Laban tries to manipulate God, Jacob tries to “help” God. Both actions are futile, both are God-belittling.
Have you ever contemplated manipulating the sun? When you are sick of winter do you think of moving the sun so that spring begins a bit earlier? Or do you wish your geographical setting more temperate, tropical, arid, or frigid? Do you desire to harness the suns energy and use it as you desire? Is it your ambition to catch, harness, manipulate, contain, direct, and tame the sun?
Or have you ever thought about helping the sun? “You know its life span is so short, I really must help it out, go visit it and throw a few logs on the fire as it seems to be running low on fuel. Here Mr. Sun, let me give you my flashlight, now you will shine much brighter and longer, now people will notice you.”
Such thoughts are absurd. If someone were really to have them we would think of committing them. Such thoughts are insane. If such thoughts are to be dubbed insane concerning the sun, what word could we possibly use to describe the foolishness of manipulating or “helping” God? The sun is small compared to our God. Infinitely smaller. He is the God who made sheets of suns.
Yet we try to manipulate Him. Spiritual gurus who share their seven steps to an abundantly blessed life are really just telling you that they have found the secret way to rub the lamp, tickling the genie so that he will give you all your wishes. Christ and His crucifixion do not bring you into blessing, rather it is these seven steps. God is still the ticket, but He is no longer the main attraction. “God I’m living by these rules, you owe me a blessed, happy, healthy life now – that is why I ask ‘why?’”
Seeming much more pious some of us are dedicated to serving God. Beware, there is a way to belittle God by serving Him that makes Him look just as foolish (Acts 17:24-25). God does not need our programs. He does not need our intelligence. He does not need our charisma. He does not need our gifts, He gives them. We are always the recipients, more so when we serve, not less (1 Corinthians 15:10. God has no lack and we supply no need. He could work much more efficiently without us. Rather as a dad he invites us into His work so that we may gain.
So denounce trying to manipulate your heavenly Father for worldly pleasure and realize you help him like a toddler helps his dad repair the car. Because of His love towards you He invites you to get in His way, get caught up in His greatness, look like Him, and be filled with the joy of working with and being with Him.