Experience Family Blessings God’s Way
The Year of Rest and Acceleration—that’s the powerful theme that the Lord gave to Pastor Joseph Prince for the year 2022. So how can we see this word working out practically in our lives, in particular, our families? How can we flow with the Lord to receive the restoration and blessings He wants to bring into our marriages, our relationships with our children, our health, and any other areas of weakness? Get excited to see the Lord’s heart for you and your family as Pastor Prince shares the answers to these questions and more.
As is my custom every year, I was seeking the Lord for a now word for our church and the people around the world who follow my ministry. For this new year, He gave me Amos 9:11–13, which says:
“On that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down, and repair its damages; I will raise up its ruins, and rebuild it as in the days of old; that they may possess the remnant of Edom, and all the Gentiles who are called by My name,” says the LORD who does this thing. “Behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him who sows seed; the mountains shall drip with sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.”
If you look at verse 13, you’ll see the Lord describing a season of acceleration and abundance that is tied up with His raising the tabernacle of David and repairing its ruins and damages. Now, the tabernacle of David here speaks of us, the church under the new covenant of grace. It refers to the house of God, of which you and I are members of, especially in these last days. The Lord is saying He is raising up and rebuilding all the broken areas in our lives and we’re going to see an acceleration and abundance of our harvest as we look to Him and rest in Him this year!
But where does the idea of blessings in our family life come in?
As I studied the tabernacle of David further, in particular, the journey of the ark from Kirjath Jearim to Jerusalem, the Lord began to show me how the first area of breach He wants to close up or restore is our family life.
You see, if you follow the biblical story of the tabernacle of David, you’ll find that when David became king, one of his first priorities was to bring the ark to Jerusalem. So David had the right motive—in fact, it was the best thing he could have wanted—but he didn’t do it God’s way. He simply followed how the Philistines had last transported the ark—he set the ark on a cart driven by oxen.
Well, along the way, one of the men, Uzzah, grabbed hold of the ark when the oxen stumbled, and was struck dead as a result. Disturbed, David called this place Perez Uzzah, meaning “the breach of Uzzah.” And afraid that the same thing might happen to him, he didn’t continue on to Jerusalem but took the ark aside to the house of a man named Obed-Edom. Now, the Bible tells us that after the ark came to his house, “the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household” (2 Sam. 6:11).
So here you have the first mention of breach in the context of the tabernacle of David. And right after this, we find the Lord blessing Obed-Edom and his house. The Lord opened my eyes to see 2 things in this story: First, as He rebuilds the tabernacle of David and repairs its breaches and ruins, the first area He wants to heal and restore is our family life. The second thing is how we can flow with the Lord and experience His blessings on our families especially in these dark times.
Friend, the Lord loves your family. He cares deeply about your marriage and each of your children. Do you know what His heart for your family is? It’s that you and your loved ones live days of heaven upon the earth, not just in terms of your walk with the Lord, but also in terms of health, relationships, practical provision, and protection over your household (Deut. 11:21). And if there has been a breach or brokenness in your family life, He not only wants to bring His supernatural restoration to these areas, but He can also accelerate what in the natural may take years to happen. But He wants us to know how He works so that we can flow with Him to walk in these blessings.
God promised that when He restores the tabernacle of David, He will repair the breaches. This word “breach” is perez. Remember Perez Uzzah? It was the place where a man turned to his own human wisdom and strength, and death resulted. I believe the Lord is showing us that He wants to set us free from any form of death that has come into our family life, even if they are a result of our own doing and mistakes.
We often think of death as just the cessation of physical life. But when God talks about death, He means all the different forms of death—depression is death entering our emotions and minds. When our marriages and relationships with our children break down, that’s a form of death. When we see suffering brought on by aging or long-term health conditions, lack in our family finances, any type of bondage, or a never-ending cycle of defeat in any area—these are also forms of death.
Friend, if you can identify with any one of these areas of brokenness right now, don’t give up. I want you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that when Jesus came to release us from sin, He also came to release us from death in all its forms—from barrenness, sickness, addiction, or crushing debt—because death is a consequence of sin. God calls death an enemy. He wants to transform every area in our lives, including family relationships that have been touched by death, and bring His healing, restoration, and life to them. He wants you to experience the blessings of Obed-Edom.
Would you like to see what these blessings look like?
In 2 Samuel 6, it says the Lord blessed Obed-Edom and all his household, meaning everyone in his family and everything in his household. This same account in 1 Chronicles 13 says, God blessed “all that he had.” So the blessings the Lord gave Obed-Edom and his family weren’t just in one or two areas. His family life was so totally blessed, and it was so tangible and obvious that his neighbors could see it and talked about it.
How do we know this? Because Scripture tells us the news reached the king in Jerusalem who was told, “The LORD has blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” David himself was so galvanized by what he had heard that he made plans right away to bring the ark to Jerusalem so that not just one household but the entire nation could be blessed as Obed-Edom was.
Can you imagine how distinctly things must have changed for Obed-Edom and his family since the ark arrived at his house for people around them to notice it? I believe he found his body increasing in health and strength and brimming with more energy than he had previously. He began to see his wife becoming youthful again and more beautiful than before. He began to see the blessings of God on his crops. His kids started to flourish in all that they did and had to learn. Everyone who stepped into his house felt the peace and the joy in that environment. Josephus, the ancient Jewish historian, summed up all this when he described how Obed-Edom went from being “a poor man in a low estate,” to one “exceeding happy, and the object of envy to all those that saw or inquired after his house” in the time the ark was in his house.1
And that’s not all. The blessings that Obed-Edom experienced did not stop with him—they were generational. The Lord gave him many sons and grandsons who, along with him, became gatekeepers in God’s temple (1 Chron. 26:4–8). In total, the Lord blessed him with 62 strong male heirs who were men of great ability and faithful to the Lord.
Friend, what the Lord did for Obed-Edom, He wants to do for you and your family as well.
If right now, all you can see in the natural is strife in your marriage or challenges with your children, I want you to know that the Lord cares very much for your family, and He wants to supply His grace to you in that very area. He wants you to know there isn’t a concern that is too big or too small for Him. What you’ve just read about Obed-Edom’s blessings, I want you to know you can receive these same blessings by faith.
Tell the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I believe You are doing a healing, restoring, and saving work in my family. Thank You for moving in my marriage, in my parenting, in my family’s finances. Thank You, Lord, for healing our bodies and minds and supplying every lack!”
If you’re worried about a child who is sick, has gone astray, or is deep in an addiction, the Bible tells us He will save your children no matter how terrible the trouble they’re in (Isa. 49:25). He can restore your relationship no matter how impossible it seems. And He can protect your children no matter how far away they are.
Maybe you are trusting the Lord for loved ones to be saved. Maybe they have walked away from church or are not interested in the things of God, and it’s breaking your heart. Don’t give up hope. Our Lord Jesus can orchestrate situations and bring the right people into their lives to lead them to His saving grace.
And if your marriage is crumbling before your eyes, the One who turned bland water into intoxicating wine can restore the wine in your relationship (John 2). He loves you and cares about your marriage, and He can restore sweetness to your marriage and give you the relationship you desire with your spouse. And when the Lord restores something, it is always greater than what you originally had in quality and/or quantity (Zech. 9:12). I want to encourage you to meditate on the positive faith visions He’s giving you right now, and expect to see Him to restore every area of your family life where death has crept in.
1. Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, William Whiston, A.M., Ed., accessed Feb 24, 2022, http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0526.tlg001.perseus-eng1:7.78.
I believe the Lord wants to speak to us through the stories of Uzzah and Obed-Edom to show us how we can do things His way to appropriate every bit of our inheritance as His beloved children.
First, there’s something we can learn from David naming the place where Uzzah was struck down, Perez Uzzah. As I said earlier, perez is the Hebrew word for “breach.”2 Uzzah means the might and power of man’s strength.3 It’s not to be confused with Uzziah, which means “God’s strength.” So Perez Uzzah means “the breaking of man’s strength.” I believe the first thing the Lord wants us to realize is that we cannot produce the blessings we want to see in our families by our own strength.
We often think in and of ourselves, we can make all the difference, but the truth is we can’t accomplish an iota without the Lord. Our Lord Jesus said it this way: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Many times, we know Jesus said, “Without Me, you can do nothing” but deep inside, we don’t really believe that. We don’t believe we are powerless. We don’t really believe we need the Lord for all things. We believe that there are some things we can do to bring about the change we want to see. Instead of telling Him, “Thank You, Lord, for supplying all my needs according to the riches of Your grace” (Phil. 4:19), we put ourselves under the law to obtain the Lord’s blessings by our self-efforts. We become demand-conscious and we demand from our loved ones the change we want to see. We worry and we nag and we get angry when the situation, or our loved one, doesn’t change and instead gets worse.
The truth is, the more we place our trust in our own strength, the more we open the door to failure. Scripture tells us, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6). Christ died for us who were without strength. We are actually without strength and we cannot save ourselves. We need Jesus. When we think we are strong and depend on our own strength, the Lord cannot work in that area. The apostle Paul says it like this: we make Christ “of no effect” unto us, meaning when we trust in our doing, we frustrate the help and supply the Lord wants to give us by His grace (Gal. 5:4 KJV).
You see, grace is all about the Lord supplying, and the Lord doing the work. Grace is all about rest. It is not about human effort. In fact, grace is defined as unmerited, undeserved, and unearned favor. And because it is unmerited, undeserved, and unearned, we all qualify!
To walk in His grace, we only have to believe we have it because of the cross. And we will see results we never dreamed were possible!
In the story of Obed-Edom, the Bible says the man and his entire household were blessed “because of the ark” not because he was someone uniquely special. It was the presence of the ark that ushered in all the blessings he had hoped for. In fact, Obed-Edom himself knew it so well that when David came for the ark, he told his family, “If the ark is leaving, we are following the ark!” And we know he and his sons became gatekeepers in the house of the Lord (1 Chron. 26:12–15).
Friend, the Lord wants to bless our family life—whether it’s in the area of health, provision, relationships, or victory over bondages. But He wants us to flow with Him and do things His way. He wants us to put Him and His love for us in the center of every area of brokenness in our family life. That means He wants us to come to the place of the breaking of our human strength, to the place where we realize we can do nothing. Our loving Savior wants us to look to Him alone and involve Him in everything so that we can see His grace and power transform the breaches in our lives and give us the kind of results and breakthroughs only He can give.
2. “H6556 – pereṣ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV),” Blue Letter Bible, accessed Feb 24, 2022, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h6556/kjv/wlc/0-1/.
3. “H5798 – ʿuzzā’ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV),” Blue Letter Bible, accessed Feb 24, 2022, https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h5798/kjv/wlc/0-1/.
To answer this, let’s come back to the story of Uzzah in 2 Samuel 6.
In the events leading up to Uzzah’s death, we realize that David did not follow the Lord’s instructions on how the ark was to be carried. He probably figured the ark was heavy—some estimates say 288 pounds4—so it “made sense” for the ark to be carried the way the Philistines did—by putting it on an ox-cart. It’s a picture of us doing things according to the ways of the world. But the ark was supposed to be carried on the shoulders of priests. That was God’s way. With oxen carrying the ark, it wasn’t surprising that the animals would stumble along the way, prompting Uzzah to “put out his hand” to steady the ark. And we know what happened to Uzzah.
But in Israel’s history, when the ark was carried by the priests (just four, as ordained by God),5 no one stumbled—even when they had to cross a river bed. Why? Because “God helped the Levites who bore the ark” (1 Chron. 15:26).
One rabbinical text described it like this: the moment the ark touched the shoulders of the priests, it carried them along. Instead of feeling crushed by the weight of the ark (with so much of it made of pure gold), the priests actually experienced a most miraculous thing: the very thing they were carrying seemed to lift them up.6 Lifting up the ark in the midst of them was light and easy. Isn’t that amazing? And doesn’t that remind you of what Jesus said: “Take My yoke upon you. My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:29–30)?
I’ve shared many times that the ark of the covenant is the greatest expression of our Lord Jesus, His person and His finished work. When He is at the center of your heart and your thoughts—not the darkness we see or the demands that we feel are on us—He will lead you. You will find His strength and power uplifting and energizing you.
Friend, the Lord doesn’t want you to adopt the mindsets of the world: The world believes that when you worry, you are being responsible. That you need to work extra hard at something or that you are supposed to find the strength, knowledge, and ability within yourself to make the miracle you want to see happen. When you believe you need to push yourself to try to get what the Lord has already freely given you, that’s often how depression, stress-related illnesses, and broken relationships happen.
I know that when we are facing a crisis in our families, or when we see weakness or a lack of strength in ourselves and in our children, it’s very hard to not worry. It is very hard to not give in to the pressure to do something out of anxiety and fear. We see any lack of strength as a bad thing, but that is not God’s perspective. In God’s estimation:
Where your weakness is, there His strength is also. It’s the broken areas of your life that invite the Lord’s repairing.
Look at 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says:
“Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
The Greek word for “strength” is dynamis, and it refers to God’s power. Can I encourage you to have a change of mindset? Don’t despise the areas of weakness you see. The world glorifies human strength, but as sons and daughters of God, let’s remember that we do not have to think or operate like the world. When you know God’s power flows into your weak areas, you can acknowledge your areas of weakness without stress. You can rest in that very area of weakness because that’s where the Lord’s power can flow.
As you start doing things His way—seeing Him in the midst of your broken situation and drawing on His grace for every need, you will find His peace replacing anxiety and fear. You will find His wisdom leading you (John 14:26). You will be energized, resourced, and gifted to do all you need to do (Phil. 2:13). You will find His love constraining you in the way you treat your loved ones (2 Cor. 5:14). You will see Him orchestrating things and bringing to you all the practical resources you need. This has been the experience of many precious people who’ve sent their testimonies to my ministry.
There will even be gladness in your heart as you do what you need to. The account in 2 Samuel tells us that when David did things the world’s way, death came in. But when he went to Obed-Edom’s house to collect the ark and bring it to Jerusalem—this time doing it God’s way—he brought it out “with gladness” (2 Sam. 6:12). May we all learn to do things His way and allow Him to carry us through every situation that we might encounter!
4. Josiah Derby, “The Gold of the Ark,” Jewish Bible Quarterly, Vol. 33:4 (Oct. 2005), pp. 253–256.
5. See Exod. 25:14, Num. 7:9, Josh. 3:13, 4:16, 6:12, 1 Kings 2:26, 1 Chron. 15:15
6. Shlomo ben Yitzhak, “Sotah 35a:15 with Rashi,” Sefaria, accessed Feb 24, 2022, http://sefaria.org/sotah.35a.15.
The first thing is to know and believe this:
When we put the Lord in the center of our lives, everything else works.
You see, God’s Word tells us that “all things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16). This means that when you put Him in the center of your life, He will hold everything in your life together. When you give to Him your career, your marriage, your parenting, your ministry, you allow Him to come in and hold them all together. It is when Jesus is not at the center that things start to disintegrate.
When it comes to loving our spouses, notice that the Bible doesn’t say, “Husbands, love your wives.” Or “Wives, submit to your husbands.” No, it says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church.” And it says, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph. 5).
That’s the Lord encouraging us to see what it means to put Him in the center of our relationships. It means that if you’re having a challenge in your marriage, your focus is not to try to recover your marriage, or to be nicer, more loving toward your spouse. Have you found that the more you try, the more you produce the opposite result?
Now, please understand I’m not saying that it’s okay to treat our husbands or wives rudely or callously. The Bible tells us plainly we are to walk in love (Eph. 5:2). But what I’m talking about is our inner posture and how the Lord wants us to get there.
Husbands, if you focus on the Lord Jesus, that’s how you’ll recover your marriage. That’s how you will see His restoration in your marriage. To focus on the Lord Jesus is to realize how much He loves you and how He willingly died for you when you were in sin. How He still loves you and is for you even when you’ve blown it or made mistakes (Rom. 8:31).
Take time to talk to Him and experience His love personally all over again. The more you fill yourself afresh with the love of Jesus, listen to sermons that are Christ-centered, and meditate on His love for you, you know what will happen? You will walk in the overflow of His love, and your wife will be the beneficiary. All of a sudden, you are walking in a self-sacrificing love that you’re not even conscious of.
And it’s the same thing for the ladies. Wives, the Bible doesn’t say, “submit to your husband,” period. That’s human teaching. When the Bible says, “submit to your husband as unto the Lord,” it’s telling you to see the Lord behind it. See His love for you. See that He’s protecting you and giving you irresistible favor and wisdom as you live with your husband. When you put Christ in the center of your marriage like this by seeing His love for you, the Lord will make sure that your relationship with your husband will be held together. That’s the biblical Christian teaching on marriage—it is all based on the centrality of Christ.
Even in our parenting of our children, the key is to always have Jesus in the center. Put your faith in Him. As parents, we all want the best for our children, and we all want to see them realize their full potential. Sometimes, when they don’t seem to act or make decisions the way we think they should, we might end up trying to change them by inadvertently putting them under the law.
Do you know how we do that? By telling them, “you should . . . you should . . .” For example, “You should be studying. You should not be spending so much time gaming. You should not be doing this. You should not be doing that.” You see, the more we say “you should,” the more they feel the pressure. “You should” spells stress for them. And no one likes to be constantly shoulded!
So what can you do to see a positive change in your child?
Dads and moms, it starts with you believing that the Lord is with your children and supplying to them all that they need (Ps. 23:1, Ps. 46:1). Put your trust in the Lord. And the way you trust God is through how you speak to them. For example, when you feel concern for their studies rising in you, say this to them: “I believe you will do well for this exam because Jesus is with you. I believe Jesus is giving you a heart to study. Let’s trust Him to make this subject interesting and fun for you.” Say, “I believe you will glorify Jesus in your studies. I believe you will know when to focus on studying and when to play games.” Then guide them to steward their time by depending on the Lord’s wisdom.
Can you see the difference? “You should” makes your children demand-conscious whereas “I believe you will . . .” focuses on the Lord’s supply. One produces stress; the other produces rest.
Now, it is important that we establish good, healthy, and clear boundaries with our children. But it’s the approach that makes all the difference: the Lord wants us to look to Him, trust Him for the supply, and be Spirit-led as we parent our children.
I also want to encourage you not to harp on the negative areas that frustrate you, and instead to speak what you want to see directly to your children, your teenagers, and over their lives. As you do, believe the Lord is being faithful to His Word to teach them and give them peace—and this applies even if they have special needs or are going through a rebellious phase (Isa. 54:13). Your children are very close to His heart. He has each of your children covered (Ps. 139:4–5 NLT). He has a bright future for each of them (Jer. 29:11).
A practical way is to ask the Lord to help us not react to every negative thing that happens. Many times, we react to situations based on our emotions or intellect.
If you are someone who frequently reacts out of your flesh, don’t feel condemned by it because condemnation only perpetuates this cycle of defeat (Rom. 8:1, Rom. 6:14). But know that because the Lord loves you, He doesn’t want you to be so easily manipulated or controlled by others simply pushing your buttons. So instead of reacting, let the Lord be the One to lead and guide you. When you feel like reacting, take some time to pause and tell the Lord, “Lord Jesus, I thank You that You’ve got this. I trust You. I’ll rest in You.”
When you feel provoked by someone or sorely tested in a situation, don’t try to force yourself to love that person or to do and say the “right” Christian thing. Just say, “Lord Jesus, I’m trusting You with this person/situation. I will rest.”
Your areas of weakness are where God’s strength flows, so don’t try to be strong. You can’t save a drowning person until he stops using his strength and allows you to help him, so just allow the Lord to save you.
This is not a life of laziness or passivity:
When you trust the Lord, you end up being very active without tiring because the power that energizes you is not your own. You’ll be like the burning bush—burning up but not burning out.
Here is another thing you can practice: every day, and especially when the enemy is stirring up all kinds of worrisome thoughts in your mind about your loved ones, talk to the Lord and put everything that concerns your family and household into His hands.
Something happened to Potiphar’s house when he gave Joseph center place in his household by putting everything he had in Joseph’s care. The Bible tells us:
So it was, from the time that he had made him overseer of his house and all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.
When Potiphar placed all that he had in Joseph’s hands, “the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house and in the field.” Joseph is a type of our Lord Jesus. When you put Jesus at the center of your life and you put everything dear to you in His hands, all of heaven and all the power of God will start to assist you. You’ll find the help and blessings of God in every area of your life.
Maybe you’re saying, “Pastor Prince, I want God’s blessings on my family to start right now. I want my marriage to glorify Jesus, and I want all my children to have a heart for God, to always taste and see His goodness.”
Friend, the best thing you can do for your family is to pray for them on a daily basis. Put everything into your heavenly Joseph’s hands through prayer because what you cannot do as an imperfect human father or mother for your children, especially if you have a special needs child, the Lord can. So pray for them. The Lord hears our prayers for our children because children are very close to His heart.
And pray for your spouse. When you pray, God can touch their hearts. He can drop a revelation in their hearts. He can melt any hardness that may have developed. Only the Lord can remove all the obstacles and make the crooked places straight (Isa. 42:16).
So pray because you have influence with God. Don’t just say, “I’m the righteousness of God in Christ” and not talk to Him. You are clothed in His righteousness so that you can have influence with God (Heb. 4:16). You can pray and see God move heaven and earth for you.
Can I invite you to pray this prayer with me right now?
Lord Jesus, I place my children—every single one of them—and I place my husband/wife into Your loving hands. I give You all my concerns and worries over them. You are my heavenly Joseph. I thank You that from this time forth, they are blessed. I will not continue to worry over them because I know they are in Your mighty and loving hands. If the devil tries to bring worry and care into my heart in the future, I’ll just remember this prayer that I’m praying right now. Lord, I declare that all my loved ones are safe in Your hands. They are blessed in Your hands. I declare that my career, my ministry, and my family’s future are all blessed because You are holding every one of these areas together. I choose to rest in You. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Beloved, I’m praying that you will experience the blessings of Obed-Edom resting upon your house. I’m praying with you for it to manifest in the coming days, and for it to manifest in such a way that people will talk about it, as they did when they saw how the Lord had blessed Obed-Edom’s family and household. May the Lord’s glory so arise on you and your family that others would be drawn to Him as they see His goodness and grace upon you and all your household. Hallelujah!