”God bless you.” It’s such a commonly used phrase within the community of Christ-followers. Every day and many times in that day we express that wish to one another. And in our daily prayers we ask God to bless us. Have you ever gotten up in the morning and prayed, “Lord, please bless me today?” Me, too.
It is the most natural thing for us to ask the Almighty, All-knowing, All-merciful, Gracious, and Loving God of the universe to “bless” us. But, I’ve come across a whole series of verses that have made me stop and think.
Here are just two examples:
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
How can we as finite and flawed followers “bless” the eternally great God? What could I possibly have to offer to “bless” God’s heart? In fact, just the idea of God, sitting on the Throne of Heaven and having a pleased smile come onto His face specifically because of something I have done, gives me goose bumps.
When we think of the two words, “God” and “bless,” we immediately think of what is done for us or to us. We wake up in the morning and the first thoughts of the day can easily be, “Lord, would You please bless me today? – I need it.”
But, I’ve been thinking how different the day would go and how different my perspective might be if I woke up and the first prayer on my lips was, “Lord, how can I bless You today?”
Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits
Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
But as for us, we will bless the Lord From this time forth and forever. Praise the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the Lord.
Back to the question, “What could we possibly have to offer The Lord God Almighty that would please Him and make Him sit back and smile with a blessed heart?”
The Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) by J. Swanson tells us the Hebrew word for “bless” is בָּרַךְ (bā·rǎḵ) a verb that means “to kneel down, i.e., to be or go to a stance in which one is on the knees as contrasted with standing on the feet,…note: in context this position can be a position of worship or humility…”
That definition helps. God is pleased. He is blessed when I willingly surrender my own will to His. When I submit my own desires to what He wants for me. That blesses God.
My morning prayer of, “How can I bless You, Lord?” is already answering itself. If we go into each day with the over-riding commitment to humbly be available to Him?, He will be blessed. And I think we will also be blessed. I’m reminded of 1 Peter 5:6 that says,
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time
Being exalted at the proper time sure sounds like a blessing to me and it all starts with the humbling of our spirits under God’s controlling hand…that’s blessing Him. And when God is pleased that pleasure is reflected back on us and we are blessed.
Back in The Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) we’re told that the Hebrew word בָּרַךְ (bā·rǎḵ) when applied to us means to, “…commend, i.e., speak words invoking divine favor, with the intent that the object will have favorable circumstances or state at a future time…”
Of course, “divine favor” and “favorable circumstances” sounds like something to be desired for all of us. But think of it. You and I can actually make God feel good. We can please Him, the One who has done so much for you and me, in the provision of His Son to die for our sins! We can bless Him!
We can bless Him today! So, do we?
Think about it…