I could have said “How to release. . .” but I wanted to impress upon you the negative results of certain choices and this title better serves that purpose. Basically, the Bible says, if we ignore God, there will be stiff consequences to follow. He will laugh at our calamity, mock us for our fears; he will hide from us and when we call upon Him he will not listen to us. So that you may be forewarned, I want to give you three ways that we can lose blessings.
1. Stop giving to God
A. Brands you as a thief and a robber, (Malachi 3:8) which invokes the conviction of the Holy Spirit. You feel miserable about stealing from God and start trying to rationalize and justify yourself. It imposes a curse upon you, (Malachi 3:9). Stealing from God’s tree in the Garden brought all mankind under a curse. That curse can only be broken by the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary. Redemption is the umbrella which protects us from the curse.
B. Refusing to tithe is a willful, rebellious act which takes us out from under God’s umbrella of grace. Call it what it is: Failure to tithe is either a selfish withholding of God’s rightful share or else it is a failure to trust God; either way it is a sin!
C. The converse is also true: If we will tithe: The needs of God’s house will be supplied. He will open the windows of heaven to us. His bounty to us will be beyond measure. He will stay the hand of the devourer. He will multiply our fruitfulness. We will find favor with others. Just a thought! “Bring ye all the tithe . . .” That which you continue to control, you have not truly given, (Malachi 3:10-12).
2. Stop forgiving others
A. Un-forgiveness is the most common problem new believers face. YET, it is linked with forgiveness of our own sins. See text: “for if you do not forgive . . . “
B. Forgiveness was taught emphatically by Jesus, (Matthew 18:21-35). Note that the first man’s forgiveness was contingent upon his willingness to forgive the man who owed him a much less sum of money. See that his failure to forgive nullified his own forgiveness. God will deal with us the same way we deal with those who offend us.
C. How many times ought we to forgive? Limitless, (Matthew 18:21). How many times do you want God to forgive you? Paul emphasized the need for forgiveness. Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” He who refuses to forgive destroys the bridge over which he may one day have to cross.
3. Stop living for God
A. Not a semantic debate over Eternal Security; not at issue. If you stop living for God you set in motion a scenario which removes God’s hand of blessing from your life. King David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.”
B. Isaiah quoted God, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you.” (Isaiah 59:2) King Solomon said “The way of transgressors is hard” (Proverbs 13:15)
C. Consider the Prodigal Son, (Luke 15:11-32). His way became a difficult road away from his Father.
You can release God’s blessings by repenting and modifying the behavior. I urge you to do it now.
Taken from the personal sermon notes collection of Dr. Arnold Lastinger