“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
“God won’t anoint laziness.” This statement by pastor and author Mark Batterson is one that has stayed with me ever since I read it.
I believe it is fair to say few of us would call ourselves lazy. We call ourselves under-qualified or over-qualified for a given task, but not lazy. We call it waiting for a better opportunity to come along, or not wanting to over-commit…but not laziness. While these can all be valid points at times, we need to be careful we do not use such labels as an excuse to be lazy without calling it so.
The hard truth is often times we fail to do the things God calls us to do and then we wonder why He does not bless us. We find ourselves, perhaps even subconsciously, waiting to see God move, waiting for God to bless us, before we are willing to get to work.
What we fail to take into consideration when we do this; however, is that often God does not move until we do.
Consider when the Israelites were at long last to enter the promised land. Over 400 years after Abraham’s original call to the land, God commanded Joshua, the newly appointed leader of the Israelites to cross the Jordan River and enter the promised land.
We pick up the story in Joshua chapter 3, verse 8 when God gave Joshua specific orders. “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.” Verse 13 continues, “And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”
While God’s instructions to Joshua may sound simple enough, consider them a bit further. The Jordan River was in flood stage during this time of year, so this was no small stream they were about to step into. Also, the priests were carrying the Ark of the Covenant, the residence of God Himself. Up to this time people had been killed for mishandling the Ark. I’m sure the thought of falling in the river with the Ark and being slain was somewhere in the back of their minds! And after all, if God was going to part the waters to allow the Israelites to pass through, why make the priests step in the raging water first? Why not just part the water and allow everyone to pass through without so much as a drop of water on them? Could God have done that? Absolutely! But again, it seems more often than not God wants to see us take a step of faith before He will act or bless us.
As the story continues, the priests did as they were instructed. They marched ahead of the Israelites carrying the Ark of the Covenant. When they reached the edge of the Jordan, they touched their feet in the water and it miraculously stopped flowing. The entire nation of Israel then passed through to the promised land on dry ground.
The priests took a step of faith and only then did God act.
I have seen this same pattern emerge in my own life. God’s blessings begin to flow only after I take the first step. God cannot add His supernatural to my natural if I don’t start by doing the natural!
The truth is, if we want to see God move in our lives we need to take the initiative and get started.
We need to give God something to bless.
Whether it is starting a job or ministry, beginning a school program, building a relationship, or starting to serve, we need to be the one to take the first step.
Personal development expert Jim Rohn says, “Things that are easy to do are easy not to do.” This is such a simple but profound truth. Could it be God has placed things in front of you to do, perhaps even some seemingly easy thing, but instead of getting started, you are waiting for God to bless you first? We would be wise to remember God will not do for us what we can do for ourselves. God cannot bless effort we do not put forth. God will not anoint laziness.
Take a step today. Get busy and give God something to bless.
What step is God asking you to take today?