Here’s a question someone asked me recently: "I’ve done everything I can and nothing is working. Why?"
Actually, I get this question all the time, and it’s a very serious one. Let me rephrase it a bit: “What would cause an honest and hardworking man to fail regardless of all his efforts?”
There are several answers; but I’ll deal with 4 of them in this teaching series.
#1. The God-factor is inactive
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain."
~ Psalms 127:1
Pay attention to the underlined phrase, ‘labour in vain.’ This amounts to efforts without results. Sometimes, people exert effort but somehow, the effort does not yield the desired result. You see a lot of input but no result to show for it.
Furthermore, observe that the reason here is the absence of the God-factor – the man is working but God is not working.
In this case, actually, God is present – He always is – but is not active. He needs to be activated; yes, much like the disciples woke Jesus up in the following story.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
~ Mark 4
Does God seem to be sleeping on your case? Well, I think it’s time to wake Him up! When God wakes up in your situation, things begin to change for the better as He does things that you could never be able to do with mere human abilities.
You may be going through a terrible storm right now with no idea on how to get out of it. You might also be wondering what has happened to your God; maybe He is sleeping. I assure you today that God will never let you drown in the storm if you can just wake him.
David shows us how to do it.
1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
2 As smoke is blown away by the wind,
may you blow them away;
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
3 But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
~ Psalm 68
Put the above prayer psalm on your lips and declare it right away. Yes, go ahead and do it right now.
May God arise in your life, and may His enemies be scattered, in Jesus name.
God can be awakened by prayer, fasting, praise, and worship. It’s time to wake Him up!
Let God step in
You see, it takes more than efforts to be successful; you need the working of the Lord to make your plans succeed.
"I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."
~ 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
You can plant and water, but if God is not actively working on your behalf, you will be laboring in vain, stagnant, and frustrated.
"Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it."
~ Mark 16:20
When God steps in and becomes active in our programs, we begin to enjoy amazing success; signs and wonders begin to attend our efforts.
This is the time to call on God, like David and the disciples of Jesus Christ, and ask Him to help. This is where you engage the spiritual worship tools of sacrificial giving, heartfelt prayers, praise and worship. You’ve got to pray until something happens. It’s time to hold tenaciously to God.
Pray, pray, pray!
You see, persistent asking is a sign that you value something. Sometimes, we’ve got to ‘pester’ God to do some things. Yes, He loves us, but we do have to ‘wake’ Him sometimes; and this may be one of those times in your life.
See, you just can’t wish the problem away; you can’t sweep it under the rug. Ask until you receive. Seek until you find. Knock until the door is opened for you. Sometimes just being friends with God is not enough for Him to move; you may need to be importunate. Persist. Persistent asking is a sign that you truly value what you are asking for.
Learn to be persistent and put your feet down on what you want.
If you are feeling stagnant and stuck in a rut right now, get up and do something to attract the attention of the living God; and I can confidently tell you right now that the best thing you can do this very moment is to call upon Him like David, and the disciples of Jesus Christ.
Wake Him Up!