by Shayla Asselin
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
A couple of months ago, an incoming college student was asked to testify. He began by thanking God for the opportunity to come to the college because for a while he was not sure he would be able to afford some of the expenses. He continued by thanking God for the second job opportunity God had blessed him with that allowed him to earn the remaining funds he had needed to attend. His perspective and his testimony has stayed with me since that day.
How many times have we asked God for something and just expected it to be handed to us on a silver platter? Maybe we’ve prayed for a new job, but how many job applications have we submitted? Maybe we’ve asked God for a better health report, but how many times have we said “no” to the ice cream? Maybe we’ve been praying for a house, but how long have we been maintaining a good credit score and saving our money? Maybe we are begging God for a healthier marriage, but how much time and effort have we actually invested in our spouses this week? Maybe we really want that degree, but how many hours are we willing to study?
Let me clarify. This is not me pointing fingers at anyone. If anything, this is what God has been dealing with me about since that student’s testimony.
I started thinking about the many instances in the Bible where people were required to do something in order to receive their blessing. God wanted to save Noah, but Noah had to build the Ark and withstand the ridicule of those around him. (Genesis 6) Naaman had to wash himself 7 times in the Jordan River to be healed of leprosy. (2 Kings 5) The Lord told Joshua and the people of Israel to march around the walls of Jericho for seven days to claim the victory. (Joshua 6) The friends of a paralyzed man carried him up to a rooftop, tore open the roof, and lowered him down to the feet of Jesus for his healing. (Mark 2) One lady who had been very sick for 12 years had to press her way through a crowd and touch the hem of His garment to receive her healing. (Luke 8) There are many other examples where people were desperate enough for God to move in their life that they were willing to do something about it.
Now, I know, sometimes God blesses, heals, or delivers and requires no effort on our part. But many times, God’s blessing comes as an opportunity to work. A passage of scripture that I think about often is Job 1:10 that says, “Thou [God] hast blessed the work of his hands.” What are we giving God to bless? Are we desperate enough to work for God’s blessing? Are we willing to diligently seek Him for our healing? Are we ready to turn away from laziness to receive victory? We can’t get mad at God for not giving us things we are not willing to work for. If we want something bad enough, we’ll prepare for it and we’ll work for it.