“God helps those who helps themselves” is not from the Bible.
Really. I’ve heard people quote it as if it were biblical, but you won’t find it there. Instead, we find verses like this one: “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Yet we know, we need to do our part.
We can’t just sit around all day humming and wait for answers to fall from the sky. That’s the rub. That’s the tension. It’s hard to know when we need to “do” something and when we simply need to wait on God.
Maybe the answer is to wait before we do.
None of us are good at waiting these days–these days of cell phones, drive-thrus, microwaves, and text messages. We don’t have to wait very long for anything. Impatient is our culture’s middle name–or first.
Read these words from Streams in the Desert:
Waiting upon God is vital in order to see Him and receive a vision from Him. And the amount of time spent before Him is also critical, for our hearts are like a photographer’s film–the longer exposed, the deeper the impression. For God’s vision to be impressed on our hearts, we must sit in stillness at His feet for quite a long time. Remember, the troubled surface of a lake will not reflect an image.
I know all too well what it’s like to try to fix things on my own. Usually my heart beats out of my chest; my head pounds trying to figure out the solution. And a knot makes itself home in my stomach.
Isaiah 30:15 is very clear.
The NIV reads:
” This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
Digging under our translation clarifies the meaning.
The word “salvation” is the Hebrew word Yasa and it means to “save, rescue, deliver, help, preserve, give victory; to get help.” It is not referring to eternal salvation in this verse, but physical help.
That is so cool. In repentance and rest will come physical help. What do you need help with in your life? According to this verse, repentance must come first to open the way for God’s hand to work. Repentance means turning back to God. Changing our thought patterns to His thoughts (Scripture). Replacing that sticking thinking believing God is punishing you to God’s goodness, kindness, and mercy.
What have you been trying to fix on your own? What problems keep surmounting? Ask God to reveal any places of unforgiveness or control issues in your heart.
The scripture continues to pour out wisdom. “In quietness and trust is your strength.”
Permission to take a nap.
“Quietness” is the Hebrew word Saqat. It means “to rest, be undisturbed, to be still, inactive.”
The hardest thing for some of us. We feel guilty if we’re not doing something. But there is a difference between lazy and obedient waiting on God. We need to tune our ears to His voice.
[bctt tweet=”But there is a difference between lazy and obedience. We need to tune our ears to His voice. ” username=”wordsbyandylee”]
Which brings us to the next word.
“In quietness and trust is your strength.”
“Trust” is translated from Bithah which means “confidence and hope.”
That’s a powerful word. Do we have confidence that God’s got it; He will work it out?
Strength lies in confidence in God’s goodness again! When we have confidence that He’s got good plans worked out, we can rest.
If we are struggling today. Problems surmounting. Nothing we do is working. The Bible gives us the solution. Here are the three steps:
- Confess our lack of trust and trying to do it on our own.
- Give up. Do nothing. Rest.
- Have confidence that God will help us. (We may have to pray for this confidence.)
When we do this, our “waters” are stilled. And we reflect His image.
May I pray for us?
“Oh Lord, we confess our worry and our attempts to fix our problems when you have the solution. Help us have confidence in you as we lay down our worries and stop trying. Make us strong. We love you. Amen.”
What do you need to stop doing and wait for God to do?