We live in such a flabby, soft, undisciplined society that it has had drastic negative effects on the church but the truth has always been that God rewards effort.
We too often make excuses why God doesn’t do certain things when the fact is we have not been burdened enough to put forth the necessary effort.
God rewards those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6) and we can only expect to reap in joy after we have had a season of sowing in tears (Psalm 126:5-6).
I don’t think we know much about diligence (especially in the spiritual realm) the way the Bible teaches and the way our spiritual forefathers did.
It is easier to make excuses and say it was not God’s will, they were not interested, etc.
I am not at all talking about merely staying saved, or “staying in church, or continuing to “preach” but of accomplishing exploits for God.
Rank sinners genuinely converted from darkness to light, sick bodies healed, cities stirred, churches planted, demons cast out, etc.
The Lord Jesus Christ our ultimate example who was the Son of God and never sinned prayed all night (Luke 6:12), and fasted forty days and nights.
Jacob who was a man of like passions as we are wrestled with God all night and would not let go of God until he received the blessing (Genesis 32:24-32).
As a result he prevailed with God and power with God and with men.
We will never have the same until we do the same.
Persistance overcomes resistance.
“God and man unite for the task, the response of the Divine being invariably in proportion to the desire and effort of the human” (EM Bounds).
The violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12). That is talking about spiritual force or power gotten by taking hold of God (Isaiah 64:7).
Most pray maintenance prayers to stay out of sin, stay in church, make it through the week, for the their job and family but who stirs themselves to call upon the name of God to take hold of Him (Isaiah 64:7)?
One reason the spiritual birthrate is so low in America is “As soon as Zion travailed she brought forth her children (Isaiah 66:8)”. Zion is the church and when the church has a burden for souls she will put forth the effort and travail in prayer until souls are born into the kingdom.
The sooner we stop making excuses and admit our lack of concern and effort the sooner things will begin moving in the right direction.
Jesus taught us to pray and not faint (Luke 18:1). Most put a little effort into their prayers, try to fast some, try a night of prayer and when their prayers are not answered they give up (faint) and make some excuse.
Pray all night again and go on another fast. God rewards those who diligently seek Him, who sow in tears, who cry mightily to God day and night until the answer comes.
And shall not God avenge His own elect which cry day and night unto Him though He bear long with them? I tell you He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh shall He find faith on the earth (Luke 18:7-8)?
According to the Lord Jesus Christ Biblical faith is a faith that cries mightily to God day and night and does not faint and persists until God answers.
Paul said God’s Spirit strived through Him mightily (Colossians 1:29), and according to the grace of God in His life He labored more abundantly than they all (1 Corinthians 15:10), and he exhorted us to strive together with him in our prayers to God (Romans 15:30).
There are vials in heaven full of odors which are the prayers of the saints (Revelation 5:8).
For those vials to tip over and be poured out they must be filled up.
Saints keep knocking, keep seeking, keep asking, keep praying, keep sowing, keeping weeping, keep working, keep walking the floor, keep agonizing, keep fasting.
Stand, press, pray, seek, wait.
And let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not (Galatians 6:9).