God helps those that help themselves. In the Bible or not? Not. In fact, through much research of the Bible and of many pastors’ views on this saying, it is clear that the Bible says the exact opposite. God helps those that cannot help themselves. And my favorite point made through this research, we cannot expect God’s help if we are helping ourselves, as this saying implies. Truth is, we cannot expect God to work in any way we wish for Him to work. Which brings me to my next point, nowhere can I find allowance for the other extreme: Trusting in God to do all the work without lifting a finger (because we trust Him), thus making God our personal servant, and we, the gods.
Trust in God. God is in charge. God will see you through. Ok. That’s fine. But what of the rest of the story? If we sit back, tell God that we are unhappy with injustice, can we expect Him to take care of it? Perhaps God will magically create some being to come down from the Heavens, take care of the mess, and then go back, and we won’t have to lift a finger. Perhaps I should have sat back and let God do all the work instead of going to every single court date and mediation, and counseling with the children, and hiring a lawyer, and fighting furiously to guard my children from exposure to violence.
Psalm 84:12 “O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.”
Does trusting God mean we can rest, putting God to work for us? No. It is so easy to believe this way. There are many injustices out there that need to be changed, to be righted. Trusting in God is seeking His counsel and strength in our ACTIONS. I know of many Christians around me who are actively helping those in need, actively helping those who cannot help themselves. And that is admirable. And while we all need a helping hand in areas of our lives, if you are on the receiving end of such help, it is always time to stand up and give back as you are able. For one, if one is to help another to the point of dependence, no salvation from the life of helplessness has been gained. And in the same way, if we are receiving, and putting all our faith in that, how can we in good faith believe that we are worthy of such help? And how can we take advantage of those that are helping us to set us upright, when we have no intention of ever standing on our own?
The same goes for our reliance of God. God is our creator. He is the very life that moves in and out of us. He put the will to pollinate the flowers in the bees, and he put the power of gravitational force in the moon. He created a perfect universe that is capable of creation. He can change the weather, a circumstance, a heart. But He is not our personal God in the form of a servant. In contrast, we are at His mercy and should be in awe of Him. While it is not in the Bible that “God helps those who help themselves”, we would be pretty full of ourselves to believe that trusting in God means that He will do our bidding as we wish without us ever lifting a finger.
But what does trusting in God mean? When I did have all the court dates and battles for the protection of my children, I had a lot of stress. I lamented that it was too much work, it was hopeless, that their father was much stronger than me. In essence, I was putting more faith in my ex and in the current situation than I was in God. It was when I changed my faith, my trust, and my efforts that I saw different results. I began to trust in God. I stopped praying for a particular outcome. The Lord knew my heart, and my fears. I instead asked for wisdom in what He wanted, and for the tools to handle whatever came our way. Of course, I hoped for a particular outcome, I would be lying if I said I didn’t. But I asked for the strength to accept however the Lord deemed this would end up. And then, instead of sitting back and waiting for the results, I moved forward. I did everything the court asked, as well as paid attention to my children’s needs through all of this. Every bit of my effort went towards this battle, and I worked harder than I ever have for anything. And when it was all over, while it didn’t turn out exactly like I had envisioned in the beginning, it turned out exactly as IT SHOULD turn out. And it was true, God’s plan was better than mine. And I realized even more that I could trust Him.
Psalm 115:9-11 “O house of Israel, trust in the LORD,
he is their help and shield.
O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD,
he is their help and shield.
You who fear him, trust in the LORD,
he is their help and shield.”
Trust in the Lord. He is your HELP, as well as your shield. Seek God in counsel, ask humbly for wisdom that He deems necessary to give you. Depend on the fact that God sees the overall picture, and knows what’s best. But understand that we are part of that picture, and part of what makes this great world tick.
So what exactly am I saying? Do your part, plain and simple. Trust in God while taking action. Become the servant, and not the served.