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Pointers along the way #157

Spiritual laziness
- Jacob Ninan

We are all lazy in many ways. We like to get things without making any effort. We want good results without any hard work. Therefore it is no wonder that a gospel of grace has its own appeal to us, because it sounds like everything is being given away free! In order to counter a tendency towards legalism, we are told again and again by the preachers that salvation is a free gift of God, and there is nothing we can do to earn it. That is true. But if we open our lazy eyes and look at ourselves we can also see that many of us have misused this 'free gift' or missed what true grace can do for us.

Let's have a check on ourselves. When we came to trust in Jesus, was there a painful element of repentance as we considered our past? The Bible says that when there is true repentance, there will be sorrow over having wasted our life in sin, and an earnest desire to make things different now (2Co.7:10,11). Or did we just walk in with a smile and receive salvation as if we were being given an award? If we missed this repentance, there is a strong chance that the salvation we have is not the real thing, or at least it is very much watered down.

If we have come with repentance and received salvation with overflowing gratitude, what happened to the 'earnestness' afterwards? Have we settled down to a routine, a life of duty, where we make minimum efforts to read the Bible, pray, 'go to church', etc.? If that is so, we are certainly missing out a lot on what the Lord wants to do for us.

God works with us according to a principle. "Ask, and you will receive. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you" (Mt.7:7). "Give, and it will be given to you" (Lk.6:38). "Sow sparingly or bountifully, and your will also reap accordingly" (2Co.9:6). All this is telling us the same thing, that even though God has planned great and glorious things for us, we are not going to get anything till we reach for them. This is not about works, but how we receive our free gifts!

God wants us to enjoy intimate fellowship with Him (1Jn.1:2,3). He wants to share many secrets with us that most people have no clues about (Je.33:3). He wants us to stand in His council and know what He is planning to do (Je.23:22). Truly we can't even imagine what all good things He has stored up for us (1Co.2:9). How do we get near any of them if we aren't even asking, seeking or knocking?

Perhaps we have deceived ourselves into thinking that God has given us many promises and that we will automatically receive them. But receiving even what is promised is not automatic. God wants us to ask, seek and knock. That's the way it works. Even when God has spoken and given us His words of promise that must take place, we have to ask before they can be fulfilled (Ez.36:36,37).

Let us wake up to receive our inheritance. It is time to seek the Lord. Let us seek Him while there is still time.