Saturday, March 17, 2012

Keeping God’s Will in Focus


 The idea of exerting strenuous effort to obtain God’s blessing may well bring to mind the patriarch Jacob. He did not know how God’s promise to Abraham would work out, but he believed that Jehovah would greatly multiply the offspring of his grandfather, whose descendants would become a great nation. Thus, in 1781 B.C.E., Jacob traveled to Haran to find a wife. He was not merely interested in finding someone who would be a pleasant companion; rather, he sought a spiritually-minded woman who was a worshipper of Jehovah and who would be a good mother to his children.

 We know that Jacob met his relative Rachel. He came to love Rachel and agreed to work for her father, Laban, for seven years in order to obtain her as his wife. This was no mere story of a memorable romance. Jacob certainly knew of the promise that Almighty God had made to his grandfather Abraham and had restated to his father, Isaac. (Gen. 18:18; 22:17, 18; 26:3-5, 24, 25) In turn, Isaac told his son Jacob: “God Almighty will bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and you will certainly become a congregation of peoples. And he will give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your seed with you, that you may take possession of the land of your alien residences, which God has given to Abraham.” (Gen. 28:3, 4) So the effort Jacob put forth to find the right wife and produce a family reflected his confidence in what Jehovah had said.

 Jacob was not seeking wealth to accommodate his family. His mind was on his heritage. His focus was on the outworking of Jehovah’s will. Jacob was determined to do everything in his power to obtain God’s blessing despite obstacles. He carried that attitude into his old age, and Jehovah blessed him for it.—Read Genesis 32:24-29.

 Like Jacob, we do not know all the details of the outworking of Jehovah’s purpose. Yet, by studying God’s Word, we perceive a general outline of what to expect concerning “Jehovah’s day.” (2 Pet. 3:10, 17) For example, we do not know exactly when that day will come, but we know it is near. We believe God’s Word when it says that by giving a thorough witness in the short time that remains, we will save both ourselves and those who listen to us.—1 Tim. 4:16.

 We recognize that the end could come at any time; Jehovah’s timing is not contingent on our giving a personal witness to every individual on the planet. (Matt. 10:23) Moreover, we receive good direction on how to carry out our preaching work effectively. In faith, we participate in this work to the best of our ability, using whatever resources are at our disposal. Will we always preach in the most productive territory? Really, how could we know in advance? (Read Ecclesiastes 11:5, 6.) Our job is to preach, trusting that Jehovah will give us his blessing. (1 Cor. 3:6, 7) We can be certain that he sees our strenuous efforts, and by means of his holy spirit, he will provide whatever specific direction we need.—Ps. 32:8.

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Christian view the Bible as the inspired Word of God, absolute truth, beneficial for teaching and disciplining mankind.