Blog – 7-8-15
Bless It or Block It
“I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
Bless it or block it…five simple little words than can transform our lives! I’m not exactly sure how I came up with this phrase, but it was sometime during my divorce. So many decisions had to be made, and I was trying so hard to do the “right” thing. I wasn’t so concerned about the right thing in the world’s eyes, but I wanted to do the right thing in God’s eyes. I was desperate to know what He wanted me to do. We may fight His direction and guidance during easy times, but when we’re in the middle of a crisis we reach for His hand like a lifeline.
When faced with decision after decision, I would simply pray “bless it or block it.” Some days I would say that simple prayer over and over at least a hundred times, but God always made it clear one way or the other what His plan was for me. I didn’t always like what His answer was and things didn’t always turn out like I hoped, but I knew if that’s what God was saying to me I better listen!
I quickly realized three very important things I had to do in order for this simple prayer to be effective. I had to let go, accept the no’s as well as the yes’s, and truthfully and prayerfully seek God’s will.
We’ve all probably heard the slogan from the 12-step recovery program many times, “Let go and let God.” But how do we practically do that in our lives, I mean really truly let go? If you tend to be a control freak like me, letting go is not an easy thing to do because it’s scary to not be in control. There are some things we try to hold onto with every ounce of our strength. Yet I have experienced incredible, life-changing peace when I have totally let go of something. I quickly realized that this is a key first step in making the bless it or block it prayer work.
The second key is being willing to accept the no’s as well as the yes’s. No is a word none of us likes to hear, but oftentimes it absolutely is what’s best for us. Think about times you have had to tell your kids no. It might not have been an easy thing to do, but there was always a reason for the no. Usually we could see hurtful, unhealthy consequences that could result from the situation they had no idea were out there. Sometimes we said no because we knew there was a much better yes waiting for them.
It’s exactly the same way with God. Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you,“ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God truly wants what is best for us. I think about people who lose their job, only to find a much better one! In my own life, I think about the years of infertility I went through, the no after no after no. God definitely blocked me from becoming pregnant, and the no’s were very hard to accept. When I look at my two adopted sons, however, I get a clear picture of the reason for that no. Without a shadow of a doubt, I was meant to be their mother. That’s the “plan to prosper me” that God had waiting for me that only came about because of His hard-to-accept no. I was not meant to carry my children in my womb, but I was absolutely meant to be their mom.
The last important step in making this prayer effective is to truthfully and prayerfully seek God’s will. So many times we run to our friends, family, co-workers, or maybe the latest self-help book for counsel and advice. We forget that the one who gives the greatest counsel and direction is our Heavenly Father. Psalm 32:8-9 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” God has sent His Holy Spirit to us to instruct and teach us. He wants to be the first place we run when we have a major life decision to make. I know when I have gone to Him with total honesty and fervently sought His will He has always found a way to make His will known to me. It’s a peace that I can’t really describe other than to say you know when you know when you know! It always involves me doing the first two steps – letting go and accepting whatever answer God gives me – before I hear clearly from Him.
So the next time you are facing a major decision about your career, pray this simple prayer, bless it or block it. When you really want a brand new car but you’re not sure it’s the right decision financially, bless it or block it. When you have a life-changing situation that you need to figure out, bless it or block it. You might have to pray this 100 times a day like I did and pray it for weeks or even months before you have clarity; but if you do the three things I laid out to do and if you are patient for God’s answer, I know He will give you a peace that passes all understanding about your situation. Trust Him, my friend, to bless it or block it!
I would love to hear from you about ways this simple prayer has worked in your life, so please feel free to send me an email and tell me all about it!
Have a great week, and be blessed!