I fondly recall the atmosphere and hot topic of conversation that prevailed as I was preparing to graduate from college. Everyone wanted a job. Most of my friends were looking for careers with a satisfactory starting salary and excellent opportunities for advancement. However, there were some who were willing to sacrifice good pay for even better benefits. They wanted to know what the insurance plan covered. Others were more concerned with the 401K plan and what the prospective company could provide for them in the future. Still others wanted to ensure that they worked not only in their fields of study, but for reputable companies. The benefits meant more to them than the actual salary because they realized that the benefits were added bonuses.
It’s Not What You Know, But Who You Know
The psalmist David let us know that God presents us with a new load of benefits everyday (Psalm 68:19) and he spelled out the list of benefits in Psalm 103:1-5. When you receive a benefit, you receive a gain, an advantage, a profit, something that is valuable and useful.
Prosperity is a benefit of seeking God. As we have discussed, prosperity comes in many different forms. Therefore, the benefits of seeking God are varied. You benefit from being with God. There is never a time when you are with God that you do not benefit from being in His presence. Every time you are with God, you will undoubtedly benefit.
Every relationship that we have ever been involved in has had some degree of beneficiality, either for us or the other person involved. In fact, the reason the phrase, “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” is so
popular is because someone was trying to succinctly say that some relationships are more advantageous and, hence, more beneficial than others.
However, not all relationships are beneficial. Some of you would do better to end a dead-end relationship than to waste any more time in it. We remain with God not only because we love Him, but because our relationship with Him is beneficial to us, and those benefits are unlike any we could find with anyone else. Just as my college friends were looking for jobs that were attractive and that would be worth their while, God’s benefits make Him more attractive to us. When we are with God, it will always be worth our while.
Without a doubt, knowing God gives us an advantage over others but He can never be accused of giving someone something that is undeserved. We know from the study outlined in this book that God only rewards those who know how to ask properly, those who are walking uprightly and those who have faith in Him. In addition, giving God His tithe makes you deserving of receiving His rewards. All these elements result in a flow of prosperity in your life. God will not reward you just because you are in need. You have to establish a relationship with Him and know how to properly approach Him with requests.
I Chronicles 16:12 tells us how we lose our benefits when we do not seek God. No one can go into the presence of the Almighty Creator and then come out the same. Being in His presence is useful and valuable to you, as you will see in the following verse:
“And Asa in the thirty and ninth year of his reign was diseased in his feet, until his disease was exceeding great: yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord, but to the physicians.”
Many times we are so impatient when we find ourselves in trouble that we prefer to immediately seek out someone who can help right away, whether it’s a doctor or a lawyer or a minister. Since God does not operate on our timetable, we may feel that He is too slow or that He is not going to answer our prayer at all. Since you may sometimes ignorantly feel that God will not intervene on your behalf, you may avoid approaching Him altogether. Regardless of how you may feel about God’s velocity, He wants you to seek Him before you seek anyone or anything else.
We do not hear very many complaints of diseased feet these days, but imagine, if you will, Asa’s condition. Since his disease was exceeding great, he was probably in excruciating pain and suffered from some sort of malformation. There was cause for concern because he could not walk and needed help every place he went. Whatever the case, he may have developed a great infection that overtook his body, and that’s why he sought the doctors.
Despite Asa’s great disease, he sought the physicians and not God. What Asa did not know is that seeking God would have helped his condition. Even if there was no change in his condition whatsoever, God still wanted Asa to seek Him, just as he wants you to seek Him. He has your answer. It’s useful and valuable to you. His answer is beneficial to you.
I am in no way saying that you should not go to a doctor or a lawyer or a counselor. My suggestion is that you merely seek God’s Word first. Healing is a benefit of seeking God.
“And Asa slept with his fathers, and died in the one and fortieth year of his reign.”
II Chronicles 16:13
We see from this verse that Asa gained no advantage and realized no benefit because he did not seek God. I guarantee that if Asa could do it all over again, he would have gone to God first and then to the doctors. Asa did not know that healing was a benefit of seeking God. God said, “Asa I had a benefit for you but you did not ask. You tied my hands when you didn’t seek me.” Asa would have been healed had he sought God. Many of you may be chronically sick and you may be seeking doctor after doctor but you must seek God, for seeking God is powerful medicine.
No, Not One
Even the psalmist David had to declare:
“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”(Psalm 103:1 - 2)
“Forget not one of God’s benefits.” No, not one. Based on the boldness of this statement, you would think David was making declarations to a congregation of thousands, but he was only talking to his soul. I imagine that David was in his prayer closet, and he was having a little trouble getting started. It was probably late at night or early in the morning when David was a little sleepy so he had to jump start his prayer. David was trying to pump himself up and motivate himself, so he said, “Come on soul, bless the Lord.” He was trying to make every fiber in his being bless the Lord, and when he finally started thinking about God’s benefits he was then on a roll.
Thinking about God’s benefits awakened David. If for no other reason, David would bless the Lord because of his benefits:
“Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103: 3 -5)
The next time you have trouble praising God, just list his benefits. Think about that job you always wanted and finally received. Think about that healing that was manifested almost as soon as the doctors declared your condition inoperable. Think about that unexpected check that came in the mail and prevented you and your babies from being evicted. When you are entitled to these benefits, remember God will:
1. Forgive your sins.
2. Heal your diseases.
3. Redeem your life from destruction.
4. Crown you with loving kindness and tender mercies.
5. Satisfy your mouth with good things.
Notice that #5 says God satisfies your mouth with good things. That means that God “satisfies your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation with good things.” God tailor makes your benefits to fit your age and your needs. God knows that a 50-year-old man does not need the same benefits as a 20-year-old-man — His benefits are custom-made, designer originals.
Even further, two 50- year-old men can be in two different situations and need different benefits. One may have lost his job, so he will need his necessity satisfied. Another may have just been diagnosed with cancer, so he will need his disease healed. God determines your benefit package by looking at your age and your situation. Your benefit package is tailor made for you and only you. Just as a company assembles a benefit package to lure a prospective employee, God has put together the benefit package that best fits you. The package is not static nor is it generic. It can be changed to fit your age and your necessities, and the package meant for someone else is not the package God will present to you.
Another benefit of seeking God is that He renews your youth. You literally get younger when seek God. To all of you doubters, I wish you could see me. I look like I’m in high school because I have been seeking God!
In the chapter titled “What Do You Expect”, we learned that although God extensively blessed the children of Israel, their level of expectation still waned at times. They were blessed beyond what they could ask or think, and one of those blessings fell on Caleb, one of the two original Israelites who finally made it to the Promised Land. He realized the benefit of having his youth renewed like the eagle’s. Joshua 14:7 records how Caleb wholly followed the Lord God. Recall that one of the definitions of seeking God is to follow hard after Him. So we can establish that Caleb sought God wholly. He sought Him with everything within him.
At the end of his journey, Caleb was 85 years old. He was 40 when he started on his journey to the Promised Land, yet he declared that the Lord God had kept him alive and that he was as strong at 85 as he was when he was 40. Not only that, but he was still strong enough to actively fight in wars.
Because he wholly sought God, God renewed his youth and his vitality. God is the lifter of your head. You get younger when you seek God. Your burdens and your cares are cast on Him, and there is no longer a need for you to worry and grow wrinkled and gray. He neither slumbers nor sleeps, so you no longer need to experience anymore sleepless nights. God is renewing your youth and your vitality and He is restoring your beauty. As a matter of fact, I can look through the eyes of the Spirit and see that you are looking younger already! Those who wait on, look for and seek the Lord shall change, shall be renewed, shall be made strong and shall benefit.
Benefits of Seeking God
1. He loads you daily with benefits. (Psalm 68:19)
2. He forgives your sins. (Psalm 103:3)
3. He heals all your diseases. (Psalm 103:3)
4. He prevents destruction from coming into your life. (Psalm 103:4)
5. He crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies. (Psalm 103:4)
6. He satisfies your needs and your desires. (Psalm 103:5)
7. He renews your youth. (Psalm 103:5)
8. He grants you His favor. (Lamentations 3:25)
9. He gives you divine protection. (Ezra 8:22)
10.God will spoil the plans made against you. (Job 5:12)
11.Seeking God leads to joy. (Psalm 70:4)
12.Seeking God ends in praise. (Psalm 22:26)
13.You receive gifts of righteousness. (Hosea 10:12)
14.You experience supernatural prosperity and increase in your life. ( Job 8:6,7)
15.You understand all things when you seek Him. (Proverbs 28:5)