“If we operate with integrity, there is no withholding tax on the blessings of God. And that’s the good, isn’t it? To live in such a way that God is able to give us His full blessing — blessings beyond our ability to ask or imagine. Don’t settle for anything less or anything else.”- Mark Batterson (emphasis author’s)
“For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”- Psalm 84:11 (NIV)
In Chapter 3 (“The X Factor”) of Double Blessing, Mark Batterson begins with the story of George Frideric Handel and the Messiah. At the age of fifty-six, Handel hit a point of diminishing return. Therefore, past his composing prime, depression set in. Furthermore, a stroke hindered the use of his right hand. And, Handel faced debt.
However, Handel started composing on August 22,1741. For three weeks he never left home – and rarely left his composing chair. Finally, after twenty-one days, Handel emerged with a 259-page masterpiece called Messiah.
Next, in April of 1742 Messiah debuted as an Easter benefit concert. As a result, the revenue from the concert freed 142 men from debtors prison. Beautiful music set captives free.
Above all, proceeds from the Messiah furthered the Matthew 25 ministry of Foundling Hospital in London. The hospital fed the hungry, housed the homeless, and cared for the sick.
In conclusion, Pastor Batterson stresses, George Frideric Handel wasn’t a musician who followed Christ. Rather, Handel was a Christ follower who created music. Thus, Handel stewarded his God-given musical talent to write anointed oratorios. Also, his music produced a double blessing — it blessed those who heard it and those who benefited from his generosity. Mark adds:
“When you flip the blessing, it takes the pressure off you and puts the ball in God’s court. It enables you to live with holy anticipation, waiting to see what God does next.”
Today’s question: How have you experienced no withholding tax on God’s blessings? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Promotion of man or favor of God?”