3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him ... that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself ... 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace ... (Eph 1:3-6 NKJV)
The first thoughts that came to my mind when I read this passage are regarding the true blessings of God. When we become Christians, God doesn't promise us a trouble-free life full of prosperity and bliss as some well-meaning people preach. When God says He has plans for us (Jer 29:11), His plans aren't what most people think, for as we know, God's thoughts and ways are not our thoughts and ways. And while it is comforting to know that God does indeed have a purpose for our lives, we must remember that His ultimate purpose is for the advancement of His kingdom and for heavenly, not earthly ends.
So what does God promise then, to believers? God promises us a future in heaven as adopted children of God and the power of the Holy Spirit working inside of us to enable us to be the men and women He wants us to be here on earth. God's promised blessings to us this side of eternity are spiritual blessings, not physical blessings, as seen in Eph 1:3 above, so that we can be holy and without blame before Him. The praise of the glory of His grace will be us living out our lives in the power of the Holy Spirit working in us and through us.
But the fruit the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22 NKJV)
These are definitely spiritual blessings, all of which pertain to character, nothing more. After all, is there really anything more important in our life than our character? Remember, God looks at the heart of man, not the exterior. If we aren't who God wants us to be, we cannot do what God want us to do. God chose us for His glory, not ours, and for this reason provides us the means to build character, not kingdoms, on this earth. Our "kingdom" will come when we get to heaven. In the meantime, we must just keep pressing on and allow Him to change us as He so desires.
Lord, I thank you for who you are and for what you teach us through your word. Thank you for your Holy Spirit and the fruit of character that only you can provide. Show me how to live a life that is glorifying to you in every way. Make me into the person you would have me to be, no matter how hard it is to change my attitudes or actions. Thy will be done. Enable me to be a blessing to you. Amen.