Indwelt By God

By Francis Frangipane

Do we understand what it means to be blessed? Perhaps we are more familiar with what it means to be cursed. The Bible definition of a curse meant "to be bound with a spell," "hemmed in by obstacles," or "rendered powerless to resist."

I think many Christians are fighting the effects of curses against their lives. Even though they may not identify as a curse the resistance or heaviness that they frequently feel, they are aware that something is working against them.

Some curses are generational in nature. The Scriptures warn that the sins of the fathers will be passed to "the children, and on the third and the fourth generations" (Deut. 5:9). There are character traits, sinful attitudes and cultural prejudices that can be inherited from our parents.

Without really knowing why, we often unconsciously live out the behavior patterns of our parents.

These traits, attitudes and prejudices act on our childhood with measurable and persistent power. Our parents' sins repattern themselves within us; their life choices are passed onto us, hemming us in, reproducing the same failure patterns in us that they suffered. And we feel powerless to resist.

When we come to Jesus, He begins to break the patterns of those curses and to replace them with blessings. In fact, His goal is that we not only receive His blessing, but that we become a blessing as well.

Before Jesus brought us to Himself, we were not just looking at hell through a window: we lived there. But Jesus was not repelled by our sin and corruption. He did not come to condemn those captured by evil; rather, in His love, He came to set the captives free. Our Lord is the same God who gazed upon the darkness and chaos in the pre-creation world and brought forth goodness.

Likewise, He looked at the darkness of our lives and, instead of condemning us, in His love He began to change us. Speaking for myself, I know I am a person whom God has blessed. In so many ways, my life has been transformed, set in order and filled with a goodness that has come from above.

But what does it mean to be blessed? The word "blessed" or "to bless" occurs nearly 300 times in the Bible. The word translated in English as "blessed" actually represented three different words in Scripture, each with somewhat different meanings.

The first we see in the Beatitudes: "Blessed are . . ." This word was originally used by secular Greek writers and it referred to the "highest state of blissful happiness such as the gods enjoyed." It then came to mean "possessing the character of Deity." So, when we consider what it means to be blessed using this word, we are talking about two interconnected realities: godly character and joy.

Another word, also translated "blessed," meant "to be declared indwelt by God." It was a proclamation, not in theory or theology but in true spiritual substance. God had so engaged Himself with the transformation of one's inner life that He now actually dwelt within that person.

Thus, to be blessed is to become the human habitation of Christ. He works in us, redesigning our thoughts and attitudes until He can abide in us as He abides in heaven. Within the heart that God designs, God abides.

Divine Interference
Another aspect of being blessed speaks of when God interferes with your life. Mary, Jesus' mother, had her life "blessed," or "interfered with," by God.

There is a time when the Almighty must stop the momentum of our ideas and even cripple our ambitions. In our distress and confusion, we begin to question our direction and, for the first time in our lives, begin to look to God. These divine interruptions in our lives may not seem like a blessing at first, but anything God touches in His love will ultimately overflow with blessing.

In Galatians 3 Paul tells us that "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness" (v. 6). He did not just believe there was a God, he believed what God said. Do you believe what God has said about you, that the Lord has interrupted your life to change you until you are indwelt by God?

The first place where blessing begins to flow is when we respond to the divine interruption with faith: without arguing or doubting, we simply believe what God has said. The moment we surrender to God's interruption, the blessing, or indwelling, begins.

There is a tremendous power in simple faith. The believing soul is a place where curses and oppression flee, where blessing increases. And there is a blessing in persevering in your faith. Abraham was 76 when God first spoke to him; he was over a hundred when the promise came to pass. If you give up your faith, if you give up your hope, you throw away the blessing.

"Those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse" (Gal. 3:9,10). If you are living without faith, you are under a curse. If you think you can get favor with God by obeying the Law, you are under a curse. If you believe you have received favor from God because you believe Jesus died for you, you inherit God's blessing through faith.

What about obedience? Certainly, God calls us to obey Him. But the power that enables our obedience emerges through faith in God's ability to change us more than in our ability to obey the Law. This is the righteousness based on faith.

If you hold the promises of God, despite what you are seeing, you already have the indwelling of God in your spirit.

"Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us" (Gal. 3:13). He absorbed the penalties for our disobedience. We don't keep the Law, we keep Jesus.

There is nothing in us that is good. When we try to come to God on our own personal goodness, we are under a curse. But we can always come to the Father through the blessing of Christ and His sacrifice.

So to have faith in Christ is the first place the blessing of God flows to us: "That in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles" (Gal. 3:14).

The Worshipper
In the Old Testament the root word for "blessed" meant "to bend the knee or to kneel down." This word speaks of the attitude of heart that enables it to receive the blessing of the Lord. It speaks of the relationship of the soul to our Master, our King. As we seek God with deep and holy reverence, the very attitude of worship toward Him allows His blessing to flow naturally from His heart to ours.

Another example of this is seen in the 32nd Psalm. David writes, "How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven" (v. 1). The world is spending millions of dollars on psychiatrists and psychologists trying to relieve people of guilt. Yet, Jesus paid the price for the healing of your soul. He died to deliver us from guilt, fear and negative thinking.

The Blessing On the Persevering
Elizabeth said to Mary, "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what had been spoken to her by the Lord" (Lk 1:45). If you are believing for healing in any area of your life or relationships, before you attain the place of blessing, there will often be a trial period. But if you hold to the Word and keep your heart steady in what God has spoken, there will be a point where others will say, "Blessed is that one who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken by the Lord."

A Personal Promise
In the early 1970s the Lord spoke to my heart that there would be a massive revival at the end of the age. In the '70s the church was full of fear and darkness. There was very little anticipation that God was ever going to do anything in the world.

The '80s became a time of self-centered activity. Churches were seeking to become materially prosperous. And now, in the '90s, the churches are becoming less self-centered and more God-centered. Revival is coming.

In fact, every week nearly a million people come to Christ worldwide. There is reconciliation beginning between races and healing between churches. All through those years I believed the word that God had given me, even through the battles. Now we are living the dream of that word.

Listen to me: Blessed are you if you don't stop believing. Blessed are you if you persevere until the word God gave you comes to pass. I know I am blessed today because I did not let go of God. I held the word God spoke to me until it began to come to pass in my life.

Jesus says in John 13:17, "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." Take in the Scriptures, take His promises, and persevere to live them out. God does not want you living with a curse on your life; He wants to indwell you Himself!

Here is where we most purely find the blessing: in the Word. If the Word abides in you and you abide in Christ, both heaven and earth shall proclaim you blessed: indwelt by God.

God wants to bring the very spirit of Jesus Christ through your personality, through your job, into your home and your family. This living presence of Christ is His manifest blessing. It is more than the opposite of being cursed; the blessing means to know no obstacle. It is to have God in your mind regardless of the outward conditions of your circumstances. It is to be blessed in the midst of strife around you, to have peace in your soul in the midst of the conflict in the world.

To be blessed is to have perfect union with Christ. God is not just your religion; He is God, living as God in your life! Have you received Christ? Are you believing His promises? Then I proclaim over you: you are indwelt by God! Curses over your life are declared void of power, for God has touched you. You are blessed!