"Laziness brings on deep sleep, and the shiftless man goes hungry." Prov. 19:15
Did you ever have one of those times when it seemed like God kept telling you the same thing over and over, just so you'd get it? He's been nailing me this week.
It started on Sunday with a message from Brian Frost. The concept he was getting across was that even if we know the right thing to do...the right road to take...the right moment by moment decisions to make, if we fail to avail ourselves of the necessary resources, we simply fail. The football team analogy was perfect. The coach of an inferior team, when scheduled to play a superior team, has a game plan designed to defeat his opponent. However, if the team lacks the necessary resources of talent or ability to execute the game plan, the plan will fail, and his team will lose the football game.
My resource for living the Christian life is Christ himself. When I fail to make use of that superior resource, and depend on my own inferior resources, I fail in living the life I was designed to live. I become unproductive. Skipping quiet times and prayer...not a good idea! Skipping for long periods...just plain stupid!
My through-the-Bible reading plan had me in Mark 9:14-32 this week. This is the story of the disciples being unable to cast a demon out of a young boy, after having had many previous successes. Fast forward. Jesus is called over, and successfully casts the demon out. Afterwards, the disciples ask Jesus why they had been unable to cast out the demon. He answered that "this kind can come out only by prayer." The disciples, rather than praying and relying on God as their one superior resource for the power to cast out demons, had instead been relying on their own past successes. Hey...we did this before, we can do it again! Jesus reminded them that they must always look to God for the power to cast out demons in the name of Christ. Rely on the resource if you want success. Otherwise, plan on being unproductive in the things that matter. OK, Lord. I'm starting to get it. I need to plug in every day.
Later in the week, I ran into the Proverbs verse at the top of this post. I knew I could be lazy at times, but shiftless? Seriously? When I hear the word shiftless, I think of a scruffy unshaven dude in an old western who is always up to no good, because he doesn't have a job or any motivation to do anything productive. Just to make sure I had the right meaning, I looked up shiftless in the dictionary: "lazy and inefficient, lacking resourcefulness!" I take that to mean, "failing to take advantage of available resources". There it was again. The same old problem, only with an ugly new name. Shiftless! When I don't plug into my superior resource for the power to live a productive life, I'm guilty as charged.
I'm glad Brian preached the truth so clearly, and that God has continued to school me on this issue throughout the week.
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