Prov.21:31 “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” (emphasis added).
Father in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, we ask that You breathe upon us. Open our eyes to see as we ought to see, challenge us, and stretch us beyond our faith in Jesus Mighty Name. Prov.21:31 “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” (ESV, emphasis added). There is a constant tension between how the Christians in the developed nations are being challenged to think and how the Christians in the developing nations are being challenged to think. The Christians in the developing nations are challenged to think and move away from just praying. They are being challenged that beyond prayer you need to work, beyond prayer you need to have excellence, beyond prayer you need to have diligence, beyond prayer you need to build systems and that is legitimate.
However, if you go to the Western world and put on Christian radio, you hear a lot of the Christians in the Western world being encouraged to depend on God, that without God they can do nothing. The Christians in the developing nations know that without God we can do nothing. And that can be a challenge sometimes because people think since I can do nothing without God, I might as well do nothing and let God do everything. Whereas the Christians in developed nations tend to rely too much on themselves because they think they do not really need God or need the supernatural. After all, they put on their taps and the water is running. They do not need faith for power to be on. The roads are good.
However, God has not called us to be one or the other. God wants us to understand that without Him we are nothing. And there are things that He will not do for us that we have to do for ourselves. Saint Augustine said, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.” That is the harmony that we have to bring to bear. Someone said, ‘While the nation of Israel is building sophisticated weapons to defeat their enemies, African nations are looking up to the God of Israel’. It is a contradiction. The nation of Israel today has one of the most sophisticated espionage systems on earth, spying systems, attacking systems, military systems. But the nations of Africa are praying to the God of Israel to defend them. Is there a balance and should there be a balance? Or is there harmony?
Harmony is what we are going to be focusing on. The harmony of understanding that we cannot do God’s part and God will not do our part. While, like the African Christian, we can trust God for everything. And like the Western Christian, we can take responsibility for everything at the same time, at least for the things that God wants us to take responsibility for. So, there is nothing wrong with planning, with systems, with faith, and with prayer.
Prayer: Father, I ask for the grace and the wisdom to work as though everything depends on me and to pray as though everything depends on You, in Jesus Name. Amen!