In Acts 6, the apostles are faced with a growing church that had become increasingly more difficult to manage. In fact, a couple groups within the church made it a point to loudly complain about the lack of attention their constituents were receiving (ooh, people complaining in church…how odd). So recognizing they cannot do everything, the apostles decided to appoint new leaders to help tighten the slack (enter deacons, stage left). They created a system that addressed the problem, and they worked the system.
So what happened next? SUCCESS. GROWTH. ENERGY. Verse 7 says, “SO (emphasis mine), the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” They leveraged their collective efforts, worked the system, and as a result realized a huge impact on the kingdom!
Rather then sit around and pray God would solve their dilemma, they chose to leverage the powers God had already given them. Intelligence. Preparation. Organization. The answer wasn’t a miracle, it was effort!
I hate to admit it, but I’ve prayed more than a few frantic “God, bring a miracle to counteract the natural outcome of my lack of preparation” prayers. Honestly, it’s stupid and presumes way to much upon God. Here God has given us wonderful faculties, and gifts, and talents to accomplish great things for the kingdom; and we dare neglect them for the immediacy of a requested miracle! Of course, outcomes are always reliant upon the work of God, but outcomes COME OUT of something – effort!
The next time we dare begin to expect God to swoop in and rescue us from our own lack of preparation and effort – somebody slap us!