You Should Not Have to Be Told!
Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit. Prov 6:6-11 (HCSB)
In God’s Kingdom you are not to be idle! As you read, learn, and then accept by faith God’s will, ways, and wisdom found in God’s Word, you realize that you are not a part of God’s chosen people without a purpose. No one is “saved from their former life of sin to just sit, watch and wait” while everyone else does the work that is supposedly to benefit you as well as serve the needs of everyone else.
The CHURCH is to be involved in missions (out-reach) and ministry (in-reach) so that the “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-26) can be experienced and shared, but we must remember the CHURCH is not the institution but the people who God has called to be His chosen children. Being engaged in reaching outwardly and inwardly to impact others demonstrates that the “fruits of the Spirit” are in full bloom within our changed lives and through engaging with others we fulfill our calling to be the “salt and light” (Matt 5:13-14), which Christ said glorifies God. Therefore, “sitting, watching and waiting” identifies those still stuck on the sidelines – they prefer the safety and anonymity of the sidelines rather than the inherent risks of playing in the game God has called us to participate.
Having said this, does God want you to be so wrapped up in Kingdom work that you forgo the basic needs of life? It is safe to say that God provides for all our needs but God says each of us has the responsibility to obediently sow (invest) what we have been provided so we may reap (benefit) what He has provided for us to share. (Gal. 6:7-10)
God has a balanced life in view for our Spiritual well-being. Most of the passages you will discover in God’s Word emphasizes that each of us are to be available and alert while we invest in the normal, daily activities of life. Such an ongoing, available and alert, invested lifestyle reveals expectancy for God’s purposes to be the ultimate purpose while each of us walks by faith in life.
Since no one is “saved to sit, but to serve”, recognize that we all must do our part. No one should become a burden on others. Participation should not feel like an obligation but a natural response out of our expectation. In our passage there is a warning for those who become indebted to or reliant upon the labors of others. In other words, if you choose to “slack off,” even when you believe you have an obligation to focus upon God’s work alone, then you become reliant and thus a burden upon others to feed, clothe, and shelter you and your family. According to God’s Word this attitude is in opposition to God’s will, ways, and wisdom. We must discover the joy of a faith balanced expectant lifestyle that honors God.
Final thought, consider the example you set before others, especially our children and grandchildren. Should a child try to become a lazy slacker reliant upon your resources, then you are given the guidance of the Lord to teach that child in the correct ways of living. Discipline by teaching the consequences for the choices they may make in life. This is an excellent place to apply “reap as you sow” lessons and the parable of the sluggard ant, to help them to make right choices. Giving your children all their needs because you claim you love them is going against what God desires. Teaching a child how to become responsible for their own needs is a godlier act of love. When you teach a child correctly according to God’s will, ways, and wisdom according to God’s Word will bring joy to you, your friends, family and especially your children!
Think upon the value of examining the lifestyle choices of the ant!
About brotherly love: you don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone. 1 Thess 4:9-12 (HCSB)