Barriers to the Blessing


Baptism of Christ 2

Our souls desperately long for a blessing of affirmation.

God longs to speak that affirmation of blessing to us.

And yet, for so many of us, we are unable to fully internalize that blessing.

I have been spending a lot of time lately reflecting on the significance of the Baptism of Jesus, and I think that the answer to this conundrum is found somewhere in this beautiful picture. The encounter culminates with Jesus hearing these precious words that spoke to the very center of Jesus’ identity: This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” 

If these are the words that we most desperately need to hear, and if these are the words that God wants to use to establish our identity, then the question remains: Why is it so difficult to internalize them?

I’ve thought about this a lot in my own life, and have come up with a number of reasons why I think this blessing gets diffused somewhere between the voice of God speaking and the reception of it in my own heart. Some of barriers may be similar to yours, and if so I hope this helps. Some of my barriers may also be different than yours, and if nothing else I hope this sparks some desire to get clear on yours.

Why is it that I have trouble internalizing this blessing?

Interestingly, one of my primary obstacles is more theological in nature: I fear that these words of blessing are reserved exclusively for Jesus.

The account of the Baptism of Jesus is something I have always been fond of. But even as I saw it as a cool window into the life of Jesus, I never seriously considered the experience to be relevant for me. When Jesus effectively internalizes the affirmation of the Father, I presume that to be the normal condition for someone who is actually the Son of God.

But lately I’ve been seeing this in a completely new light. As I reflect on this encounter I can now see something besides Jesus being blessed – I can now find myself in the story as well.

It’s not always easy. Each time I begin to find myself in the story there is a familiar refrain that pops into my head, attempting to invalidate my hopes: “Don’t get too far ahead of yourself. That affirmation was for Jesus, not you.”

I’m not sure why this doubt is so firmly planted in me, but I now realize that it has created one of the greatest obstacles in my internalization of the blessing of God. By seeing this blessing as for Jesus alone, I look on as nothing more than a detached bystander.

But is really the way to view this?

There are two little words that have really transformed this passage for me: when and how

WHEN – It has struck me in a fresh way that the timing of this blessing makes all the difference in how we translate it for ourselves. Based on my own internal objections, you might think that this affirmation came right after Jesus fed the 5,000, or raised Lazarus from the dead. I can’t shake the view that this must clearly follow some type of  cause-and-effect formula. Cause: Jesus performs an amazing series of miracles. Effect: God rewards him with words of affirmation.

But that’s just the thing. When Jesus is baptized and blessed he hasn’t done anything yet. He hasn’t preached publicly. He hasn’t healed the sick. He hasn’t cast out any demons yet. He hasn’t done a single thing to earn this blessing.

When the voice of God affirms him, it is not based on a cause-and-effect relationship. Jesus being blessed wasn’t a result of his good or bad deeds. Jesus was blessed because of who he was.

HOW – This largely makes the same point. As Pastor Jonathan Martin, author of Prototype says (paraphrased from memory): How God says this to Jesus is significant. There is an enormous difference between the words “with” and “by.” If God would have said he was pleased “by” what Jesus did, it would have been directly tied to his behaviors. But God says he is pleased “with” Jesus. That speaks to the very core of identity.”

When I look at when and how God blessed Jesus, I start to grapple with an amazing truth. Perhaps I (and you!) am way more like Jesus than I ever imagined. I’m not saying in that some kind of, “I’m awesome” way. I mean, maybe those amazing words of affirmation aren’t meant just for Jesus. Maybe those are the words that every son and daughter of God are meant to revel in. Maybe we are just like Jesus in that we are meant to receive this blessing and then head out in the world.

This is not just some theological rant from me. Seeing these words as meant for Jesus alone been an authentic stumbling block for me. But as I’ve begun to see how important it is that the affirmation came independent of his deeds or behaviors, I have begun to find myself in the story in new and fresh ways.

And that only deepens my conviction about the importance of this particular encounter. I have become more certain than ever – these are the words that we most desperately need to hear, internalize, and translate into something that anchors our heart:

“This is my daughter. This is my son. This is my beloved. With her/him I am well pleased.”

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57 thoughts on “Barriers to the Blessing

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    Ceramic Tile Cleaning

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    Grout Cleaning

    Along with the tile cleaning it is very important to regularly
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    Grout is porous in nature and attracts dirt,
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    It can also be a cause of mildew or mould in the damp areas like bathrooms.
    It is best to have a seal (colour or clear) on the grout which will
    not only protect the surface but also acts as an anti-fungal agent.

    Many a times it gets difficult to maintain the floor due
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    Following steps are followed for the tile and grout cleaning after you contact us-

    Pre inspection of the tiles and floor.
    Shifting of the furniture, if any, from that space.
    Dry Sweeping of the surface
    Application of the suitable cleaning solution.
    Cleaning the surface with a soft pad.
    High pressure cleaning
    Mopping and drying the surface.

    We have our experts who carry special tools to do the tile and grout
    cleaning; the grout sealing is also done if ordered.

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  17. There are many types of tiles available nowadays.
    The method of tile cleaning will depend more on the tile type.
    However there are couple of things to be followed to add the sheen and glow
    of the tiles.

    Do the regular floor cleaning
    Clean the spills as soon as they occur

    It is very crucial to clean dirt and water too as soon as they are split to prevent the stains.
    Place a doormat which helps in reduction of mud
    or dirt entering through footsteps.

    There are basically following tile floors where in one will use the
    tile and grout cleaning process, types of
    tiles are as follow –

    Ceramic
    Porcelain
    Stone

    Porcelain Tile cleaning

    Porcelain tiles maintenance is not difficult if the surface is cleaned regularly.
    The surface can be vacuum cleaned every day or just sweep it.

    The wet mopping is required once in a week. Use of mild floor cleaners
    will do for the mopping. One can make it at home by mixing vinegar
    and water.

    Ceramic Tile Cleaning

    The rule is followed here as well; remove the dirt as soon as possible.
    Vacuum clean the tiles every day or a simple broom can be used.
    Plain water or the special ceramic tile cleaners can be used for the
    wet mopping.

    Stone Tile Cleaning

    One need to be careful while cleaning the tiles made of stones as they are natural minerals.
    Never use harsh floor cleaners. Sweep or vacuum clean. After using any floor cleaner use a dry
    mop to soak any type of liquid residue.

    Grout Cleaning

    Along with the tile cleaning it is very important to regularly clean the grout, i.e.
    the lines between the tiles. Hence tile and grout cleaning goes simultaneously.
    Grout is porous in nature and attracts dirt, grease etc.
    The surface looks shabby if the grout is unclean. It can also be a cause of mildew or
    mould in the damp areas like bathrooms. It is best to have a
    seal (colour or clear) on the grout which will not only protect the surface but also acts as an anti-fungal agent.

    Many a times it gets difficult to maintain the floor
    due to hectic working schedules. Hence we come in picture
    and provide the tile and grout cleaning services to our clients at a very affordable
    price. Moreover the price depends on the type of the tiles, number of tiles and size of the tiles to be
    cleaned.

    Following steps are followed for the tile and grout
    cleaning after you contact us-

    Pre inspection of the tiles and floor.
    Shifting of the furniture, if any, from that space.
    Dry Sweeping of the surface
    Application of the suitable cleaning solution.
    Cleaning the surface with a soft pad.
    High pressure cleaning
    Mopping and drying the surface.

    We have our experts who carry special tools to do the tile and grout cleaning; the grout sealing is also done if ordered.

  18. There are many types of tiles available nowadays. The method of tile cleaning will depend more on the tile type.
    However there are couple of things to be followed to add the
    sheen and glow of the tiles.

    Do the regular floor cleaning
    Clean the spills as soon as they occur

    It is very crucial to clean dirt and water too as soon as they are
    split to prevent the stains. Place a doormat which helps in reduction of mud or dirt
    entering through footsteps.

    There are basically following tile floors where in one will use the tile and grout cleaning process, types
    of tiles are as follow –

    Ceramic
    Porcelain
    Stone

    Porcelain Tile cleaning

    Porcelain tiles maintenance is not difficult if the surface is cleaned regularly.
    The surface can be vacuum cleaned every day or just sweep it.
    The wet mopping is required once in a week.
    Use of mild floor cleaners will do for the mopping. One can make it at home by mixing vinegar
    and water.

    Ceramic Tile Cleaning

    The rule is followed here as well; remove the dirt as
    soon as possible. Vacuum clean the tiles every day or a
    simple broom can be used. Plain water or the special ceramic tile cleaners can be used for the wet mopping.

    Stone Tile Cleaning

    One need to be careful while cleaning the tiles made of stones as they
    are natural minerals. Never use harsh floor cleaners.

    Sweep or vacuum clean. After using any floor cleaner use a dry mop
    to soak any type of liquid residue.

    Grout Cleaning

    Along with the tile cleaning it is very important to
    regularly clean the grout, i.e. the lines between the tiles.
    Hence tile and grout cleaning goes simultaneously.
    Grout is porous in nature and attracts dirt, grease etc.
    The surface looks shabby if the grout is unclean. It can also be a cause
    of mildew or mould in the damp areas like bathrooms. It is best to have a seal (colour or clear) on the grout
    which will not only protect the surface but also acts as an anti-fungal agent.

    Many a times it gets difficult to maintain the
    floor due to hectic working schedules. Hence we come in picture and
    provide the tile and grout cleaning services to our clients at a very affordable price.
    Moreover the price depends on the type of the tiles, number of tiles and size of the tiles to be
    cleaned.

    Following steps are followed for the tile and grout cleaning after you contact us-

    Pre inspection of the tiles and floor.
    Shifting of the furniture, if any, from that space.
    Dry Sweeping of the surface
    Application of the suitable cleaning solution.
    Cleaning the surface with a soft pad.
    High pressure cleaning
    Mopping and drying the surface.

    We have our experts who carry special tools to do the tile and grout cleaning; the grout sealing is
    also done if ordered.

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