This post is an extension of the immediate earlier topic titled “Reliance on God banishes fear “. It was not only King Saul that yielded because of the fear of man at a most critical time in his life. Situation of fear breeds lukewarmness which Jesus condemned in John’s revelation to the church in Laodicea Revelation 3:15-16. There should not be partial trust in God. Absolute confidence in God is required at all times. Fear of man is exemplified in Proverb 29: 25 ” The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe”.
Prophets re-echoed God’s assurance that makes us not to fear man as in Isaiah 51: 12 ” I, even I, am HE who comforts you, who are you that you should be afraid of man who will die, And of the son of man who will be made like grass?” (NKJV) In John 12: 42, Jesus’ disciples alluded to Isaiah’s observation that people’s fear of the Pharisees prevented many rulers of the synagogue from confessing Christ as the Messiah thus: “Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue.” According to James 4: 7, the bible tells us: “Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you”. A born-again Christian should frustrate fear to be able to fully rely on God who remains eternally supreme.
Work and pray as it applied to Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, knew he was into a trade known for extortion but desired to change to become a material for salvation. By assessment, one can say he was filled with remorse for his past deeds and consequently transformed himself into a stage of being broken, expectation of the Messiah (Jesus the son of David) and of absolute belief in God for HIS universal compassion for repentant sinners like himself. In adoration of Jesus of Nazareth, Zacchaeus worked himself up a tree to ensure he got what he desired. His prayer for salvation was heard for Jesus on his own looked up and invited Zacchaeus to come down for salvation was to be his portion that day. He worked and prayed as shown by his action that led to receiving the grace of God to the surprise of the Priests and the rulers of the synagogue Luke 19: 2-10
Work and pray is not just a cliché rather the concept creates an unbroken link between man and God to man’s eternal benefit. It is a ‘perpetual injunction’ in the life of Paul that plants and Apollo that waters, the increase is thus exclusively of God,The aspect of prayer enables God to grant increase by his grace Corinthians 3: 6. Ordinarily, we often hear “Heavens help those who help themselves”. In other words, a lazy prayerless person can be said to have opened himself to attack from the devil with its consequences in terms of poverty, sickness, squalor low spiritual power and many more. Praying alone without working is like expecting output without any imput.