by Pam Clark

We get lots of preaching on the blessings of God. And since I have studied enough to know that God not only has the power to bless but wants to bless, I don't mind hearing about the blessings. In fact, I am a bit opposed to the messages that imply your hurting so that others are blessed is the way to please our God. That's a contradiction!

But being the naturally greedy person that I am in my natural man, I'm like Jimmy who will take all you will gimme! My beady little eyes will light up sometimes with things I would like to have. (Pastor John Osteen humor there, he used to say all that a lot.)

And to be honest, I have found a very loving and giving God. But while He is limitless in His abilities, He is not a push-over for whatever I want. There are dynamics at work.

Jesus gave His Life so that all might be saved. That work was so great that it encompassed all the fullness that man could ever attain. But Jesus often said that He only did what He saw the Father doing and that He came to fulfill and perform the will of the Father. "Not My will but Thine be done."

Since the suffering is so related to the desire of His joy set before us, we are not wrong to note that there is sacrifice in life. If this present world was all there is, then selfishness would seem to be the bottom line. But inside all of us there is something that says "There is more."

I love those full days, don't you? Some days I am so full of God, I think I will pop! But even after years of living for Him to the best of my strength, I still find there are days and seasons where I am extremely hungry for more. Those days can make you forget that you were ever once full!

Sometimes God is correcting us and sometimes He is expanding us. But we need to know that He is not leaving us or forsaking us. Until we get that down, we are going to have big struggles in our growth.

Some call that roller coaster Christianity. You're way up one day and way down the next, but if we lay our foundation of trust in Him first, then our progress will be a steady uphill incline, even if there are a few potholes along the way. He is speaking.

God really does look at the heart. He is not just managing individuals, He is managing the whole world and an expanse of time. We have to find our place in that. Now when we see the scope of the Universe, we can feel dwarfed, and when we look at the grasshopper, we may feel like a giant!

But God is happy to place us in all that and reveal His will and our place. Those who seek God will find Him, but we have to make the efforts. Sometimes we just need an "Abba Daddy" prayer and sometimes we have to really expend our efforts! But He is our Father, and so it pays to get in in the right tune with Him. He is singing a song!!! (Smile...) He is rejoicing over us with Love!

God wants to bless us in the Big Picture of things. But our place in the big picture must have a balance. Sometimes we compete with God (but I promise He isn't worried about it) and sometimes we think God has forgotten us completely, but He hasn't. But He is speaking by His Spirit and if we don't hear with our Spiritual ears, we may miss something trying to order things in our natural mind.

Compassion is God's trademark. But a forward focus also is. Even that has balance in God's system of things.

The man who was given a talent and sat on it out of fear was rebuked as worthless. That can seem strong except that God did create us for a reason. We may not always understand His reasonings, but He does expect something from us - just for living life!

Sometimes we have grand ideas. I know I do. I've been encouraged, and gratefully so, to believe God for big things. I've been told that He is more than willing and able. And because I was taught and encouraged in that, I've done, tried and experienced more than I ever would have if I had just believed I was to only live in this little circle of life.

But in the "going for it" I've also discovered that there are obstacles and I had to get past the grief that somebody lied to me. People have. I get to "get over it!" But even that experience has taught me to trust the Lord and His Word first, and it's also opened my mind up to somewhat understand more the sculpting work of God. He is the Potter and we are the clay, right? Even nature should tell you that He is pretty awesome and consistent.

We should pray for wisdom and common sense because they are very important tools for getting down the road of life. If we are not teachable here, we will get stuck. But there is a joy in walking with God, and that is where the steady blessings come in. As we learn to walk with God, He can increase our joy and our strength and our ability to receive.

Sometimes we are Jimmy and we say we will take all He will gimme (give me). But you know, it takes some strength to hold different things. There is a limit to the weight I can carry, but over time that ability has increased and there are seasons in that. The word glory in the Hebrew is chabad and it means a weightiness of substance.

The anointing can be very tangible. Some are content with the giggles and there is nothing wrong with the giggles. We think it's adorable when babies giggle, but sometimes children are silly. Correction helps that, but there is more to life than just laughing. And it's certainly not being a grumpy old man or woman. God has joy for us and that joy is our strength.

Joy is related to love and faith, and that will beget! God wants us to produce in Him and He wants us to participate in the things which make for Life. But He doesn't want to be just a Giver, He wants to be a Companion. And He is so big, He gets hungry for lots of companionship! I wonder sometimes if He doesn't like some animals better than humans like we do!

But to be honest, mankind is His highest crowning creation - we are made in His image - and since it's all we got, we need to go with it. Mankind has many dimensions that the animal kingdom cannot enter. We have been given reasoning and choice. We need to understand that God has those characteristics, too. When He decides Chicago needs snow, they get it!

He is able. Sometimes when we petition Him, He just wants to know "What's in it for Him?" He is not going to break the rules to adjust to us unless it serves His Higher purposes - this is where He is Sovereign. If we line up with Him, we can get blessed real big! He is about producing Life, in every aspect. We need to understand His position.

He's given us talents, some that we don't even know we have yet. He has given us Spiritual gifts and tools for working in His Kingdom. If we don't use them, we don't prosper! But most Givers aren't giving because they are helpless. They give because they believe it will work for good. His gifts should cultivate His fruit. Jesus exhorted us to test the things of Him by its fruit.

God is a bit bigger than we are, and we don't understand it all, but we should try. Sometimes we are crying out to God because we want or need something and sometimes He is holding back because He wants or needs something. Sometimes the enemy just has a temporary advantage, but in Christ, it is working for our good. I know that's hard to believe sometimes, but if we do, we will find that is a good strategy for life.

When we are teachable, when we realize we aren't managing the Universe (even though I have wanted to try for about 2 minutes, ha ha), we can grow in God and in that growing is the discovery of your multi-dimensional, multi-faceted self. Where He is, there is life that will beget more life. But He governs the contours. Where He isn't, there will be corruption that begets more corruption.

Sometimes we want more, but God is asking us, "What's in in for Him?" Our joy is full when His joy and satisfaction is in us.

What's in it for God? I hope you will find that it is a wonderful continuing life discovery. In pleasing Him by the Spirit, you will find your blessings released in ever increasing measures.