– F.B. Meyer
You Can’t Get Christ’s Blessings if You Don’t Allow Yourself to Receive
Story of the Monkey and Banana
One of the most interesting yet frustrating stories I’ve ever heard involves a monkey and a banana in a hollowed out tree trunk. Villagers wanted to nab a monkey that’s been making off with the town’s fruit. They devised a clever trap. They found a hollowed out tree trunk with a small hole. They put a banana in the hole and went home for the night. In the morning, the villagers awoke to see the monkey culprit stuck with his hand in the tree trunk’s hole. He just sat there and didn’t resist when the villagers captured him and put him in a cage.
Let Go and Trust Jesus
Interestingly enough, he could have simply let go of the banana and would have been free. He was so focused on getting that banana that he let his stubbornness get the better of him. As amusing as this story may seem, this story is very relevant to how many Christians view prayer. As F.B. Meyer notes, the biggest tragedy is not when our prayers go unanswered but when we don’t bother to pray at all. In short, you can’t receive when you don’t allow yourself to receive. And this starts with the process of asking in the first place. Just like the monkey in the story above, we get stuck in our frustrations with the daily world that we keep hanging onto. We can easily let go and trust Jesus instead. The more we hang on, the more we remain stuck.
Trust God First
As Jesus himself said, a man cannot have two masters. Either he loves one and hates the other or he hates one and loves the other. Similarly, we cannot have split loyalties regarding the blessings we want in our lives. We can’t rely completely on our efforts and expect Christ’s blessings. Our efforts must be guided by Christ. In short, when we pray, our feet and hands are moving. Our actions are in accordance with God’s will and this leads to real and sustainable blessings. By simply praying and giving lip service to Christ’s providence while, deep down, relying solely on our own strength, we aren’t really allowing ourselves to receive God’s blessings. To receive God’s blessings, we must put him first. Sure, we still have to take action while praying but we can’t shift all the attention to our own actions. We make God first when we pray and ask him to guide us in all our striving.