We should do everything we can do. Then, once we've done all that we can possibly do, we surrender it to the Lord and let Him work.
I was watching some TV today, and this statement made me stop to think for a moment.
When the comment was first made, I was inclined to agree -- but only for a split-second. Then, I realized that the actions were backward.
As Christians, we are to be in a continual state of surrender to the Lord. The first step is to surrender; then we are to do, to act, to work as the Lord leads. All throughout the Bible examples are given us of those who submitted to the Lord, and afterward, He was able to work through them. (Think Moses, Abraham, David, Esther, Paul, etc)
The key is that surrender had to take place first. The Lord can't use those who are still in control of their will, their desires, their lives.
In Romans 12:1, Paul says we must present [our] bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God...
James 4:7 tells us: Submit yourselves therefore to God.
The Psalmist declares (37:5): Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.
Again, we are to be completely surrendered to the Lord and His will for our lives. Rather than thinking, This is what I'm doing; this is my plan; this is what I want, James 4:15 reminds us, [w]e ought to say, 'If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.' [emphasis mine] If we live according to these principles, the Lord can move freely, things will go more smoothly, and there will be fewer complications.
So many times in my life, situations have arisen, and instead of immediately bringing it to God, I have fretted, worried, and tried things my way... only to have it completely fall apart. Then I was ready to head to the Lord, and He made things work so much easier. Ugh, if only I had gone to Him in the first place, it would have saved me some heartache!
Oh, in case you're wondering... it was Oprah Winfrey who made the comment at the beginning of this post. I think Proverbs 19:27 applies nicely: Cease... to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
Yeah... another reason I need to learn to turn off that TV.
Especially once we have a little one running around the house; I don't want our son/daughter to be tainted by the false philosophies and other things being aired these days. There are many activities that we as Christians would never take part in, or allow into our homes (swearing, drinking, adultery, etc), but what we sometimes forget (and I am guilty of it, too!) is that when we turn on the television, we are allowing those things to enter.
You know, I'm considering a way to include more Scripture in our decor. Perhaps the first verse I should display is I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.