When Swedish industrialist and International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) founder Gunnar Olson started his first company, in his words, he was a yo-yo Christian. When things were great he was ecstatic, when things were down he was depressed. Also he was super-spiritual, so when sales were down he would fast and pray. On the last day of a 14 day fast he received a call from a woman whose wisdom and insight he highly respected.
She had a word from the Lord.
He was excited. He desperately needed answers from God. What mystical insight had God revealed to her? According to him,
“‘Get out there and sell!!’ she announced. ‘Gunnar you need to do your part too!’”
We’re called to hustle
Or be industrious.
Don’t believe me? He said it Himself,
“Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may give to those in need.” (Ephesians 4:28 AMP)
Personally, I think there’s something about an industrious spirit that makes Him smile.
I mean someone who will fight, scratch, claw, kick, persist, and encourage themselves in the face of seemingly impossible odds. Don’t get me wrong there are times when all we do is stand still and look to Him for help. But then there are those other times He opens doors as we move forward: “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Quit praying and get the people moving! Forward march!’” (Exodus 14:15 TLB)
Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the heiny from the Lord from time to time.
Adversity leads to glory
That kick often comes from the boot of trouble.
I’m convinced that God will put us in (or allow us to go through) trouble in order to get out of us the greatness He put in us. But that greatness comes through resourcefulness. In fact, when Jesus spoke about the resourcefulness of a manager He said:
“Now here’s a surprise: The master praised the crooked manager! And why? Because he knew how to look after himself. Streetwise people are smarter in this regard than law-abiding citizens. They are on constant alert, looking for angles, surviving by their wits. I want you to be smart in the same way—but for what is right—using every adversity to stimulate you to creative survival, to concentrate your attention on the bare essentials, so you’ll live, really live, and not complacently just get by on good behavior.” (Luke 16:8-9 MSG)
Now don’t get me wrong: I’m not telling you not to pray! Let’s clear that up! Prayer is wonderful and should be done all the time, even with a prayer partner. What I am saying that is sometimes we make the mistake ( I know I have) of praying when we should be fixing and fixing when we should be praying. Or in the case of Gunnar, praying when we should be selling.
Now my question to you is this: which approach does your problem warrant?