Years before my first national television broadcast hit the airwaves, I was working hard on accomplishing the vision God had given to me. Though I had been given clear instructions from the Lord, the completion of my divinely-given tasks required natural, daily action. I didn’t just sit around and say, “Lord, you’ll bring it to pass!”
In an effort to try to raise the necessary support, I posted a public facebook appeal. The responses I received were mostly positive. But there was one negative response that, because of human nature, stood out to me. A pastor sent me a scathing message, rebuking me using words to the effect of, “David, you are doing this all wrong. If God wanted you to have the support for the ministry, you wouldn’t have to ask for it; it would just come. You’ve been taught wrong, and you’re a gimmick.”
Immediately after sending me that message, the pastor blocked me, so I was unable to respond.
Now, over the years, I’ve had my share of strange posts and messages – they range from questions, to rebukes, etc. For the most part, I have developed the ability of non-reaction to negative posts. After receiving at least one a day for the past 16 years of online ministry, I don’t even flinch.
But when I received that FB message from that pastor, I was angered, confused….
… and discouraged.
I approached the Lord and asked, “Lord, is this true? Am I wrong for trying to cooperate with your will? Is it wrong for me to ask for help?”
Over the next few years, the Lord would show me in scripture that many of God’s servants asked for help. So today I take no issue with rallying support for the gospel. And I’ve learned this:
There is a big difference between being called to do something and being motivated to do something. Motivation can accomplish much, but unless God breathes upon a work, it’s all in vain. You must be called to do something in order to have God in it. But, contrary to the common misconceptions, the call of God does not present an obstruction-free path. Being presumptuous is unwise, but doing nothing is also foolish. God desires to bless you and prosper you. But it’s not entirely on God.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” - 3 John 1:2
Whether you desire to prosper in business, ministry or other areas of your life, I believe that God wants to prosper you. But having God on your side does not mean that you do not have to work hard.
“The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.” - Deuteronomy 28:12
There was something I noticed in this scripture that I know I was not the first to notice. God will prosper the WORK of your hands, not your hands. From Genesis to Revelation, we see a beautiful working between God and man. God chooses to use men to accomplish His will in the earth.
“Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” - Proverbs 10:4
God will not give automatic prosperity to those who just sit there and say, “Lord, here I am – prosper me.” God responds to faith, not inaction. We are to balance hard work with faith – and God will surely prosper that.
For example, I am in the healing ministry. But I don’t just sit around all day and expect people to give to my ministry. I am in constant prayer, searching for direction from the Lord. His hand guides me to do effective work (not just busy work) for the kingdom.
I have to know the right lessons to put out, the correct systems to run, the proper accounting to apply and so on. I work regular hours, Monday through Friday, on ministry endeavors. Event planning, video production, meetings, TV tapings, accounting, marketing, writing and even hours of Biblical studies (besides my personal devotion). There is so much to be done that I had to bring several ministry employees on staff, and we still have to work hard to keep up with all there is to do.
To this hard work, I apply prayer. Without a clear direction, there is no sense in moving forward. Everything we do is rooted in prayer. And it is this blending of hard work and faith that have led to the dynamic we have in ministry today. And I believe that our faithfulness to the Lord is what causes our ministry to continue in growth.
“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” - Luke 16:10
You must show faithfulness. And you have to give Him something to bless. You can’t expect God to bless your ministry if the only hard work you do is to keep yourself from hard work. There are no shortcuts in God’s kingdom. Quick works will quickly fail. God gives visions AND plans. The vision is the heart; the plan is the action.
Only God can send the wind, but you must raise the sail. Only God can send the fire, but you must build the altar. Only God can send the rain, but you need to put seed in the ground.