Who do you think you are? Apart from how your parents, friends, boss, or neighbors would describe you, how would you describe yourself?
According to the Apostle Paul, you are blessed.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places Ephesians 1:3, ESV
Others might not see you as blessed. You might not feel blessed. You may find it hard to believe you’re blessed. But, God says you are blessed.
Where are your blessings? In the heavenly realms. How many blessings do you have? Every single one. Why are you blessed? Because God has created you new in Christ.
What does it mean to be blessed with every spiritual blessing? What are spiritual blessings anyway? Spiritual blessings refer to the gifts of identity, relationship, and power that we need to fulfill our purpose in Christ. Paul says they aren’t here in the earthly realm, the realm of material things. They are spiritual blessings, not physical blessings. Though our houses, cars, clothes, and material goods are certainly also blessings from God. The blessings Paul is talking about are spiritual blessings which exist in the heavenly realms that we access through Christ. Our blessings are not limited to the physical space, time, and circumstances that we face every day. We may have good days or we may have bad days. Some days we can pay the rent, some days we can’t. Some days our closets are organized, some days they aren’t. Some days we feel like we can conquer the world; some days we just want to hide under our bed with the dust bunnies. But our spiritual blessings are consistent even when our material blessings are not.
A number of years ago, I worked a job that allowed me to travel quite often, especially internationally. Pretty quickly I started to rack up frequent flyer miles on the airline I flew most often. But when I tried to cash in those reward miles to plan a trip for my wife and myself, I quickly realized they could only be used under certain circumstances. There were a lot of blackout dates and special rules about how and when they could be used. In reality, it was very frustrating trying to make use of those rewards.
Material blessings can be like that. It can seem hit and miss whether we have material blessings, whether or not they are helpful to us, and how much we might feel dependent on them. But spiritual blessings are good all the time, in all circumstances, no matter where we are, no matter what we’re doing. Spiritual blessings are always in effect and always at our disposal.
There’s an old gospel song that says, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one.” How many spiritual blessings do you have? Paul says that we have every spiritual blessing. We aren’t lacking in any one because we are in Christ, and because we are in Christ, we have every spiritual blessing that Christ has. So if Christ has one, that means we also have it.
Now, you may say, “Sure, it’s great that I have these spiritual blessings, but I don’t feel blessed. I’m still having difficulty at work. My spouse and I are still fighting. I still need more money in my bank account. I don’t feel blessed at all.” Let me ask this question: How do your feelings affect the truth of this text? Does the way you feel have any effect on whether or not the text is true? If God says you have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, do your feelings change that truth? Now, let’s reverse the question: How might this text change your feelings? If this text is true, that you do indeed have every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, how might that inform your feelings based on the truth of this text? Is it possible the truth in this text could positively impact your feelings?
The apostle Peter says, “[God’s] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). God has given us what we need for what we face. He’s given us what we need to accomplish his purposes in our lives. We may not feel that way. We may not always see it, but it is the truth. And the more mature we grow in Christ, the more we see and understand how to utilize our spiritual blessings and to be thankful for them because they can impact every situation, every circumstance, every part of our lives.
One of the great lies of the world’s narrative, the story that the world is trying to tell us, is that our resources aren’t enough. We need something more. We need a little bit bigger paycheck, a little bit nicer car, a little bit cuter boyfriend or a little bit kinder wife. But what if God isn’t as concerned about our finances, our possessions, and the ease of our relationships as we are? What if his primary purpose is to strengthen our faith in him? What if he wants us to one day be able to say with Paul, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Philippians 4:12)? God has promised to provide all we need to be holy, content, satisfied, and fruitful. Maybe one of Paul’s secrets was understanding that spiritual blessings are greater than material ones.
In lieu of a comments section Intersekt accepts and publishes letters to the editor. If you would like to write a letter to the editor, you can do so here.