How hard should I try, if I’m relying on God?
Unless God watches over a city the watchmen watch in vain, unless God builds a house the builders build in vain.¹ We should work like it depends on us, but know that it is dependent on God. This principle can be seen as Nehemiah organized and led the Israelites to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Each man had his section, and the men used all their strength to complete the task fast. They also carried their swords, because of constant danger. Yet their enemies knew it was God who gave them success.² We should work with all our strength as if onto the Lord.³ We are also told to be as shrewd as serpents, because men will try and do us wrong.⁴ God wants us to use all our physical and mental abilities to serve him. He gave us the abilities we have, so we can do his will.⁵ He even wants us to plan for potential trouble, but our hope is in God, not our own ability or plans. Whether or not God blesses our work and keeps us from harm, is up to him. If we seek God’s guidance and do our best to please him as we work, we can be sure that God will lead and help us achieve the outcomes he wants.⁶
① Psalms 127:1 ② Nehemiah 6:15-16 ③ Colossians 3:23-24 ④ Mathew 10:16-17 ⑤ Exodus 31:1-5 ⑥ Psalms 5:12
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