If God has given us any power to do good, let’s do it! For this is a wicked, weary world. We should not even cover a glowworm’s light in such a darkness as this. We should not keep back a syllable of divine truth in a world that is so full of falsehood and error. However feeble our voices, let us lift them up for the cause of truth and righteousness. Do not let us be “void of understanding” because we have opportunities that we do not use, obligations that we do not fulfill, and capacities which we do not exercise.
As for a sluggard in soul matters, he is indeed void of understanding, for he trifles with matters which demand his most earnest heed. Man, have you never cultivated your heart? Has the plough share never broken up the clods of your soul? Have the seed of the Word never been sown in you? Or has it not taken root? Have you never watered the young plants of desire to worship Him? Have you never sought to pull up the weeds of sin that grow in your heart? Are you still a piece of the bare common or wild heathen?! Poor soul! You can trim your body, and spend many a minute at the glass; do you not care for your soul? How long you take to decorate your poor flesh, which is but worm’s meat! And yet all the while your soul is uncombed, unwashed, unclad, a poor neglected thing! Oh, it should not be so! You take care of the worse part, and leave the better to perish through neglect. This is the height of folly! He that is a sluggard as to the vineyard of his heart is a man void of understanding. If I must be idle, let it be seen in my field and my garden, but not in my soul.
Is there such a thing as a Christian man on half-time!? A Christian man working not at all for his Lord; how will I speak of him? Time does not tarry, death does not tarry, HELL does not tarry; satan is not lazy, all the powers of darkness are busy; how is it that you and I can be sluggish, if the Master has put us into His vineyard? Surely we must be void of understanding if, after being saved by the infinite of God, we do not spend and are spent in Him. The eternal fitness of things demands that a saved man should be an earnest man.
The land will produce “something.” As long as there is soil and it is alive, it will produce healthy crops that can produce more healthy crops for more life. Or it will yield its natural produce. And what does the flesh produce when left to itself? Weeds and thorns to be dug up and burned. By doing “nothing” there is more being done for the cultivation of the thorns and nettles than for anything else. What is the natural produce of your heart and mine? What would your 6 month, 12 month and 24 month old children, loose in a house, unmonitored for a day produce? Just imagine the results of that! The natural produce of our hearts is unpleasant, no one can rest on a pillow of thorns and nettles.
“O man, the garden put into your charge, if you waste your time in slumber, will reward you with all that is noisome and painful!”
“The very region which would have glorified God most if the grace of God were there to convert its inhabitants, will be that out of which the vilest enemies of the gospel will arise. Rest assured of that, the best will become the worse if we neglect it.” If you want to know the way to salvation, I must take some pains to tell you; but if you want to know the way to be lost, my reply is easy: for it is only a matter of negligence: “How will we escape if we neglect so great salvation?”
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?” (Jer. 12:5).
If running on a treadmill or training is boring to us, how will we be of any use when it is time to run down the highway to get help for others whose lives are in danger??!! How far can adrenaline take us if we have not trained and disciplined ourselves for months or years previous to the life and death critical moment. LIKEWISE, if we believe we will be able to be persuasive with God and be close enough to Him to hear His Voice, and for Him to hear ours, at a LIFE AND DEATH MOMENT, we had better TRAIN NOW! When it is time for us to participate in saving the lives spiritually or physically of our children or our friends—by persuading the Father to intervene, we had better have disciplined ourselves to pray aggressively daily, OFTEN WITH OTHERS, about other “less important” matters. If we won’t pray often now we are kidding ourselves about being able to gain His ear when it matters most. We won’t be able to run far enough and at high speed to save the lives of others, if the discipline of training is not attractive to us now. And we won’t be able to pray fervently, without ceasing, in a REAL way when it matters most—if we’re not willing to initiate praying about issues of life, often with others, now!
“Exercise yourself unto godliness.”
We need to each learn to labor in prayer with others frequently, whether we feel motivated or not. It’s the right thing. Let’s not be “too spiritual” to be willing to do it. Work at it. And persist in it!
“Substantial penalty for early withdrawal.”
“If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses?”
These are important days that affect all of eternity for yourself and those you love. Please don’t be a sluggard in such matters.—chs (with others : ))