Have you ever wondered what percentage of our prayers is based on our personal needs? How many times have we asked God to do something we believed was beyond our own ability to achieve? I have found that many Believers lack the desire to “work” their faith and as a result, ask God to fulfill their petitions. I wonder if God is ever grieved with the immaturity of His children. Instead of grasping how the Word works, we continually ask God to fulfill His promises instead of acting on what He has already given us. According to II Peter 1:3, “God has given us all things that pertain unto life and godliness…” Many Christians are spiritually out of shape. Instead of realizing they have the ability to face the challenges of life themselves, they run to their “prayer closets” and ask God for help. I am not implying that God does not hear and answer our prayers, for He does, but I am simply saying that God has already answered many of those prayers by giving us the ability to act on His Word.
Some time ago, our washing machine stopped working. The first thing I did was find the paperwork for the washer. I went to the troubleshooting section of the manual and found out what were some of the causes for this malfunction. I found that a certain part needed to be replaced. I ordered the item and, when it arrived, I replaced it. The Bible is like an owner’s manual. God has put together, through the Holy Spirit, a series of books and letters that have the answers to every one of life’s problems. All we have to do is act on the directions that are given.
In I Thessalonians 1:3, Paul gives us a three-step process that identifies the working characteristics of a True Believer: Work of Faith, Labor of Love, Patience of Hope. The Bible makes it clear that our faith is evidenced by our works. Some people believe that faith takes no effort, that it is a simple belief. That is true when it comes to our salvation, but there must be a horizontal action to evidence one’s faith after the salvation experience. Faith is not a “cakewalk,” but at times a struggle in body, soul, and spirit. Sadly, undernourished Christians lack the spiritual stamina to sustain faith. The Labor of Love starts with a vertical relationship that transcends into a horizontal love of all Believers and nonbelievers. This is not a static love, but an all-out effort. Finally, there is the Patience of Hope. When things don’t seem to work according to our timeline, we need to continue our journey with patience that is filled with “confident expectation.” (Hope)
During this New Year, many make fleshly promises that they will achieve certain physical and spiritual objectives. Some want to lose weight or break an unhealthy habit. Some want to make promises to God that they will read the Bible regularly or pray more. Instead of hoping to fulfill these wishes…JUST DO IT! You can lose weight by eating the right food and becoming more active. You can read the Bible by simply opening it. You can pray more by just praying more. All these desires can be fulfilled through the ability that the Holy Spirit has given you. Instead of making promises that most likely will be broken, JUST DO IT! Stop asking God to do for you what He has already given you the ability to do through His Word!