By Ben & Tara Orchard
Do people notice God’s blessings in your life? Do they see that there is something different about you? The way you speak, the way you act, the way you conduct the business of your life? It’s a sobering thought isn’t it, to think, “At any time, do people see clear evidence that Christ is in my life? Do people see that I am blessed by God?” They did with Isaac.
Isaac was a man much like us. He was deeply flawed and profoundly blessed—at the same time. People noticed both of these. The people around Isaac noticed his failures. How could they not?
Here’s some food for thought. Why is it we pick up on others' flaws but struggle with their blessings?
Isaac, like his father Abraham, lied to Abimelech about his wife. He told the king that Rebekah was his sister, not his wife. He did this just after God had appeared to him and spoke audibly to him. Isaac put his wife in a potentially dangerous situation and endangered God’s blessings as well. What kind of behavior is that for a believer? It was certainly not righteous. Why did he do this? To save his own skin. Yikes! Yes, Isaac was not only flawed, he was deeply flawed.
But his lie was discovered as God brought his sin to light. Abimelech just happened to look out his window and saw Isaac and Rebekah acting like the lovers they were. “That’s not his sister! He lied to me and everyone else.”
Perhaps we won’t blow it on such a scale as Isaac’s, but perhaps our sin will be even worse. We can’t escape the fact that sin is sin. In any case, people notice that we are not perfect. Confessing our sins to God on a regular basis, and to one another, results in a transformed and transparent life that honors God.
But people around us should notice God’s blessings on our lives. God graciously blessed Isaac right after his failure. He did so because of His loyal love. We too are recipients of His loyal love.
Isaac was blessed by his crops yielding a hundred-fold in the middle of a drought. Also, in the midst of this water crisis, when others were desperately trying to water their herds, Isaac dug wells that flowed freely with water. Surely God was demonstrating amazing favor by blessing Isaac.
People noticed. The recognized that he had been blessed by God. And there were two responses that we can expect as well.
Some opposed him. “It wasn’t fair” they judged, “that Isaac should have crops, herds and water when we don’t.” So they tried to sabotage his blessings by filling his wells with dirt. Is it possible that we too sabotage others' blessings? Jealousy, gossip, and grumbling in our lives reveals a heart that is not exactly rejoicing in others' blessings.
We may find that when God blesses our lives that some are envious and will actually oppose us. We must see this as a matter of fact in the world in which we live. When it happens, we know it is predictable behavior. Righteousness is always opposed.
Some approached him. When king Abimelech saw that the Lord was with him, he brought his important leaders to make an agreement with Isaac. They realized that there was something greater than them at work in the life of Isaac, and so they approached him. They wanted to be on the right side of whatever it was that he had. When Christ is evident in our lives, we may find even unbelievers approach us for wisdom and prayers.
When God blesses our lives, it is undeniable. Not necessarily because of crops and herds and water, but because of His presence in our lives. How could that not make a difference? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
There is no blessing you do not already possess. You do possess every blessing that exists in the universe—in Christ. Do people notice?