The Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Numbers 26: 24-26

 

These are words that God instructed Moses to convey to his brother Aaron so that the priests of Israel could repeat them in the form of a regular blessing pronounced upon the people. The thoughts contained here are an expression of God’s enduring desire to bless His people with a quality of life that is deeply and profoundly good. This is a short statement about the result that we will enjoy when we live lives that are committed to Christ and that are focused upon following His will.

 

That is not to say that these words contain a magic formula or an incantation that will bring about a perfect life. In fact, the problem with the absence of perfection in this life is found in our own lack of understanding of what God views as such. If that optimal state is to be achieved through health, finances, family, status, or other external and temporary means, then these are not specifically included in God’s definition of a life well lived. Although God may grant any or all of these things to us out of His love and grace, none of them are essential to His blessing of our lives. The Lord simply sees things differently than we generally do.

 

God looks upon the way that we live and upon the attitudes that fill our hearts. He hears the thoughts that our minds form, and He knows the intent behind our actions. He also counts to our favor the times that we thought angry or fearful thoughts, held them close inside as we listened to His Spirit’s counsel, and spoke words of love and understanding instead. God does seek to bless the moments of our days with the peace and the joy of His unceasing presence. Our part in making His presence real and tangible comes by way of continually surrendering our wills to Him, meditating upon His word, prayerfully seeking the Lord’s wisdom and understanding, and responding to Christ’s call to love all as He does.