I recently greeted a Christian brother with the question, “How are you?” and received the reply, “I’m blessed and highly favoured”. I know for sure that that dear brother truly knows the reality of being blessed and highly favoured by the Lord, but his answer to my question reminded me of when I lived in a town in England about an hour’s drive north of London. I met a Christian brother and his wife there who’d moved up from London to plant a new church.
I would sometimes meet the husband as he gave out tracts and invitations to their church services, and soon realised that every time I asked him how he was, his answer was always the same – “I’m blessed and highly favoured”. If I met his wife, she too would give the same response if asked how she was. It was hard to argue with their statement, because, as Christians, God’s word tells us that in Christ we’ve been blessed with ‘every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 1:3).
Nor could I deny that, as adopted children of God, we’ve been shown amazing grace and favour, but their answer always seemed to cut conversations very short. Later, some Christian friends, another married couple, began to attend the new church started by that couple, and began to get to know them on a deeper level, visiting them in their home. It soon became apparent that the couple were experiencing deep problems in their marriage and were far from experiencing the blessing and favour of God in their relationship with each other. My friends tried to help them to be real with each other, and with God, so that the confession of their lips could be matched by their life together.
Many of us Christians can struggle to be real with our brothers and sisters in Christ, especially if we’ve found in the past that making ourselves vulnerable to others resulted in them making us feel that we were weak, that we were failures, and that we were to just ‘be strong’. That way we can end up living a life of pretence, saying we’re fine, when in reality we’re in need.
I must admit that I don’t bare my heart to every Christian who asks me how I am, but I treasure those brothers and sisters who don’t allow me to pretend, but instead encourage me to be real with them and God. We have a heavenly Father who knows how we are before we say a word. He’ll meet with us as we come to Him in truth and allow Him to bring our lives into line with His will. Then we can truly live as those who are blessed and highly favoured.
Prayer: Father, thank You that You know me as I really am, and I don’t need to pretend before You. Help me to be real with You, and with trustworthy Christian brothers and sisters. Make me someone who others can be real with too. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
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