Blessing is so kingdom! So New Testament! So powerful! So Jesus!
Jesus blessed and cursed. Blessing repositions the blessed in the crosshairs of the target of blessing, a place where curse is broken, where limitation is broken down and broken through. On the other hands, things blessed can suddenly experience limitation because they have failed to function, and the curse exposes their dysfunction.
Jesus identified blessing and cursing as keys of authority in His kingdom, and then He gave the keys that were in His hand to us! Jesus made us responsible to bless and curse as a leadership dynamic for establishing kingdom and expanding ecclesia.
I guess we better get good at it then!
As we learned last session, we bless what God blesses and curse what God curses. The tense and sense of the words of Jesus are that we bless “what has already been blessed in heaven” and “curse what has already been cursed in heaven.” We don’t have authority or responsibility to source blessing and cursing in ourselves, our friends and family, or use authority for any ends except those of the kingdom.
Nor do we properly entertain the notion that “being quiet is the safest route.” We never get the point of personal privilege in kingdom to avoid responsibility in order to avoid error, imperfection, or failure. The story of the talents teaches us that servants who bury God’s invested authorizations are treated like the wicked!
We have also learned that we have authority and responsibility to bless and curse within the scope of our assignments. We aren’t responsible for everything or everybody. We don’t enjoy the randomness of free-grazing our leadership to fix or influence anything we find appealing to our sensibilities on a whim! We have specific assignments. We function within those assignments with spiritual authority and power. We function in this leadership dynamic in order to implement God’s strategies. And, we must avoid the number one strategy of hell in order to remain successful: we must avoid substitutes.
If hell can keep us from our assignments, hell will work to limit our fulfillment of assignments through substitutes and distractions. Or, hell will work get us to do anything but what God has assigned us to do, even if what we do seems to build kingdom. This is the reality of the scariest Scripture: “Many shall say in that day, Lord, Lord…”
Think about it.
Blessing expands. Curse limits. Jesus blesses us beyond the curse; the blessing goes deeper than the curse has gone! The blessing stretches wider that the boundaries of limitation curse has set. The blessing does more than the curse can do. Blesses reverses curses.
Blessing not only reverses curses; it restores what curse has limited. When blessing arrives, acceleration occurs! A season of catching up begins when blessing kicks in. Blessing not only stops tormenting limitations, it restores function and fulfillment!
Let’s examine the curse aspect of kingdom. Some things need to be limited. Some things need to dry up and blow away. Some things need to stop producing. Some things should no longer be allowed to sap resources while failing to produce results.
Perhaps this is the sense of the cursed fig tree. It draws from the ground nutrients and moisture but fails to produce fruit. Simply having the potential means nothing!
Beware the strong tendency to value potential more than production. I see people all the time with potential, and it a strong distraction and substitute for what Jesus assigns our leadership and authority to accomplish.
Let me draw what may seem to be a fine line that is, in fact, a great fixed gulf between taking care of lost sheep, protecting weak and vulnerable people assigned to our leadership, and continuing to invest time, energy, prayer, emotion, and space for people who simply refuse to produce fruit. The potential-packed crowd has become a thirty-five year old, unmarried, not working, sleep til noon, eat the food and never share the burden freeloader!
I refuse to bless freeloaders! I will protect the poor, vulnerable, and simply with my life. Can you tell the difference? Are you oppressing the poor while enabling grownups with breastfeeding? If your baby is standing up to nurse, it may be time for a change in strategy! When babies bite the nipple, you might want to get a chair at the table.
Conversely, when able-bodied saints show up to show off but produce little fruit, Jesus isn’t falling all over Himself in heaven speaking baby talk. He blesses children and asks us to become like children in some aspects in order to experience spiritual things as children are open to do. Jesus does not espouse the development of daycares as substitutes for boot camps!
Jesus does include unemployment benefits in your kingdom employment package since the kingdom assignments only end when you aren’t breathing anymore!
Let me spell it out for ya. If you are a lazy saint, a breastfeeding adult, Jesus is not investing the resources of the kingdom for you to produce shade. Fig trees that don’t produce figs dry up because Jesus turns off the sprinklers. Fig trees that don’t produce figs fall down because Jesus stops securing a place for their root systems in kingdom territory. God provides light and shade. He doesn’t need shade trees. Beautiful leaves don’t warrant blessing.