Do we bless God or do we blaspheme Him?
Most of our prayers revolve around asking God for blessings and protection. The idea of blessing God through our attitudes and words may be foreign to some of us, yet it is central to an authentic relationship with Him. God is not a static vending machine of blessings. He is the Lord of the entire universe, worthy of our humble adoration and fearful reverence. Let us make it a practice of blessing Him.
Psalm 103:1 ESV Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
We bless God by giving Him the highest honour and worship
Here are the ways we bless God.
- Remember God and give Him thanks | Deuteronomy 8: 10-11 ESV And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,
- Acknowledge His sovereignty | 1 Chronicles 29:10-11 ESV Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly. And David said: “Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.
- Humbly bow down and worship Him | Nehemiah 8:6 ESV And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.
- Sing songs that declare His glorious works to all people | Psalm 96:2 ESV Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
- Dedicate a material offering to Him | 1 Chronicles 29:20-21 ESV 20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king. And they offered sacrifices to the Lord, and on the next day offered burnt offerings to the Lord, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams, and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel.
When we bless God with the right attitude, our blessings smell like fragrant incense to Him. By the same token, there will be times when our attitudes stink and our prayers come across as foul. How can we ensure that the words that come out of our mouths bless God sweetly rather than blaspheme Him?
Psalm 141:1-3 ESV O Lord, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice! Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!
We blaspheme God through ignorant, irreverent words
Blasphemy is the act of insulting or behaving without reverence towards God. Most of us have unknowingly blasphemed God at one time or another. In times of pain, ignorance, desperation or defiance, we might have said something highly disrespectful about God.
Even King David, who was favoured and blessed by God, has said some rather irreverent things before God. David didn’t hide his doubts, frustrations, and anguish from God. The king was true and honest about his feelings, because he knew that God was already aware of everything in his heart anyway. After venting his frustrations to God, David blessed God with praise and worship. David stayed faithful to God in spite of his momentary lapse of reverence.
Psalm 13:1-6 NLT O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because he is good to me.
Similarly, we might have thought or said some irreverent things about God, such as:
- “God is not real.”
- “God is a fraud.“
- “God is an alien.“
- “God never loved us.“
- “God is not powerful enough.”
- “God is not here. He can’t be everywhere all at once.“
- “God doesn’t hear our prayers. God is deaf.“
- “God makes people suffer.“
- “God makes mistakes. He made me a mistake.”
- “God is stupid.”
- “God is cruel.”
- “I can do whatever God does.”
- “I hate God.”
- “Go to hell, God.”
We may also have cursed God or used His name as a curse word or expletive.
Exodus 20:7 ESV “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
As much as it grieves God to hear such prayers, He is exceptionally compassionate and knows our weaknesses and feelings. It is for this reason that He is willing to forgive us when we repent and ask Him for forgiveness.
Matthew 12:31-32 ESV Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Let us turn our hearts back to God 100%, ask for His forgiveness for all the careless words we have spoken, and bless His name instead. Every word we have ever spoken is recorded in our book of life in heaven, so the more specific we can be about seeking God’s forgiveness for all the different occasions we have blasphemed Him, the better.
Matthew 12:35-37 ESV The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Take care not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit
There is a form of blasphemy that God will not forgive, however, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.
An example of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is when we willfully and stubbornly attribute genuine miracles or answered prayers said in Jesus’ name to Satan instead. We can rejoice and bless God’s precious name anytime wonderful works are done in Jesus’ name, even if they are done by non-believers.
Mark 9:38-40 ESV John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us.
There is an example of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit in the Bible. It was when some teachers of God’s Law attributed Jesus’ work in delivering people of demons to Satan. This demonstrates a willful and rebellious rejection of God Almighty and a refusal to humbly submit to His Spirit. This is the essence of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – a hardened rejection of God.
Mark 3:22-23,28-30 ESV And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Do not attribute revelations and gifts from the Holy Spirit to Satan
Most of us will not willfully blaspheme the Holy Spirit but we may come close to it when we jump to the wrong conclusions about spiritual gifts and prophecies given by the Holy Spirit and decide they are satanic.
The Bible does warn us against false prophets who speak lies on behalf of Satan and there are things which are blatantly demonic. Nonetheless, we must exercise caution on things that are not so clear. The Bible gives us instructions on how to test the spirits in all things, so that we will know if something is from God or not. We can also simply pray and ask, “Holy Spirit, is this from You?” He will always answer us and give us the truth. The Holy Spirit will never leave us second-guessing God’s will and He will protect us from blaspheming against Him.
1 John 4:1-3 ESV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
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