‘Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime’?
But what if all you want is a “fish”? What if you’ve been putting all your energy into getting that “fish” for years? What if someone has been trying to teach you how to fish for yourself, but you just don’t want to learn? Confused? It does sound a bit ridiculous I know.
Ask anyone if they want to be rich, successful, happy in love, etc and you will get a resounding “yes!” Who doesn’t? But look into the lives of the masses, at what they actually do, and you’ll see that not many on actually on course to receive what they want.
Over the years, I have seen people approach the altar to give the most amazing testimonies of the power of God. I mean really amazing; the blind seeing, HIV cured, from beggar to entrepreneur and such the like. During, the same years, I have also seen people approach the altar to give “testimonies” that have amazed me in a very different way. Things like “I was praying for years and finally God gave me my council flat” and “I’ve been really short of money for the last few months, and I was fighting really hard and now I receive more benefits than before.”
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against those who receive benefits (many people are really in need of this help), but can you really tell me that this is the greatness of God? That is all He wants to give to you? One “testimony” that really sticks in my mind was of a lady who was healed of an infirmity in her leg. Prior to God’s intervention through her faith, this lady could not walk without a stick to help her. As a result, she could not stand for long hours and therefore could not work a proper job. When the meeting of her miracle had finished, she went back to the pastor and asked for her walking stick back. The pastor, being in faith said to her “My dear, you are healed. You don’t need it anymore!” To this she replied “Pastor, if I don’t keep the stick, the council will take away my benefits!”
Instead of taking possession of her new found freedom that God had just given to her; a new licence to do all things, in her mind she couldn’t let go of her “help,” her security, her “fish.” If she had true vision and truly understood the mind of God and how He works, she would have seen that her healing was God’s way of propelling her life forward in a way it had never been able to before. He was trying to teach her how to fish. However, though she didn’t want to be in pain any longer, she also did not want to partake in the hard work and effort that it takes to truly have a successful life. Had you asked her prior to her healing if she wanted a better life, prosperity and victory, no doubt she would have said “yes” also and believed that she meant it.
Relating back to the quote at the beginning, many are those say that they want great things in life and a large number of those are in churches praying for this very aim. However, those who are not willing to help themselves, to think big are those who are praying for a fish! A blessing that will leave them hungry tomorrow. Many women who in financial trouble today, are waiting for God to send a rich man (or a generous aunty, etc) to solve their problem. Couldn’t they spend the same energy, the same time praying for and executing a business idea that would make them financially independent? That would indeed be a testimony only attributed to the power of God and never again would you doubt that any of your problems could be solved again because you would have seen the true power of God through your own faith. You would have allowed God to teach you how to fish.
Now here’s the situation. Pastors are bombarded everyday with people asking them to pray for a “fish.” As soon as they get it, they need another one, and another one, and they are never truly satisfied. Hence we get the hundreds and thousands of people who leave the presence of God every day because their faith is frustrated. They feel as if life is one big struggle because God is all the time trying to teach them how to be truly happy, how to depend on only themselves and Him, but they insist on their fish, their small time “blessing.” God will never enforce His will upon us so eventually He has to stop and wait for us to realise that His way is best.