Quote of the week 41: Both God and Self-help are needed: Divine teamwork!

This is a massive issue, central to our Christian Faith. What’s the best way to pray, and ask for God’s help? What does God expect us to do? Just pray? Or is here anything else we can do? Read on . . .



Can we expect God to do it all? Or, does He need our freely given co-operation?

This question has traditionally divided some Christians. Some see God as doing it all. All you need is Faith. Just believe and ask. “Ask and you shall receive. . .”

Others say that “God helps those who help themselves.” James warns us that “faith without good works is dead.” This week’s quote suggests that God’s guidance happens only with our willing co-operation and collaboration.

So, where does that leave us? Who’s right? Is it Faith alone? Or Faith expressed in Good Works?

Let’s take an example. Your mother has a heart attack, and is seriously ill. “Please God, don’t let her die! Not now! Not yet!” We plead with God, over and over again. The whole family is in tears. 

That’s a brilliant response, exactly what we should do as Christians. But, is that all? Just sit and wait for God to get on with it? Perhaps not.

But if not, then where does that leave us? What else is needed? If prayer’s not enough, then what? In our example, we would immediately call the emergency ambulance. I’m sure there’s not a single religious person in the world who wouldn’t also call the ambulance.

What’s that saying? To me, the answer is quite clear: God expects us to co-operate and collaborate with Him. Do everything humanly possible. God’s given us brains, intelligence, creativity; and He fully expects us to use them, lovingly and wisely. 

God rejoices in those He has called into the medical profession, those who dedicate their life to serving the sick and dying. Would anyone dare suggest that they are acting against God, denying faith, leaving God out of the picture?

Experience teaches us clearly the ordinary way for healing to happen. We are called by God to apply everything we know that helps to cure people. Of course, miracles do happen. However, they tend to be extraordinary Divine interventions, where God steps in and heals the sick person.

Both are needed. “FAITH” in God, and the “GOOD WORKS” of the medical profession. There’s no need to become stuck in an “either/or” conundrum. We don’t have to choose between two competing remedies. Both are needed.

I once heard it expressed this way: “Believe, as if everything depended on God; and work, as if everything depended on you.”

So, let’s sum it all up: 

Yes, of course God will “guide your footsteps”, but don’t just stand there!

Gerry McCann

@themerry_monk

What’s your own healing experience ? Perhaps you’d care to leave a comment below. Thank you.


5 COMMENTS ON

“Quote of the week 41: Both God and Self-help are needed: Divine teamwork!”


  1. Wanda Baker says:

    Great article! I’ve had to depend on God for most of my adult life and he has never ever failed me. I’ve experienced many little miracles thru out my life. People expect some huge miracles to happen that they don’t see all the small ones. I know he is always by my side and has my back. My situation right now is not very good and I try not to dwell on it. I give it all to God because he is absolutely all I have. He has never let me down before so I know I’ll be okay. Faith? I have a lot of faith nothing but faith.

    1. Gerry McCann says:

      Thank you very much indeed, Wanda, for your inspiring and detailed comment about faith in God. It is beautiful. When we truly hand over our life and all our circumstances to God, we really can be at peace. Let’s never doubt, even if it seems He’s not answering. God works in mysterious ways, and often the answer comes at the last moment. However, there is always an answer, and an answer of Love: God is Love, as the Bible reminds us. Merry Christmas, a Blessed New Year to you and all your loved ones, Wanda. Peace. Love.

      1. Rogers Wasibi says:

        That’s why Ecclesiastes 11:4ff worns us that we should not wait for the wind to settle down. We don’t need to wait for conditions to be right, using my background of coffee farmers son experience, we only sow coffee seeds in soil-germination bed, cover up with soil. the rest of how it germinates, we don’t push in our eyes to monitor, so we need to invest our human efforts and leave the rest to God.

  2. Too embarrassed to say. says:

    I’m still on my healing journey – been running away from what I’ve been given for most of my grown-up life. I know God gave me brains, intelligence and creativity – I’m also starting to wonder if he blessed me with a big mouth on purpose.
    I certainly seem to have an abundance of courage for speaking out and I’ve avoided it and tamed it as it doesn’t always make me popular. And that can be painful. But then I also suffer from not speaking the truth as I see it.
    I want to be gentle but honestly – I feel too big inside and it scares me. I want to walk God’s path, but I seem to have been given massive boots! I know He doesn’t want me stomping over everyone – but I also feel He doesn’t want me shying away either. So hard to find a balance of when to act and when to leave it to God.

    1. Gerry McCann says:

      Very many thanks for your kind, wise and honest comment. So good of you to share some of your challenges in your life – and over a period of many years. It’s often very hard to know exactly what to do in many of life’s ups and downs. I feel that you are right to believe that God gave you assertiveness and strength for some purpose. It’s part of who you are. As you are aware, you would prefer to use this assertiveness in a positive way. Very often people need to be told the unpleasant truth. That’s good. Tell them. It will help them move on. But always tell them in a spirit of love and kindness. No-one appreciates a bossy boots! I pray right now that God will you with wisdom to continue on your healing, spiritual journey. Amen.

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