Physical and Spiritual Blessings
By faith Abraham, even though he was past age— and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.
Humans have a limited perspective on everything. All we can see is the physical world. Many have a detached belief about the unseen world but those beliefs are often just that, simply philosophical beliefs about things that are not very real to us. The result is that our true beliefs, the ones that actually guide our everyday decisions, are limited by the value we place on the physical world. This even tends to effect the way we view The Lord and the way we view answered prayer. The natural man is only concerned with the way The Lord effects our every day life, the spiritual world is off the radar. Here is how Martin Luther explained it to his 16th century congregation.
“The Bible clearly shows that promises of physical blessings also include spiritual blessings. We weren’t created for an existence like that of cattle and donkeys. Instead, we were created for eternity. When God gives us a promise, he doesn’t limit himself to our physical needs. He isn’t concerned only about our stomachs. He also wants to keep our souls from being destroyed and wants to give us eternal life. Consequently, promises concerning external and physical matters are like the shell of a nut. But the real essence, or inner kernel, is Christ and eternal life. God, who makes the promises, isn’t speaking to donkeys and cattle. As Paul points out, “Is it about oxen that God is concerned?” (1 Corinthians 9:9). Rather, he’s concerned about intelligent human beings created in his image to live with him for eternity. God gets our attention with physical blessings so that we will learn to appreciate eternal blessings.God’s purpose in giving us food and water isn’t merely that we eat and drink without thinking, as horses and donkeys do. Rather, he gives us physical blessings so that we will realize that he is loving and kind. This will help us to believe he will take care of all our needs. Even if God gave us only a piece of straw, he would want us to acknowledge him as the eternal God whose kindness is overflowing.”
To those who have been born again and have tasted the reality of the invisible world of the Spirit there is a different view of God and His blessings. The spiritual blessing of knowing God is more precious that diamond rings, gold watches, or any other physical blessing. To know Him is better than length of days, traveling the world, or owning large tracts of land. The strange thing about this awesome discovery is found in Matt. 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Once you see that life is about knowing Him and not acquiring possessions, amazingly he provides all those temporal blessings as well.