Ephesians 1:3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
Do you consider yourself blessed?
If you search #blessed on Instagram there are over 100 million posts. This doesn’t include #blessedlife, #blessed with white praying hands emoji, #blessed with black praying hands emoji, #blessedbe, #blessedday, #blessedbeyondmeasure, or #blessedmama (all actual hashtags).
And if you look at a few of these 100 million + posts you will see things like:
- New hat today from the flea market #blessed
- Motherhood isn’t easy but it’s worth it #blessed
- New deeper rims and tires are expected soon #blessed
- Flight time #blessed
- It’s Friday #blessed
- I won on the Price is Right #blessed
- Caught 19 fish #blessed
- Headed out to (favorite restaurant) #blessed
- Haven’t showered in 56 hours but still loving Europe #blessed
But if you look at how the Bible actually uses the word blessed or blessing you might be surprised to know that it is most often used to describe how God is to be blessed by us, like at the beginning of Ephesians 1:3 – blessed be God, or like Jesus being blessed on Palm Sunday, or when God is being blessed around his throne.
Then comes the times “blessed” is used in prayer. Like Jesus blessing the bread and the wine at the Last Supper, or the bread and fish at the feeding of the 5000.
And then there’s the times we are told to bless others. Like Romans 12:14.
Finally, and actually quite rarely, there is us being blessed by God.
Ephesians 1:3 is one of those rare times. It says that we are blessed by God, in Christ, with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. A deeper word search reveals that in Galatians we have the blessing of Abraham. In Romans we are blessed because our sins are forgiven (4:7-8). In 1 Corinthians the single woman is blessed in the Spirit for staying single (7:40). In James we are blessed when we remain steadfast in trials, receiving the crown of life (1:12), and when we obey the law of liberty (1:25). In 1 Peter we are blessed when we suffer for righteousness (4:14). And in Revelation we are blessed a lot, mostly for dying and living eternally with God (1:3; 14:13; 16:15; 19:9; 20:6; 22:7; 22:14).
What do we NOT see in scripture? Not a single verse connects God’s blessing of us to a material or earthly blessing. Not a single one. God’s blessing for us in scripture is always a deeper spiritual experience of Christ and his love and grace. Christ is the ONE true blessing from God. Every spiritual blessing is found in union with him alone. Nothing else. The spiritual blessings that God offers us are ONLY found IN CHRIST. Only he can make you #blessed.
And God is not holding out on us either. We have EVERY spiritual blessing. Every last one. Every spiritual blessing that Jesus has we share with him. Let that soak in for a minute. Nothing is lacking spiritually in your life. Oh, if only every Christian would believe this! You can stop begging God to bless you, or fill you, or even help you. He already has! He has already given you everything you need for life and godliness by your union with Christ. We no longer need to ask for these blessings. We simply need to trust in them each and every moment of every day.
So what are they? What are our spiritual blessings in the heavenly places? Keep reading Ephesians 1 and you’ll see a pretty comprehensive list – holiness, blamelessness, love, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, inheritance, power. And we could spend hours meditating on each one of God’s glorious heavenly blessings. But for today let’s just start by understanding that our spiritual, heavenly blessings are NOT the #blessed of social media. They are not the earthly blessings of good health, more stuff, job promotions, ministry success. Yes, those things are from God and they are good. But the heavenly spiritual blessings that Paul is talking about are far better, for they can sustain you in the trials of life even when you lose all your earthly blessings – your health, your stuff, your status, your freedom, or even your very life.
What does all this mean for us? It means yes, go ahead and count your blessings name them one by one. But if you are failing to see the ONE who is your ultimate blessing then stop. Your heart has been misled. If your hope is found in new hats, fishing, motherhood, game shows, and treks across Europe then you’re missing it. Those things are not eternal enough or good enough to satisfy your soul. Only God is – blessed be God!
“To live is Christ” means that you already have EVERY spiritual blessing. YOU CANNOT BE MORE BLESSED THAN YOU ALREADY ARE. This is the good news. Now we can live life as Christ does – not to earn a blessing, but from being blessed. There’s a huge difference. One will destroy you, the other will give you wings to fly.
Are you blessed? Why or why not?
You in Christ
How does knowing that you have every spiritual blessing of Christ change how you pray? Act?
Christ in you
How might you live from being blessed today, rather than living to be blessed?