Jesus said, "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."1
Dr. Leslie Weatherhead, a well-known preacher in the twentieth century, said that once, when he was a high school student, he had a very difficult examination. But he had discovered that verse, "And whatever you ask in my name, that will I do...."
Weatherhead believed that verse meant that all he had to do was ask and he would pass the exam. He told God he was believing his promise, and that he wanted a good grade. The next day young Weatherhead took the examination, but when the grades were in, he had failed. He was disillusioned. He rebelled and almost lost his faith. He came to the conclusion that the promises of the Bible were not good—all because God had not granted his wish for a good grade.
The next year he repeated that course. He worked hard, and passed. This time he decided that he didn't need God—that he could get along by himself.
After some years had passed, Dr Weatherhead came to understand that his own powers and abilities were in reality the power that God had given to him. He began to realize that God had already given him the power to pass the examination, but he had not used that power the first go around.2
I'm sure many of us could identify with Weatherhead in that we have, at times, wanted and expected God to do all sorts of things for us without any or sufficient effort on our part.
Fortunately, it doesn't work that way. God is not codependent. He will do for us what we can't do for ourselves. That's why he sent Jesus to die for us because it is impossible for us to save ourselves. But God won't do for us what we need to do for ourselves. If he did, he would be keeping us over-dependent and immature.
True, God feeds the sparrows, but he doesn't throw the food into their nests.
Suggested prayer, "Dear God, help me to realize that you have already moved the heavens to come to earth to save me from my sins, but also that you won't do for me what you have already equipped me to do for myself. Help me to remember that personal responsibility is my responsibility. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. John 14:13 (NKJV).
2. Rev. Richard J. Fairchild, "Our Desire and Our Growth."
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