(I especially liked this when I heard it, so you know I had to turn it into something shareable.)
When planting corn,
pray for rain but do so with a
hoe in your hand.
God calls us to action. We are to move forward in faith and He brings forth the fruit to our labor. For me, this quote answered the question, “How much do we rely upon God and how much do we rely upon our own efforts?”
I believe we are co-creators with God. He calls us, but has also endowed us with free will. How could we choose Him back if we were created to be automatons?
Faith in action is the key. It is the key to healing. It is the key to miracles. It is the key to fostering a deep, meaningful relationship with our Lord. Examples of this principle in scripture are clear:
Mark 6:4-6,New International Version (NIV)
4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Matthew 9:19-23, New International Version (NIV)
19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
John 9:5-7, New International Version (NIV)
5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Matthew 14:23-32, New International Version (NIV)
23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.
These are only a few examples. I’m sure you can probably come up with more. The point is, faith in action (or lack thereof) is seen over and over again.
Some folks feel they just want to “leave it all up to God.” While certainly this can be a wise take on a situation, the trap we fall into is in failing to move in the direction of our desired outcome. By failing to play our part, we place an expectation upon God to be our own personal Santa Claus.
This is obviously not in line with Christ’s examples above.
So my encouragement–to you as much as to myself–is to move forward into every day, heading toward the greater realization of God and our relationship with Him. Rest in Him and hand your troubles up. After all, it’s usually our best thinking that has gotten us into the trouble we experience on a daily basis.
Matthew 6:31-33, New International Version (NIV)
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
In support of your efforts,