Followup – God helps those that help themselves
I received a question on the post from yesterday (God helps those that help themselves) and I would like to share the question and my response. If the Lord speaks to you on this matter, by all means, please jump in –
The question was:
My question is; in James 2:17 where it says,” Faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” does this not imply that if we ask God for somthing, he will help us by providing us a way but we have to do our part in order for the thing to be done? I know that we can do nothing without God but I always thought that the statement ” God helps those that help themselves” meant that if we don’t take a step in Faith, then God wouldn’t really help us because we lack faith. So, we help ourselves by taking a step in Faith and then God does his part by making things happen right?
Here was my response. I covet correction if I speak out of line from God’s word and I also greatly desire further understanding for all of us. So please, comment if you have something to add.. It will benefit all of us –
You are correct, let’s take a close look at this though. See, believing in Jesus Christ.. the word believe, is not just ‘to have an opinion on’.. It’s not ‘head knowledge’. The definition means to rely upon, have faith in, trust in, obey, trust in Jesus Christ. Believing means surrendering to Him and it is no longer I who live, but Christ Jesus who lives in me:
Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
His mind… His words… His Spirit… Sure, my lips move in prayer but they are the lips of a living sacrifice. The words that come out are His and come from Him inside of us.
So yes, when we ask God for something, it will be done as Jesus says… but what we have to be careful on is the terms we use. Sure, when we ask for something… it me, Joseph, the body, that is asking.. But in reality, if I abide in Him and His words abide in me, then it is really Him asking… it just appears as me.
And yes, we have to do our part for it to be done… just 1 part to be done – Believe. Once we believe, it is He in us (at least it should be!)
Yes, taking a step in Faith.. Believing in God that He is who He says He is…and He will do what He says He will do. And when we completely surrender, we get Christ in us. That’s why we can ask in Faith.. because whatever we ask, will always line up with the Will of God.. .because it is God in you that is asking.. That is the Kingdom of God in you.
You, your flesh, should be dead.. a living sacrifice. What does a living sacrifice mean? I’m living… my heart is beating… But I am sacrificed. What is sacrificed? Me, Joseph. My ways, my ideas, my prayers, my thoughts, etc. Those things of me are crucified with Christ, sacrificed… but I still live. (see those verses above again, specifically Gal 2:20 and see Rom 12:1 as well). Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Does that make sense? God helps those that help themselves can be read as a humanism, prideful, fleshly type works… As if it is I who does these things. The flesh has nothing good in it… this filthy thing of the flesh cannot do a thing.. But, if we read it as “God helps those that help themselves by believing in Him”, then yes, it is an accurate statement.
I hear this statement used more often when it is talking of works of the flesh.. “Well, if you’d help yourself and do this, and that, and this, and that… Then God will help you.” God helps us even though we are sinners, He sent His only begotten son to help us, even when we did nothing.. absolutely nothing we have done to help ourselves.. but God helped us. But, whomever believes in Him.. shall not perish. Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Salvation is of the Lord. He acted first… sent His Son. We act 2nd by believing/surrendering to Christ.. All else flows naturally from God from there.. So there is no other works/deeds to be done.. outside of continuing in belief (which this includes, trust, obey, faith, relying upon, etc..etc)