Live in the BLESSING!
For months now, that’s the message I’ve been preaching to the Body of Christ. I’ve been talking about it everywhere I go, to anyone who will listen.
I am on a divine mission to let God’s people know THE BLESSING God gave Adam in the Garden of Eden that empowered them to be fruitful and have dominion over the earth; THE BLESSING He gave to Abraham that made him heir of the world and a blessing to all the families of the earth; THE BLESSING that empowered the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Himself; that same BLESSING now belongs to all of us who are born-again believers. We are THE BLESSED!
“Yes, I know that, Brother Copeland,” someone might say. “How long are you going to keep talking about it?”
I’m going to keep talking about it until we all get it. I’m going to stick with this message until the Body of Christ wakes up and starts living in THE BLESSING!
Now, I’ve been around long enough to know that won’t happen overnight. We won’t step into a whole new lifestyle of blessing just because we hear two or three sermons about it.
Sure, hearing those sermons will get us moving in the right direction. But if we truly want to live in THE BLESSING, we must renew our minds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We must get to the point where our revelation of it completely governs our thoughts and directs our actions. We must, as Romans 12:2 says, be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
I learned what’s involved in that kind of mental transformation many years ago when I first found out how to live by faith. I’ll never forget the first time I heard a tape of Brother Hagin preaching on Mark 11:23. In one hour, I learned something I’d been hungry to know for years. I found out not only what faith will do, but how to develop and release it.
But, as powerful as it was, that one message alone couldn’t totally renew my mind. It took time for me to change the unbelieving mind-set I’d developed over the years. Gloria and I both had to reprogram ourselves to think and act by faith in our daily lives by spending months listening to tapes, studying the Word, and attending every seminar on faith we could find. Day and night, we focused on learning about faith. Even in casual conversation we constantly reminded each other to talk and behave in accordance with it.
Those first months were intense, but I’ve found out since then that total mind renewal always requires that kind of intensity. To get it done most effectively, you have to put yourself through a spiritual version of boot camp.
I went through basic training in the Army so I know what that’s like, and it’s painfully rigorous. During boot camp, the U.S. military does everything necessary to turn a civilian into a soldier by changing the way he thinks, talks and acts. Obviously, transforming our minds with the Word and learning to think like THE BLESSED isn’t as painful as the boot-camp process of turning a civilian into a soldier. It is, however, just as important because just as learning to think like a soldier will keep that soldier alive on the battlefield, becoming BLESSING-minded will ultimately save our lives.
Blessed Are the Poor?
No one knows that better than Jesus Himself. That’s the reason He spent so much time during His earthly ministry teaching people how to understand and act in accordance with THE BLESSING. Although most believers don’t realize it, that’s what He was doing when He preached the message in Luke 6 called the “Sermon on the Mount.” Jesus delivered that entire message to outline the process of THE BLESSING.
Because we haven’t understood that, however, there’s been much confusion about what Jesus said there. Most people think, for example, that because He started His message with the statement, “Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God,” (verse 20), He wanted us to believe that poverty is godly. They think Jesus taught it’s a blessing to be poor.
That wasn’t what He said at all. He told us THE BLESSING would remove poverty. When He said “Blessed be ye poor…,” He was giving the poverty stricken the good news that their days of poverty were over. He was saying, “I’m here to restore THE BLESSING to you. You’re not going to be the poor anymore because yours is the kingdom of God!”
When I think about how Jesus intended us to respond to that news, I’m reminded of the story Brother Oral Roberts tells about his once-poor, Oklahoma kinfolk. They got rich in one day when they struck oil on their struggling dirt farm in Pontotoc County. Brother Roberts said when they hit that gusher, old “Dad Roberts” took off his hat and filled it up with the oil that was raining down all around him. Then he slapped his hat back on his head, let the oil drench his face until nothing but his white teeth were showing, and hollered, “Whew! We ain’t going to be poor no more!”
That’s what we’ll all be saying when we fully grasp what Jesus was telling us. When we really begin to see what God has given us through THE BLESSING, we’ll be hollering just like old Dad Roberts did. We’ll be holding our Bibles over our heads and saying, “Praise God, I’m not going to be poor anymore! I’m not going to be defeated anymore! I’m not going to be oppressed anymore. I am THE BLESSED!”
Watch Out for the ‘Woes’
Of course, there’s more to walking in THE BLESSING than just jumping and shouting. There are attitudes we must have and actions we must take to keep it operating in our lives. Jesus told us about them in Luke 6:27-31. He said: “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
To people who have been brought up in the traditional, worldly way of thinking, those instructions don’t make any sense at all. In fact, they sound like a recipe for disaster. Everyone knows that according to the fundamental law of the street—the worldly law of survival—you must protect yourself from your enemies at all costs.
A lot of folks have lived by that law and made millions of dollars that way. They’ve shoved their way to the top and flattened anyone who tried to stop them. They’ll tell you that ruthless system works and they have the riches, fame and worldly power to prove it.
But do you know what Jesus said about those people?
He said, “Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!…” (verses 24-26).
Again, many people misunderstand what He means. They assume He is teaching that riches are evil. But He isn’t saying that at all. He is telling us those people are under a curse, not because they’re rich but because they acquired their wealth through worldly ways instead of through THE BLESSING; and worldly wealth always brings grief and misery. It literally brings woe.
The wealth that comes through THE BLESSING, however, is quite different. It isn’t gained by grabbing everything you can from people. It comes from giving to them. That’s the kind of wealth that makes us rich and adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22).
Losing Your Life to Find It
“Well, I just don’t see how giving could ever make me wealthy,” someone might say. “How can I ever get ahead in life if I’m always throwing away everything I have?”
Jesus didn’t tell us to throw away everything we have. He told us to stop thinking all the time about how we can protect ourselves from other people, and start thinking instead about how we can be a blessing to them. He was trying to teach us that by walking in THE BLESSING, we can get to the place where someone could steal our coat and we’d never miss it because THE BLESSING would replace it with a better one.
That’s just what THE BLESSING does. It is raw, pure, spiritual power, and when we release it by walking in it by faith, it will turn any ugly, terrible situation in our lives into a veritable Garden of Eden. If you don’t believe it, look at Jesus. He lived perfectly in THE BLESSING. That’s why everything people tried to do to hurt or destroy Him just ended up exalting Him.
“Oh Brother Copeland, surely you’re not saying THE BLESSING will work for me just like it did for Jesus!”
Why shouldn’t it? It’s the same BLESSING! You inherited it by faith in Him; so did I; and so has every other believer. The only reason it hasn’t worked for us as powerfully as it worked for Him is because we haven’t lived in the revelation of it. We’ve lived too much like the world lives—focusing on trying to protect ourselves and meet our own needs. Jesus said in Matthew 16:25: “Whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
When we try to save our own lives, we cut ourselves off from THE BLESSING because we’re looking to ourselves—instead of God—to save us. We become our own God; and none of us is qualified for that position. We’re not qualified to protect and provide for ourselves because we don’t have the power to do it. We could work so many jobs we didn’t have time to sleep, and we’d still be unable to gain the kind of wealth God wants to give us.
On the other hand, when we give our lives to God, when we pour ourselves out loving Him with all our heart, soul and strength, and loving our neighbor as ourselves, we put ourselves under the care of the One who is qualified to make us more than conquerors in every situation. We activate His BLESSING on our lives.
When God Says, ‘Thank You’
“Yeah, but that turning the other cheek stuff is hard!” you might say. “I don’t mind being a blessing to people who are nice, but do I really have to love those folks who act ugly too?”
You do if you want to live in THE BLESSING. For, as Jesus said:
If ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:32-38).
For years we’ve quoted that last sentence all by itself as if Jesus said it so we’d have something to read in church at offering time. But actually, that verse is not meant to stand alone. It’s part of Jesus’ whole discourse on THE BLESSING.
When He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you,” Jesus is reminding us that God never meant for us to use THE BLESSING just for our own, personal enjoyment. He intends for us to spread it around so others can benefit from it. Jesus is actually reminding us of what God told Abraham thousands of years ago when THE BLESSING was given to him: “…in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3). In other words, “You are blessed to be a blessing.”
To understand why it’s so important to God that we pass His blessings along, we must look at things from His perspective. We must remember He doesn’t just love you and me; He doesn’t just love the good folks; He doesn’t just love the Christians; He loves all mankind and wants to extend His kindness even to evil and ungrateful people.
But He has a problem: Those people have cut themselves off from Him. He doesn’t have any contact with them. They won’t come to Him to receive what He has to give.
So, how can He bless them?
He can bless them through us! Since you and I have fellowship with Him, we can receive His blessings and pass them along to those who don’t know Him.
Think again, for example, about the thief who steals our coat. That thief is more precious to God than any coat could ever be. Jesus bled, died and was raised from the dead for him. So when the thief steals our coat, Jesus says to us, “Don’t fight him over it. Give him the coat he stole and offer to give him another one as well!”
When we do that, we end up blessing the guy God wanted to bless all along. In return, God says to us, “Thank you! Thank you, for offering that man My blessing. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep supplying the money. I’ll keep supplying the coats. I’ll keep supplying the victory. You keep spreading My blessings; you keep giving them; and I’ll keep putting them into your hands pressed down, shaken together, running over.” Can you see it?
I believe with all my heart that in the coming days, God is going to find a group of believers who will actually start doing that. I believe that a bunch of wild-eyed, love-motivated, faith folks are waking up and becoming such a blessing the whole world will take notice.
As they do, we’ll finally see what Jesus meant when He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over….” We will finally see what it really means to be BLESSED. –Kenneth Copeland