by John Ellis
As the old song lyric taken from Psalm 50 goes, “My Father owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” And what a joyous and comforting lyric it is. God, who is love, has no end to His bounty. What’s more, He wants to share His bounty with His children.
In Deuteronomy 7:13, God promises that, “He will love you, bless you, and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb, and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your [grape juice] and your oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock.”
Did you catch all of that? Breaking the verse down, there is no aspect of your life that God doesn’t want to bless. Having family problems? God wants to “bless the fruit of your womb.” Having financial difficulties? God wants to heap material blessings on you. And since He “owns the cattle on a thousand hills,” His storehouse of material blessings is always full. Do not put limits on what God can do for you.
Sadly, we do limit what God can do for us. As Zechariah 3:7 says, “Thus says the Lord of Hosts: If you walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts.”
God wants us to learn how to empower ourselves through faithful obedience. He has promised to bless us, but we have to do our part, too. As Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Have faith! Give sacrificially so that God can bless you. Don’t be afraid to name God’s blessings that you need and deserve, and then claim those blessings through faith. Don’t be afraid of that mountain standing in the way of your success.
Sadly, many people have failed to claim God’s blessings through faith. Below are brief descriptions of three people who failed to claim God’s blessings through faith and tragically died without tasting of the goodness of their Father who was waiting to bless them. Their lives can be instructive warnings to all of us to not waste our life by failing to name and claim God’s blessings.
A noted scholar and theologian, William Tyndale could’ve accomplished much for God if only he had demonstrated faith the size of a mustard seed. Instead, he failed to name God’s promised blessings for his life and then claim those blessings through faith. While he was still in his early forties, Tyndale was strangled to death and then his dead body was burned at the stake.
Constantly hounded by the authorities throughout much of his adult life, William Tyndale lived a life devoid of blessings from God. His tragic life and death are a sad testament to what can happen when God’s children fail to embrace the fact that God wants nothing more than to bless them.
Not only did Jim Eliot suffer a gruesome death like William Tyndale, he spent the last few years of his short life suffering in the jungle away from the material blessings that could’ve been his. God may own the cattle on a thousand hills, but Jim Eliot failed to enjoy those blessings. To make matters worse, he died beside a river in that jungle. Surely, if faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain, it could stop a spear.
The Apostle Paul
Multiple shipwrecks, beatings, hunger, and imprisonment characterized the life of Paul. What a wasteful testament to how lack of faith fails to fill the storehouse of your life that God wants to fill. Paul lived longer than the other two men on this list, so he had more time to get it together, trust God, and claim God’s blessings for his life. Instead, he trudged through a persecuted life that ended with imprisonment and execution.
God could’ve stopped the untimely deaths of William Tyndale, Jim Eliot, and the Apostle Paul. But God won’t force His blessings on people. Sadly, instead of claiming God’s blessing of health, William Tyndale, Jim Eliot, and Paul had their lives tragically cut short. Instead of claiming God’s desire to materially bless His children, William Tyndale, Jim Eliot, and Paul suffered deprivation due to their lack of faith. Don’t be like these three men. Name God’s blessings for your life, and then claim those blessings through faith.