By Barnabas C. Ezeife.
A story was once told of an atheist who appeared in court to prove that there was no God. After rendering his argument very well, the chief Judge declared him the winner. Very excitedly he jumped up and shouted “Thank God”, thereby contradicting his stance. Thus the Chief Judge asked him, “You said that there is no God, why then are you thanking God? Sequel to this, the Atheist was renounced as the winner.
There is no doubt that everyone in this world has a mission he or she is to accomplish. All of our efforts knowingly or unknowingly are to achieve that which God has destined for us. It all entails that we cannot separate ourselves from God.
Going down memory lane would remind is that we are created in the image and likeness of God. That is to say that we wouldn't have been in this planet if God did not allow us, although many scientists, philosophers and atheists have gone extreme to prove that God does not exist. Some even argued that everything in existence now is a product of science because there is nothing like God. No wonder, John F. Haught insists that 'our metaphysical or theological commitments must blend harmoniously with the authoritative results of scientific discovery'.
Cut off from me, you can do nothing”, says the scripture. I have asked myself times without number, what on earth can we do without God? What actually do we have that does not come from God? Do we talk about mansions, cars, wealth, intelligence, wisdom? Absolutely none!!! Little wonder why a Nigerian musician by name Humblesmith in one of his songs, Osinachi admitted wholly that everything comes from God.
The religious belief that God is incomprehensible also helps us to actually understand that we cannot do without God.
The Psychologists will always tell you that our success is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration but remove that 1% and you will not succeed. Nothing ever comes easy and even when everything seems to be happening as you planned, it is not without the handwork of God because if you forsake God, he will forsake you. The psalmist says “the stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”. We have to call on God's name in everything we do in life because he is the controller of fate and destiny. It is only faith that can guarantee us the blessings we hope for and the realities which on this very time does not exist.
Furthermore, it must be borne in our minds that there is a limit to human effort. The psalmist once said “when the lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream, our tongue was filled with joy, then it was said among the nations, “the Lord has done great things for them” '. (C.F Ps 126: 1-3)
Let it be known to you all that no one can boast of achieving anything in life without the grace of God. The Israelites who were captives in the land of Egypt were saved by the grace of God. It is only by the grace of God that we wake up every morning, it is also by His grace that we move about freely. Koredo Bello in his music, Godwin ascertained the fact that being successful in one's endeavor is all about God's unmerited grace. We can vividly remember the story of Saul who persecuted the church but later he was 'arrested' on his way to Damascus. Henceforth, Paul bore witness to the gospel even with his life. This shows that Saul who was not with God was building in vain till the time of his conversion. He was able to put God first in his life and even went to the extent of sacrificing his life for Christ to show the importance of being with God. That is why in his epistle to the Philippians 4;13, he said, 'I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”. It was the grace of God that allowed Paul to undergo all the hardships as the great apostle of Christ if not the greatest.
Elsewhere, the psalmist said “unless the Lords the house, those who build it labor in vain, unless the Lord guards the city, the guards keep p watch in vain. It is in vain that we rise up early and go late to rest, for the Lord blesses those whom He chooses even while they slumber”, (C.f Ps. 127: 1-2)
To sum it up, health, strength, clearness of mind and success are all under God's control and through early rising may tend to produce all these, yet people are not the less dependent on God for success. Our achievements, success or greatness is never by power, righteousness or might, but by the spirit of God and His grace.