The first step to have such a life is to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. What difference would it make to gain the world, then die and be cast into a lake of fire? It makes no difference what a person accomplishes in this life — if he does not get saved, he is a miserable failure.
God cannot give a prosperous and successful life to someone who rebels against His authority. Scripture says God “commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
When a person gets saved, he has God’s Holy Spirit in him, Jesus as his faithful High Priest to give grace and help in the time of need and the Creator God as his heavenly Father. Getting saved puts a person on the road to a God-blessed life. But salvation is only the first step of a blessed life. It is possible to have your name in the Lamb’s Book of Life but live a miserable life on earth.
There are things we must know in order for God to give us a blessed life. We must know who owns us. The Bible says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” (1Cor. 6:19). A Christian is redeemed. He has a new master. He has been bought with a price. He doesn’t own his life. He was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Our Lord owns us. We are His; therefore, we are to live this life in the manner He has prescribed.
We must remember the vow we made to God when we were saved. John 1:12 says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” This means you invited Jesus into your life as your Lord. Since He is Lord, He is to be obeyed.
God promised to deliver us from the penalty of sin, which is an eternal hell. He promised grace to live the Christian life. As a child of God, we are to study God’s word so we will know what the will of our Father is. No one lives a life of victory who lives in rebellion to the authority over him.
To have a blessed life, we must have the right attitudes. Attitudes determine behavior. Attitudes come from what we think about. If a thought leads us into a sin, it causes a violation of the love relationship between our heavenly Father and us. When we sin, we take advantage of His love and abuse His mercy and compassion to us.
When David sinned, he cried out in Psalm 51, “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation.” Sin steals our joy, contentment and usefulness. Sin is a terrible thing in the life of believers because it violates our relationship with God.
To live a God-blessed life, we must control our thoughts. Before salvation, we allowed the things of this world to enter our minds which formed our beliefs and produced ungodly behavior. After salvation comes, we must put God’s truth in our minds, which will form new beliefs and produce godly behavior.
Genesis 6:5 reveals what controlled people’s behavior before the flood, “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually .” Since their thinking was evil, the only behavior they could produce was evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 describes our nature: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” The only way to control a wicked heart is by the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Psalm 119:11 says, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
When a thought comes in, God’s word shines a light on that thought to reveal where it will take us if we meditate on it. If a thought can lead us into some sin, God’s Spirit and God’s Word will reveal it to us. If truth is not in our minds, there is no protection from the evil thoughts of the world, flesh or Satan. Thoughts energized by a mind void of truth will lead into sin.
The reason we sin is not because of any situation. A bad situation will only bring out or reveal something already in us. James 1:14 says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”
We are drawn into sin, not by some situation, but because of the lust in us. The problem is not our environment or because we were exposed to something or because some one did something to us. The sin was in you. The situation revealed it.
If we have sinful anger in us, and someone provokes us, that sinful anger is revealed. It is not a person or a situation that caused the anger. If the sinful anger had not been there, it could not be provoked.
The reason Jesus did not sin is because there was nothing sinful in Him; therefore, no situation could cause Him to sin. When we sin, we want to blame some one or some thing, but the problem is within us. James 1:15 reveals the end result of our sin: “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” The opposite to this kind of life is the God blessed life of learning, believing and obeying His word and having a successful life.
Arnold Martin is the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Teetersville. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com