Man was intimate with God in the Garden of Eden, and therefore truly blessed. The next time will be in the Millennial Kingdom, again resulting in real blessing. The valley in between is crossed on hands and knees, clawing back that blessed closeness with the creator. Counterfeit closeness is ubiquitous for modern evangelicals. It usually comes through knowledge disengaged from the Spirit, mistaking blessedness as a function of how much we know. If we try to grow close to God by studying fact about God then we substitute intimacy with cold expertise, unwittingly calcifying our heart toward the deeper, simpler things. Jesus does not say, “It is more blessed to learn than to receive”. In Philippians Paul links closeness with giving. We can’t buy closeness with God anymore than we can buy closeness with our spouse. What it will do is evacuate the substitutes. Was the rich young ruler really “blessed”? Paul denies coveting (Acts 20:33), and had nothing interrupting his relationship with God. The world’s stuff held no gravitational pull for him. Salvation can be found in no earthly substitute, and if we treasure our true reward (Christ through the gospel), we will gladly abandon imitation blessings.