most Christians today. They have been baptised in the name of Jesus but no-one has laid hands on them and prayed that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

After three and a half years at the feet of Jesus, He did not think that the disciples could fulfill their commission without the Holy Spirit and all the gifts that come with Him. Without the baptism of the Holy Spirit we may be no worse off than the majority of Christians in the world but are we at the level that Jesus wants His disciples to be so that we can overcome mightily and fulfill our commissions?

Receiving the Holy Spirit before representing Jesus to the world and being able to do the things that His (miracle working) power in us allows, in order to preach the gospel, seems from the bible's perspective to be the minimum standard required!

* * * *

God wants us to enjoy an abundant life now and when things do go wrong He wants us to look to Him and receives answers and blessing to solve the problems. Persecutions may come but that is not the same as sickness. Sicknesses come from the Devil and Jesus was beaten with stripes for our healing; "By His stripes we are healed". God loves us. God's will for us is to carry out great plans on our behalf; to do us good and not evil; to give us a great future. God wants you and your loved ones to prosper and be in health! In fact in Psalm 23 verse 6 God says to us through David; "Surely goodness (grace) and mercy will chase after me and hunt me down all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord (the kingdom) forever".

Remember;     God IS Good!

So; bottom line - The answer is "Have Faith In God and do those things which are in line with receiving the blessings He has set aside for you!"


How Should Christians Pray? Click Here.
Paul's Thorn In The Flesh. Click Here.
It's In The Spirit Click Here.
Speak The Oracles Of God. Click Here.
God's Sovereignty and Our Healing. Click Here.

Article Index