Derek was a bright student; he excelled from his secondary education right through the University. Even though he wasn’t the most brilliant student in school, he came out with a very good grade. The next big thing was to get a job and he had so many skills even beyond what he studied in school. Derek believed that job offers would come right through his doors because he was a brilliant person.
At home, Derek would sit on his laptop designing stuff, writing business proposals, writing ideas and every inspiration that comes into his head. He enjoyed writing them and he believed that one day, he would get to show the world the stuff he was made of.
Weeks had run into months and months had run into a couple of years but Derek was yet to get a job, he didn’t stop building demos on his laptop, he didn’t stop writing business ideas that he would eventually sell to organizations and investors. He had so much faith in what he was capable of doing and no doubt, Derek knew his onions!
Ada was Derek’s coursemate; she wasn’t what one would call smart, she didn’t have half the skills Derek had and she didn’t even have half the optimism Derek had. She works with one of the biggest firms in the state and she got the job just a few months after passing out from school. She had written several proposals and submitted to several organizations. She also made some of her demo projects available on the internet and was ready to brag about it even when she wasn’t sure her works were very good.
One evening after work, she decided to visit Derek since it’s been almost a year they last saw. She wasn’t sure if Derek still lived in the small apartment she had known but she wanted to try her luck and fortunately, Derek still lived there. Her visit was a shock to Derek, not just because it’s being a long time but because Ada was doing well!
“How did you do it?” Derek asked “I mean… I know we didn’t regard you smart. I remember you nearly didn’t pass out from school… How come you got a job and no one has ever written to me all these while seeking my services?”
“You mean you don’t have a job?” Ada asked and Derek affirmed in shame “So, what have you been doing about it? I am aware that there are openings everywhere for what you can offer!”
“I have been waiting for organizations to write to me. I came out with good grades; I am supposed to be a hot cake. I have been here depending on the pocket monies my parents still send to me, waiting for the day I will have the opportunity to work…”
“That right there is the problem!” Ada cuts in “just because you have wonderful skills doesn’t mean that jobs will come knocking at your door. Just because you are very positive doesn’t mean positive things will happen from the moon. You are the one to make it happen! You are the one to go out there, send your works out and let people see! If you do nothing, you will get nothing!”
This is how the life of many believers is! They have the word, they pray the word but they do not do the word and yet they are expecting results to happen. This is the case of faith being inactive or dead. Many times, we pray and believe God for something but our actions are grossly the opposite of our prayers. How can you be asking God to help you find a job and you aren’t looking for a job?
You may have your kitchen filled with groceries but if you won’t get up from your bed, get to the kitchen and prepare something, the groceries will be there but you will remain hungry. Faith must be acted upon for the desired result to happen. Faith isn’t just about agreeing with biblical truth, it is not just about believing that something is true, it involves a willingness to act on it.
In the Bible, we see the story of the woman with the issue of blood. This woman had suffered this ailment for 12 years and I believe these twelve years was long enough to dwindle her faith and optimism, I believe the doctors’ reports staring at her face was enough to make her want to give up. Many of us accept what we shouldn’t have accepted simply because we believe “it cannot be dealt with and therefore it is the new norm.”
Whether this woman had lost hope or not, the presence of Jesus rekindled that hope! She has heard of the miraculous signs and wonders Jesus had done, it was obvious that if Jesus would touch her, she would get healed… That was easy to believe! The hard part was that Jesus usually had a large following and she may not get the opportunity to call the attention of Jesus.
She may have made several attempts to get the attention of Jesus, it is possible that she had believed in Jesus and his healing touch but right now, she needed to do something more than just believing, she needed to act on her faith. She figured out, “if Jesus can touch me and heal me but I don’t have the opportunity, then I will have to go and touch Jesus, healing flows through him and I know that even if all I managed to touch was the helm of his garment, I know I will be healed.”
This woman was not the only person who needed a miracle, she wasn’t the only person who wanted Jesus’ attention, and she was just one out of thousands! But something differentiated her. While everyone who saw Jesus performed signs and wonder would simply believe that Jesus can heal them if he wishes this woman believed that she can stretch forth and take the healing she wants.
So many people have been touching Jesus, people have been pressing on him including those who needed miracles but none of them got a miracle. However, this woman managed to force herself; she must have made several attempts but not get hold of it. She didn’t want to disturb Jesus or bother him anymore; she believed if Jesus could give healing, she could take without an invitation.
At the slightest chance she had, she was able to touch the hem of his garment and suddenly, Jesus felt a power surge through him. Jesus said to her later “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” (Matthew 9:20-22) If she had only believed but never acted on her faith, nothing would have happened!
In John 9:7, we read another story of a blind man, Jesus had spat on the soil, mixed it and rubbed it on his eyes and then Jesus had said to him “go wash in the pool of Siloam.” A blind man! Was Jesus being insensitive? Couldn’t he have taken the man to Siloam by himself? We didn’t read anywhere that Jesus asked someone to take him there and we didn’t read that this blind man complained about being blind! He simply followed instructions.
Of course, he may have stumbled on his way, someone might have seen him and helped him but the most important thing is that he followed the instruction. Certain times, God gives us instructions on what to do, they may seem odd and we ignore it. These instructions can come in the place of prayer, it can come in the place of studying the word, it can come as an intuition, but we will know that this is God charging us to do something!
The Bible didn’t say the blind man started seeing before the washing, he started seeing after washing himself! He had to do something! Yes, Jesus performed the miracle but the blind man did something!
DILIGENCE IS AN ACT OF FAITH
You must not wait to hear a voice from heaven asking you to do something before you do it. Diligence or hard work is an act of faith but many do not know this. When you are hoping to excel in your career, you don’t have to wait for a miracle, you are the miracle! All you have to do is to maximize the potentials God has already given you. It is in this place of maximization it that you begin to see the flow of what God has done!
We see something in the picture I painted previously, Derek had everything it takes, Derek had not just the skills, he had the tools too but he was waiting for a job to come knocking on his door while someone who wasn’t better than him went out there and broke a leg! When we trust that God has blessed us with potentials, we will go ahead to maximize that potential until it becomes the very thing we desire.
God said to the Israelites “I will give you this land” but they still had to fight for that land! The Bible says in the last part of Deuteronomy 15:10
“God will bless the works of your hands…”
Do you see that? It is the works of your hands that God will bless and not your unwillingness to try out something! It is okay to pray for a financial breakthrough but how are you managing the little finances that have been coming into your hands? Sometimes, we don’t even know we are getting so much because it comes and go, we do not have any reservation or a channel of investment.
It is in our doing that we begin to see results! You may believe the word, pray the word and still never get results if you do not act on the word! There are many prayer warriors and Bible teachers whose marriages crashed simply because they couldn’t put effort into their marriage, they were waiting for God to do something but God was saying “that’s not my job… Only you can do something about it.”
Have you seen a Church that prays every day for revival, they pray every day for speedy conversion of souls but they seldom go out there to win souls? I call it prayer abuse; prayer abuse is when your mouth is praying but your hands are working in opposition against your prayers. It is the works of your hands that God will bless.
When you act, you are making a channel available through which what God has already been given you will truly be yours. Take, for example, the sun has been up there since the foundations of this earth, it has been producing power that can be converted to electricity but not many people are benefiting from it. The sun may be hitting all of us but only those with the solar panel can enjoy the benefits.
No matter how much the sun shines over your house, it will never generate power except you provide a source through which that power will be channelled.
Paul was a teacher of the word and one whom signs and wonders followed his ministry but Paul never for one day had God throw money at him saying “this is for everything you may need.” Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 4:12
“We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living…”
He wasn’t praying for money because he knew that money will only come from labour. He advised believers to do the same. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 he gave a stern warning concerning those who do not work to earn a living and he recommended that they starve if they are unwilling to work. No amount of prayer will put food on your table, no amount of prayer will turn that idea into reality, if it isn’t by labour, it can’t be done!
The Bible says in Proverbs 22:29
“Do you see any truly competent workers? They will serve kings rather than working for ordinary people.”
Let me rephrase the words so that you can get the point: “Observe those who are diligent, those who strive to be better at their craft; kings will demand their services and ordinary people can’t afford them.” Isn’t this how God blesses the works of our hands? Prayer doesn’t take away responsibility from you, you ought to pray for direction but you ought to get your hands into the craft!
God wanted to save Lot and his family from the fire but they had a part to play. Their part was to leave the city! God wanted to save Noah from the flood but Noah had to do something; he had to build an ark according to specification. God called Abraham but Abraham had to follow! This is why James wrote in James 1:22
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are fooling yourselves…”
The word has to be practised and this also applies in every area of our lives! If you want to pass your exams, you must read! Prayers don’t pass exams for you. If you want to succeed in a craft, you must train yourself and gain mastery of it, prayer will not do that for you! No matter how many Pastors pray for you, regardless of the oil they have poured on your head in demonstration of a release from poverty curse, you will get worse if you do not find an area of speciality and begin to develop it.
We have been able to establish the following:
- Our actions ought to agree with our prayers.
- There is the place of prayer and the place of putting efforts.
- We can know the word and not experience result if we do not do the word.
- Diligence is an act of faith; it takes faith to sow into the soil.
- By acting on our faith, we are providing a channel through which the streams of blessings can flow.