God Rewards the Effort

Posted: January 3, 2009 in God's Will
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Photo By: Official Navy Imagery (Creative Commons)
I believe that there are times when God wants and expects us to use our natural ability to think and act for ourselves in the course of trusting him.

For example, if you want to lose weight, I think you can, and should, pray for God to help you, however, YOU have to NOT eat as much and YOU have to go out and exercise. God is not going to take away your excess weight if you sit on your couch and pray, “Father, please remove my extra fat,” while scraping out the bottom of a Häagen Dazs container.

He does not work that way.

I also think you have to do more than sit and pray for a good job, a passing grade in school or a new car.

You have to get off your butt and do something because God expects some EFFORT!

There are many examples in the Bible that illustrate this idea but my favorite is the story of David and Goliath. When ALL the soldiers of Israel’s army, including Saul, were too afraid to face Goliath, David stepped up and said, “…When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, I go after it with a club and rescue the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! The Lord who rescued me from the claws of the lion and the bear will rescue me from this Philistine… (1 Samuel 17: 34-37 – New Living Translation)”

David KNEW he would be protected because he was going to defend the “living God.” He did not worry about his size, or Goliath’s. He did not worry about his age or Goliath’s. He did not worry about his lack of experience or the massive amount of experience that Goliath possessed, “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There’s no way you can fight this Philistine and possibly win! You’re only a boy, and he’s been a man of war since his youth (1 Samuel 17: 33 – New Living Translation).”

No, David trusted God, made the effort to defend God’s name and was victorious.

Look at what happened to Jonah. God TOLD this man to go to Nineveh and “…announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are (Jonah 1:1 – New Living Translation).” But did Jonah go? No, he ran the other way and he found himself inside a “great fish.”

Now, you could argue that Jonah did, by running away from Nineveh, make an effort. But these two examples show the difference between making an effort FOR or AGAINST God.

I understand you may be unsure of the results, afraid to mess up, make a mistake, look like an idiot in front of your friends for attempting to do something they may and not understand.

However not trying at all will be the bigger mistake.

If there is something you feel you need to do and God has put the desire in your heart and the ability in your hands then take a step of faith and go do it.

Of course, if you need convincing, you could always go spend three days inside a “great fish” while you make up your mind.

  1. jim says:

    I agree, alot uf us want changes in our lives and expect God to perform a magic trick by snapping his fingers and “POOF” we get what we want while we make no effort at all. And when that doesn’t happen then we say God doesn’t care about us. We have to make the efforts and pray and trust in him completely and he promises he’ll deliver.

  2. Mickholt says:

    You're right Jim – and I apologize for this response taking so long – It is unfortunate that people look at those kinds of results – or lack there of – and judge God on that.

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