Have you ever lost a blessing? You know what I’m talking about; God blessed you somehow but you mishandled that blessing and God decided you were not ready for it and it was taken from you. I hope this has never happened to you; it’s happened to me and it’s one of the most painful things you can endure. There is a lot of truth to that old saying that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Scripture is full of stories of people who lost their blessings for a variety of reasons that are really instructive to us as we work to fulfill God’s will when he blesses us. Let me give you some examples.
Adam and Eve – You know the story; they lost Eden and perfect relationship with God not only for them but for the rest of us through their willful disobedience of the only rule they were given by God.
Cain – In his anger with God he kill’s his brother Abel and loses his place with his family and has to hide in a city of refuge in fear for his life.
Moses and the Israelites – Because of their sins God does not let Moses or all but two of the first generation of Israelites enter the promised land and instead makes them march around the desert for 40 years never to obtain the blessing of Abraham’s covenant with God.
Samson – You know this story, too. God gives Sampson incredible strength so he can rescue his people from the Philistines. However, Sampson hooks up with Delilah and disrespects his gift by toying with her and eventually telling her the secret of his strength. She betrays him and he loses his strength, is captured, has his eyes put out, and the God allows one last feat of strength to bring down the Philistine temple on his and everyone else’s head.
King Saul – Israel’s first king was anointed by God through the prophet Samuel to lead God’s people. He did okay at first, but he loses his blessing when he decides that he cannot wait for Samuel to show up and performs priestly duty of offering God a burnt offering and fellowship offering. Saul loses his kingship to David due to his impatience and disobedience. He also loses his sanity to some degree all because he thought as King he could perform another’s role.
King David – Although a man after God’s own heart, David sinned with Bathsheba (adultery), had her husband killed (murder), and did not repent until the prophet Nathan shamed him a year after the event (pride). David lost two blessings – the son from Bathsheba from their tryst and the right to build God’s Temple in Jerusalem.
King Solomon – Blessed with extraordinary wisdom, Solomon abused his power and disobeyed God by having foreign wives (a thousand!), as well as extreme wealth. At the end of his life he writes the book of Ecclesiastes and admits that his entire life was a waste; he had tried everything under the sun only to realize the only important thing was the fear of the Lord. His blessing went severely under used for God’s purpose.
Ananias and Sapphira – As part of the Pentecostal first church after Jesus’ ascension, Ananias and Sapphira lie about the amount they are giving toward the church and are killed by God for lying to the Holy Spirit. They were greedy and didn’t want to give all they earned from the sale of some property to God and instead lied and said they did give the entire amount even though they knew they held some back.
If you need more examples read the Gospels and pay attention to Jesus who clearly outlines what one can lose if they do not do as he commands (forgiveness, judgment, salvation, etc…).
When I read these stories, there is a clear pattern that emerges that should instruct us how not to act when it comes to our blessings. They include:
- Do what God tells you to do or there will be consequences in your life and those consequences may not affect just you!
- Do not overstep the authority you are given by God. Stay in your lane. God’s timing is His own – wait on the Lord.
- Your blessings do not allow you to be arrogant and take them for granted. God will remove that blessing if you cannot respect it.
- Your blessings do not allow you to violate God’s commandments even if those blessings include leadership, power, position, influence, and wealth.
- Under used or undervalued blessings will result in an unfulfilled life. Fulfillment comes by doing the Lord’s will with the gifts he’s given you. You cannot get fulfillment from the world.
- Don’t lie to God – He knows everything so you can’t get away with it. The only person you’re really fooling is yourself and it’s going to be painful when the lie becomes known.
Let me add a few more things from Jesus:
- Judge not lest ye be judged
- Forgive as you’ve been forgiven or your Father will not forgive you (Parable of the Forgiven Debt)
- You cannot serve two masters God and Money or God and anything else for that matter (Parable of the Rich Young Ruler)
- Use your gifts to the full or you will be considered a failure (Parable of the Talents)
- Non-Believers will be thrown into the fire and lose the opportunity to have eternal relationship with God (Parable of the Weeds)
A common phrase we all use is “Count Your Blessings!” I’d actually like you to do that. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and write down all the blessings God has given you, including material blessings, gifts and talents you have, the people in your life, and anything else that comes to mind.
Are you handling them correctly or do you see yourself in any of the lost blessing stories above? Unfortunately I have lost blessing in my life due to pride, arrogance, and undervaluing them. You never get those blessings back and it hurts when you discover what you’ve lost. That said, our God is a good God and he will redeem you when you come to Him and admit your failings. He will restore you – differently than before but in a powerful way.
My prayer for you is that you never experience a lost blessing but if you do go to God, take responsibility for your actions, and ask that he not only forgive you but redeem you in this area.