The book of Ruth in Bible is one of the amazing books that illustrate the providence of God in our life. She professed her faith in the LORD God of Israel, though she was a foreigner to the covenant promises of God. After a series of tragedies and negative things happened in her life, Ruth could have sat home wishing for good things to happen. However, when she and Naomi reached Bethlehem, Ruth sought the approval of Naomi to go to a field and glean ears of grain for food instead of starving to death. She believed in her heart and activated her faith in the Lord and said someone would show favor to her. When Naomi, her mother in law gave permission, she went out and looked around for a field to glean. During the harvest time, Bethlehem had plenty of fields available. She did not know which field she should go to. Bible records she happened to come to the portion of the field belonging to Boaz. The original language says ‘she happened to happen’ to come to the portion of Boaz’s field. In other words, upon her action, God sovereignly guided her feet to come to the field of Boaz. It was not luck. It was not chance. It was not fate. It was the providence of God. God was behind it all. Her one right action resulted in long-standing benefits. She was not afraid. She was not doubtful. She moved with action. She became the great, great grandmother of the promised seed – Jesus Christ – the savior of the whole world. Obed was born to Ruth and Boaz. Jesse was born to Obed. David was born to Jesse and in whose line Jesus, the savior of the whole world born.
Beloved, you do not need to be powerful, confident or even perfect to exercise your faith in the Lord and make a move or act leaning on the Lord. You can make a move or action even when you feel weak and imperfect. You do the right thing in spite of your weakness, fears, and confusion. Put feet your faith and do the right thing in the sight of the Lord. God comes along and guides you supernaturally to accomplish big things out of your life. In other words, you cannot sit in your coach, hope and wish God would do things for you automatically. If you want a job, you need to prepare the best resume you possibly can and go and visit those who can potentially hire you. If you are sick, you need to see a doctor and get medical help. If you are a student, you need to study hard. If you are an employee, give your best work. If you need certain things, you pray to the Lord and then go and seek for it. Jesus said, ask, seek and knock. First, you ask in prayer. Do not imagine God will bring things to your living room. After praying start seeking and knocking the doors. Then God opens the doors. This is how typically the economy of God works for you.
Beloved, when you act or move the right way, God comes along and make this happens for your benefit and His glory. This is true about spiritual growth as well. You need to make your best effort to grow in the Lord. Your salvation is God’s gift. God saves you and grants you eternal life when you repent of your sins and shortcomings and accept Jesus Christ as your savior and Lord. This is called ‘justification’. At the time of your professed belief in Jesus Christ, God declares you justified forever. He cleanses and purifies you by the power of the blood of Christ. It is a one-time declaration of the heavenly court that you are justified in the presence of God. You are saved. You are cleansed from all impurities and uncleanness. You are forgiven. And you are granted eternal life in heaven.
However, your spiritual growth is called ‘sanctification’ which means you are being sanctified or made more and more holy in your behaviors and characters. Sanctification takes time and effort. It means you are going to look more and more like Jesus in grace and love. You become less critical and more gracious and loving as Jesus was. You become more forgiving instead of keeping an unforgiving attitude. You consider others are more important than yourself. You think more and more about spiritual and heavenly things and less and less about material, fleshly and worldly things. To this happen, you need to make all good efforts for your spiritual growth. When you do, the Holy Spirit of God who indwells in you enable and equip you to become more like Jesus. Sadly, there are believers who still live in carnal nature even after many years of their salvation. This is simply because they do not cooperate with the indwelling Holy Spirit and make all efforts to grow spiritually.
Got a moment for today’s prayer? “Father in heaven, I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again. I accept Jesus as my savior and Lord. I know when I am justified by your grace because I believed in your Son, Jesus Christ, you expect me to grow spiritually to become more like Jesus in love and grace. Lord, Sanctify me with your Holy Spirit and your word. I surrender my life to you and for your plans. Help me to take baby steps of faith. As I lean on you and take steps in faith, transform me to the image of your Son, Jesus and glorify your name through me. I pray these in the name of Christ, Amen.”