If it is necessary, is it ok to tweak facts so that we as humans get excited or stay excited spiritually?
For example, if we look at the Life of Jacob, though in hindsight, he might seem to have obtained all the blessings from his father, mother and God, did he have the certainty of such blessings, during his life time especially at those poignant moments when he needed them most?
He had already obtained the intangible birthright from Esau; blessings of God, father and mother but when Jacob got the news that his brother Esau had a following of 400 men and that Esau was already on his way to meeting him, he did not rest on those birthright and blessings, Jacob took precautionary action to appease Esau, secondly he compartmentalised his entourage so that if Esau were to remember the deprivation of both the birthright and the blessings of his father, lost twenty years earlier, Jacob would still have the time to retreat and seek safety at some other end!
Notwithstanding the assurances of the blessings and the divine assurances, Jacob was meticulous in his human endeavour.
In the whole of the Bible, there is no other person who measures up to Jacob in human effort, despite the blessings and assurances.
Jacob wants his wages to multiply faster than the portion due to Laban, but he resorted to some home remedies to attain those objectives by placing those barks and streaks before the watering holes of those sheep and goats!
Jacob, did not Rest on those blessings and assurances, but attempted in every little way to further his objective. Jacob’s life, to put it succinctly was: GET THE INTANGIBLE BLESSINGS FROM ONE’S PARENTS, AND ASSURANCES FROM GOD AND ANGELS; BUT SLACKEN NOT IN HUMAN EFFORT AND TAKE ALL NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS.
It is not easy. Christians erroneously believe that once blessings and assurances are obtained, human effort could be minimised.
The only other person who comes at a distance is King David. Anointed to be the King stealthily by the erstwhile Judge and Prophet Samuel himself, yet when he is pursued by King Saul, David doesn’t merely meekly stay put; likewise when his son Absalom turned against him, he vacated Jerusalem and crossed the river Jordan for safety.
Both Jacob and David realised one of the most important truths of Life: Blessings and Assurances and Anointment are the intangibles, and for those to operate better create human situations of better opportunities – which could be achieved only through human effort.
Jacob would never take NO for an answer – may sound cliched, but we have no example of any other human being having wrestled with God, and God making a request to that human being to relent, as the dawn was breaking!
That relentlessness, that Hope and that purposefulness – one could assume were the byproducts of those intangible blessings, assurances and anointment obtained prior to those trying and exhausting situations- but both Jacob and David had exhibited their relentlessness and indomitable spirit to pursue their objectives even before they were assured of what they had sought and obtained as a promise!
But these examples, Jacob and David did not need tweaking of facts- they believed that they should not be found wanting in their human part for the Divine to express itself through them! After all those human efforts, when they prospered, they gave all glory to God, because they realised that those human efforts could have been laid to waste in the randomness of events, but had providentially not been!
But we, the living generation of human beings have primarily a tendency to believe that a priori certain events had been destined to happen and as such the unalterable conclusions would come to pass willy nilly – which is downright erroneous, if not a cardinal mistake.
God loves Human Effort – relentless effort! Jericho has been rebuilt, notwithstanding the curse of Joshua, and i am inclined to believe that God, as Jesus said, is more merciful than the Judge who neither feared God nor man, and when human effort is noticed, He in his infinite mercy, would even obliterate the curses – maybe, he may set up the foundations of Jericho at the birth of his first son and raise the lintel decades later, but God would not dishonour human effort!
But little realising that God loves human effort, the sermons and preachings have debunked human effort under the umbrella of Grace and predestination! All the shining examples of the Bible were not spared of defeats and humiliation, but the assurances gave those patriarchs the resurgent spirit to redouble their efforts without depleting themselves through despondency!
Spiritual reserves are more important for human effort, and therefore untrue facts are not necessary for building those spiritual reserves. In fact, i believe that depending on SPIRITUAL EXCITEMENT alone is a sure recipe to end up with the result of those seeds which fell on stony ground and for lack of moisture dried up.
A good blend of INTELLECTUAL DISCIPLINE coupled with REGULAR DEVOTIONS are a must to sustain one on the christian spiritual path.