Many times I have sincerely prayed, “God, help me to be effective in my ministry. Help me, I pray, to be productive so that I won’t be like the servant that buried his one minas!” I hate to say it, but my prayer was incomplete and didn’t conform to God’s word. Yep, I needed to not just read the Bible, but I needed to integrate it into how I lived my life.
Of course, what I prayed was in the will of God; that was not the problem. The problem I had was that I didn’t pay attention to the promise God had already placed in His word. The issue was that, as with all of God’s promises, there are conditions, and I was ignoring those conditions.
I found those conditions in 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV). For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What was the point of me asking God for something He had already promised to provide when I was ignoring His conditions? What I needed to do was to “possess these qualities in increasing measure…” If I would do what God said then I would be effective and productive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s promises are so simple. Simple always trips me up. 🙁
Prayer: Father God, I come to you in the Name. Jesus is that Name above all names so in Him I come. I ask that you would teach me and correct me as I strive to add to my “faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” My heart’s desire, my Father, is to be effective and productive in the work Jesus assigns me. Help me to put action to your words, I pray. Amen.