Upjohn Aghaji, is an author, pastor and speaker with Inspire Ministries International. This book, which comprises 7 chapters and published in 2017 by Insight Publishing House, has its focuses on the biblical concept of “God’s blessing”, a must read for Christians. The author is of the opinion that many Christians have no idea of what it means to be blessed. He notes that when God created Adam and Eve, he put them in a Garden providing all their needs, yet God still pronounced His blessing on them. If God still blessed them after providing all material needs, then, there is more to being blessed, this is what Aghaji exposes us to in the pages of this fascinating book.
His understanding of blessing is different and a sharp contrast from what is being propagated by modern-day teaching, which he believes, limits God’s blessing to materialism. However, the trending teachings in the Christian faith these days focuses on how God desires His children to prosper materially, a teaching that Laura Turner described as American theological tradition, and a twisted form of Christianity that teaches obedience, giving and faith as a way to get stuff.
Bishop Mwita Akiri traced the origin of modern-day “prosperity teaching” to late 19th century in the United States, a teaching which he described as tailored towards the power of the individual’s mind to unlock God’s blessings through correct thinking and speech. According to Mwita, the new thought movement emerged in 1880s and centered its basic teaching on three things, high anthropology, which says that if elevated to the maximum, the human potential could achieve salvation even without a person connecting with God. Its second teaching centered on the power of positive thinking in which the material world is not a reality but mere thoughts that exists in the mind and thirdly, that believers have a share in God’s creationist power, meaning man can acquire the same power God used to create the world and use it to attain all that God promised through atonement.
Aghaji, however, maintains the word ‘blessed’ is the most abused word in the Christian faith today, because worldly possession are being inter-changed to mean God’s blessing, which is not, comparable to God’s plan for mankind. He argues that God can give any body riches – Christians and non-Christians alike – and this, he explains, does not translate to being blessed. Therefore, one is not blessed until they are right with the Lord, regardless of what possessions they have or how elevated their status in life may be.
He provides an insight into Jesus’ thoughts regarding the true state of blessedness. To him, true blessing comes from God and man must be reconciled to him to be blessed ‘regardless of man’s circumstances you are blessed so long as your relationship with the lord remains intact. Aghaji explains that a new Covenant Christian is richer than the richest man on earth because God’s blessing is greater than any canal gift and not even the wealthiest individual can buy the treasure that Christian carries on the inside. He teaches in this book how Adamic nature pulls man into unhealthy, materialistic lifestyle and the devil uses lack of contentment as tool in this modern age.
While explaining the dangers of modern-day teachings on prosperity, he notes that when material increase is not Christian’s daily reality, questions arise, as some questions Gods Love, faithfulness altogether and at worst repudiate Gods true blessing. “Many well-meaning believers have been caught in this dangerous wave of gross error,” he explains.
He opines further that our priorities become inherently mixed up, instead of humanity enjoying a perpetual state of blessedness. “We struggle to live and experience unnecessary turmoil and stress. Many turns to all the wrong things instead of building a relationship with their loving Creator and one another. Thinking amazing wealth brings Comfort, which he argues, is not possible in this world he describes as filled with selfishness, envy, greed and pollution”
He explains that marrying many women, annexing other nations and lands, winning all kinds of military campaigns would never satisfy the human soul. Only the spirit of God through the seed of Jesus would have eternal value and eternally sustaining power.
He added that many are blessed but do not realise this. For this reason, some still live in fear, anxiety, depression, confusion, sinfulness, unhappiness, frustration, oppression and regression because we pay undue and undeserved attention to our circumstances.
He quotes Colossians 3,1to 4 “if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
He emphasizes how time is running out and the church has functioned on lower maturity level, admonishing that every worldly distraction must be checked. The Insightful author roundly concludes that the holy Spirit is the blessing God promised Christians, he urged Christians to keep in mind that God has already blessed every saint with his spirit.