Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 25, 2010

“i will not let go …”

In re-reading part of a book last week, I was captivated by one particular sentence. It was in a book called Break Through Prayer, by Jim Cymbala. He stated: “A man or woman living under an open heaven is more influential than someone who merely spouts theological arguments with no living reality behind them”. Living under an open heaven spoke to me about having the blessings of God poured on a life. Being blessed by the Father does not mean the absence of pain or difficulty, but any Christ follower can live under an open heaven. When you live in this place and others see it, influence for eternity can be the result.

Remember the best seller from a few years ago, The Prayer of Jabez? “Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that you would bless me … !’”(I Chronicles 4:10) The passage tells us that God granted the request. Could it be that the book became a bestseller because there is a universal desire to be blessed by God?  You probably have read the book or prayed the prayer. Why? Because you, like me, want to live under an open heaven and find the favor of God.

Another Old Testament example of seeking God’s blessing is found when Jacob wrestles with God. Granted the depth of this passage is beyond me, but his desire is not beyond our ability to reason. Genesis 32:26 states: “But Jacob replied, ‘ I will not let you go unless you bless me.’” As with Jabez, Jacob was blessed. We see the lives of others in Scripture blessed incredibly even as they were surrounded by the difficulties of life. So my conclusion is that there is a place for us under an open heaven.

But, are we willing to sacrifice our desires to live there? If you and I are to live in a place of favor, our values will constantly be submitting to His values. We will seek His direction, read His Word with passion, choose to obey His will by faith, and seek to eliminate sin in our lives. This paragraph may come across as a sermon, but Oh, what an opportunity is ours! Please don’t miss it!

Are you at a place on the journey where you are willing to say with Jacob, “I will not let go unless you bless me.”? Today’s difficulties aren’t guaranteed to go away because we seek His blessings, but that isn’t the issue. God is less concerned about our comfort than His mission for us. When we cling to the Father with all our might, His blessings will come and His mission will be fulfilled.

One of God’s great gifts to us is the beauty of a sunset. But a greater gift by far is when the Maker of the sun opens His heaven to pour favor on one of His children. You and I have that opportunity. What could be better?! And when others see His blessings, you will have influence for eternity. Cling to the Father, and look up … could the skies be parting?

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