There is a common mistake made among Christians.
We tend to live according to certain extremes.
I’d like to discuss one of those today.
There are some Christians who believe that belief is ALWAYS enough. Just ask God to provide…and he will! Just ask God to give you a new house…and he will! Just ask God to do anything…and he will! He loves you and cares for you. He wants the best for you…so it’s all yours!
There are other Christians who believe that belief is NEVER enough. There are a bunch of requirements placed before anything. God gives nothing for free. God is watching your every move to determine if you deserve what he is able to give you.
In reality, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
There is a combination of that which is “free” and that which has an “if” placed before it. For example, is salvation free? YES! But, do we also reap what we sow (we reap if we sow)? YES!
In the book of Deuteronomy, we have a record of God speaking to his people. He’s talking about making sure that the Israelites set aside three “cities of refuge” (places where someone who accidentally killed someone else could find refuge so they wouldn’t be killed in retaliation).
Then, he says in chapter 19, verses 8-9: “And if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors, and gives you all the land he promised them, you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you are careful to obey all the commands I have given you—if you always love the LORD your God and walk in his ways.)
I picture God as saying, “Hey guys, the first part of the land is free…it’s yours! But, to get the rest of it, you’ve got some work to do!”
Notice that God mentions the word “if” three times in those verses above.
God works in both ways in our lives. There are times where God showers his blessings without us having to do much of anything. Then, there are other times where he makes it clear that the rewards will only follow corresponding actions.
Next time you spend time reading the Bible, pay attention to the difference. That will make ALL the difference in how you live your life!