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The easy way out?
- Jacob Ninan
One of the prayers older people make is, "Lord, give me health so that I don't become a burden to anyone." But after praying this prayer many keep on indulging themselves in many ways without taking care of their bodies. Isn't this typical of how we pray many times, passing the responsibility to God without taking any for ourselves? Of course there are many things we cannot do, and it is only good to ask God to do such things for us. But if we neglect to do the things we can do, will we not suffer the consequences, even if we foolishly blame God for them at that time?
When we are pursuing after victory over temptations it is good to ask God for help because we are very weak in our flesh (Ro.7:18). If we hope we can gain victory by striving for it, we will discover soon that we just don't have what it takes. At the same time if we don't bother to flee from temptations (1Co.6:18;10:14;1Ti.6:11;2Ti.2:22), can we blame God when we fall? After praying "Lead us not into temptations" if we ourselves walk into them, won't we deserve what we get?
There are so many things we can do and need to do. Otherwise the Bible would not give us so many commandments and instructions. But we think we have found the easy way out by praying for help! No, we can't put the ball in God's court like that. If it was up to Him, we would all have become sinless, perfect people immediately after we were born again. But God wants us to gain the victory and attain to the crown. Of course we cannot do this without His grace. At the same time we must do all things through Christ who strengthens us. We have to put to death the deeds of the body through the Holy Spirit (Ro.8:13).
There has always been this question in the minds of believers about what God will do for us and what we should do. Even though there are many promises about what God will do, there are also many instructions about what we should do. Many people take one side or the other, and many others keep moving from one to the other. The fact is that both sides are necessary for our lives. We know that we can do nothing without God, but also at the same time we should realise that God will do nothing without us. This is a law that He has imposed upon Himself.
Of course God can do anything He wants to. But He has planned things in such a way that we should get the victory and accomplish great things for Him. This is the way He will put the devil to shame but letting weak and stupid people like us gain the victory over him. When God makes a move towards us we make the choice for God in our lives and also choose to depend on His grace. We manage to do this exclusively by the grace God gives us.
It is impossible to draw a boundary line between God's domain and ours. There is such a fine mixing between the two that it is difficult to distinguish. But at the same time, there is need for both to exist at the same time. As we seek to depend on God, let us also do what He enables us to do.