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Some assembly required
Pastor's corner
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Preparation — it can be found throughout scripture. Noah had to prepare for the flood that destroyed Earth's population. Naomi prepared Ruth to impress Boaz and capture his attention. Joseph was placed in charge of the preparations that needed to occur during the seven years of plenty so that the seven years of famine would be survivable. After his conversion, Paul spent about 17 years in preparation for the outpouring of his ministry. Even Jesus went to the wilderness as part of His preparation process. He later went to the garden to prepare for His journey to Golgotha.
People enjoy being blessed. Christians live their lives expecting to be blessed. They are taught, "Expect to be blessed!" It is true we should expect that God desires to bless His children. However, man's understanding of blessing is not always aligned with God's.
Most people define "blessing" as a gift. God gives good gifts to all men. But the connotation leaves many with an unrealistic expectation that there is nothing they must accomplish to see these blessings occur. After all, God would not offer a gift with a string attached, would He? He is a good Father and gives good gifts to His children.
As a father, I have purchased gifts for my children. You know the type. They have written on the box, "some assembly required." This is probably one of the most understated phrases known to man. I often sat up late before Christmas or a birthday, putting together a bicycle or a wagon. When I bought a video game system, I discovered that I almost needed a master's degree in electronics to assemble and operate it.
Oddly enough, the coolest gifts are usually the ones which require major effort before they are used. The same is true for the blessings of God. The greatest blessings require the most effort to bring to fruition. When Israelis wandered in the wilderness, God sustained them by giving them manna. They received free food with little effort— but they were homeless. When God gave them land and a home, they had to work for it. They had to burn everything to the ground and rebuild it His way. There had to be some serious preparation to accomplish the work necessary to partake in the blessing.
In order for God to bring true gifts and blessings to your life, you must realize that there is a price to pay. There’s some assembly required. You cannot just walk into the greatest blessings. You must prepare and act accordingly to see them come to fruition.
Some assembly required means preparation for your life. It means doing things that are difficult and uncomfortable — perhaps even something that feels like an attack against who you are. Some assembly required means follow the instructions. Some assembly required means that there is in God's plan the requirement for His children that they should not forsake assembling together before God and his leaders to re-ceive His instructions. It is how He chooses to communicate to the entire body and keep this united in purpose. Learn the real value in gathering with your church family during service times. It is a vital part of the preparation process for each season of your life.
Recognize that God has gifts and blessings for your life. But remember, they come by His design with some assembly required!

Byler is the senior pastor of Bethesda Church — The Amazing Life Church.
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