I have a friend who had an exam on Thursday. She spent the week finding any and everything else to do but study for this exam, including going to the cinema on Tuesday. On Wednesday night she crammed some notes and went to sleep. The next morning before the exam she told me “I know I didn’t study, but I am going with God”.
I was a little disappointed in my friend’s attitude – not only from the perspective of a teacher, but from a Christian perspective as well. I didn’t want to judge, but in my heart I felt she could have prioritized better. I told her I would pray for her, and I did, but when she got back her grades yesterday, it wasn’t pretty.
So what does this have to do with God, guys and girls?
Well, so many of us get into challenging relationships and then claim to have “faith” that it will “turn out okay”. Now don’t get me wrong; there are relationship trials that the Lord allows for us to be better, more complete people:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4.
And then there are trials we put ourselves in due to false faith. Take my friend who did not put in the work for her exam. God told her … “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” 2 Thess 3:10. She did not put in the work, but thought if she prayed hard enough and had “faith”, God will reveal the answers to her and help her through her trial. Well, God is not a magic wand to wave when we go against His will and end up in trouble, and neither is He subject to our every whim and fancy.
We need to do our part: obey God and renew our minds by studying His Word. When we study his Word , we develop discernment – we are better able to answer the question “Is this trial from God, or from myself?” We are also better able to recognize what actions God wants us to take (Romans 12:2).
So if right now, at this very moment, you are in a challenging relationship or situation with your guy or girl, grab your Bible, find the relevant passage, evaluate the situation and pray. Ask God to guide you, ask him to reveal the truth of your situation – “Is it you Lord, that wants me to persist through this to the end, or am I holding on to something I am better off not having?”
And always pray as Jesus did “not as I will, but as You will“.
More on this topic: Faith or Presumption? (joequatronejr.wordpress.com)