The Bless Me Theology What Will You Be Found Seeking?
Acts 4: 32-33 All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. The apostles testified powerfully to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and God's great blessing was upon them all. (NLT)
This is your year of supernatural blessing! So screams the smiling televangelist to a crowd of 17,000 cheering people. God wants to give you increase! God wants to expand your territories! The crowds lap it up because after all, who doesn't want to be blessed? But there is an undercurrent of poor theology mixed with greed in what American Christianity has become in these the last days. The bless me, bless me, bless me theology has produced a Christianity that no longer pursues God but rather pursues His blessings. There are two inherent flaws in that line of thought. The first being that God Himself is the blessing as opposed to the carnal and material wants of this life. Secondly, that we are in fact pursuing the wrong thing:
Instead we tend to pursue everything we want and we craft a religion to fit our desires. We see from the key verses however that the original design for the church was one of unity in purpose and understanding. They felt that God had blessed them already with what they owned, so they shared everything. The verse actually says that they thus considered what they owned was not even theirs! Could you imagine if that were to happen in the church today? That is how God intended blessings to be regarded not as something to pursue but something already given! Not as something to hold onto tightly but something to share with all. That is how you turn the "bless me" theology into the "how can I bless you" way of God.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2: 10 (NLT)
We are each a masterpiece in the eyes of God. His recreating us in Christ was specifically so we could be a blessing to others not so we can sit in a pew and wait for more blessings from God. It is actually within the process of blessing others that we allow the blessings of God into our own lives. This is the fundamental flaw within the bless me now crowd it turns blessings into worldly materialism and away from eternal values. Blessings beloved are those things God has already given you, not what the devil shows you that you do not have. True prosperity is when your spirit prospers and you move within the plan of God for your life not when you get a new car. It is when your marriage is strong in the Lord, your kids are safe, and you have solid friends you can count on. But the bless me now mentality treats these things as afterthoughts.
Now look at the key verses for what they preached! They testified powerfully about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the result was that God's great blessing was upon them all! Did that mean they all lived in fancy houses and prospered materially? No. It meant that they were walking within the plan of God for their lives. There is no greater blessing after salvation beloved.
The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand. Proverbs 37: 23-24 (NLT)
The Lord delights in every detail of our lives! He wants to direct our steps specifically so that we will not fall, though we may stumble! That is the blessing of God! A car will rust and the average lifetime is ten years, assuming no accidents or theft. But what do you do when despair settles in your heart? What about that new job or hot shot promotion? The average job now lasts less than ten years and that is assuming no lay offs for a poor economy. But what can you do when your life is in mourning? That new house you just have to have will last you on average 25 years, assuming no structural damage, natural disasters or bank repossession. But what can you do when you feel captive by this world and the lies that it sells? Well, here are the blessings God came to give to us:
Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me
to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Isaiah 61: 1-4 (NIV)