by Cindie York
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The church world today is in a battle with the enemy. The devil is sending out the evil spirit of slothfulness and laziness to everyone throughout society, both young and old alike.
You can definitely see it in the workplace. Companies and corporations can’t seem to keep employees, no matter the benefits, no matter the pay. The world in general, especially America has forgotten the importance of being committed and dedicated. Most individuals find it easier to relocate. A hard days work is just too much to bear in the modern day job environment. All the new technologies and modern conveniences have made it easier to put in less effort. There is a decline in the pride of a job well done. The time of a good days work for a good days pay are slipping away. We want to do less for more money in most cases. People want to be pacified more than ever before.
Slothfulness has creeped in to the Christian community as well. It seems that the church is held in as low regards as the work place. More and more people seem to be “too tired” to be about the Father’s business. It has become easier to just say, “I am tired”, or “I am too tired to go to church today”. That is telling God that we don’t have enough time or energy left for the one who placed breath in our lungs and gave us another day of life. We have become too tired to put forth an effort for ministry, for witnessing of the love and greatness of our Lord. Of course no one ever actually comes out and says, “I am too tired to work for the Lord today”. It is easier on our conscience to just tell ourselves, I am just soo tired. Not just one or two individuals are feeling this way, now-a-days it is an entire country of people who are feeling this way. Christian church attendance is at an all time low throughout the country. More and more churches are going to one service on Sundays due to such low attendances. Churches are closing their doors because no support from the Christian in their communities. Although, the Muslim churches are growing on a daily basis. We have become so lazy and selfish as a whole.
Romans 12:11 states Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. (NLT)
We want more and more benefits of God, the blessings, the praise of those around us, the “titles”, but we want them with less effort. Ephesians 6:6-8 states, Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. (NLT) Unfortunately, we want to do the things that please us and are self-gratifying.
The opposite also is occurring. Some people are exhausted because they are busy doing so many other activities, taking care of other areas of their lives that the commitment and dedication to God and the church are placed on the back burner.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 This should be your ambition: to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we commanded you before. As a result, people who are not Christians will respect the way you live, and you will not need to depend on others to meet your financial needs. (NLT) Minding your own business means to worry about the job you are doing, focusing on your own walk with God.
More and more people are finding it easier to say no to commitment to God and the church. The feeling of being held accountable is practically unheard of. There is no fear of God anymore. Christians seem to forget that God is all knowing and all seeing. He knows when we can and can’t physically or mentally work. He knows the extent of our capabilities. Every Christian will be accountable on Judgment Day for our individual walks with God.
2nd Timothy 2:5-7 Follow the Lord’s rules for doing his work, just as an athlete either follows the rules or is disqualified and wins no prize. Hardworking farmers are the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will give you understanding in all these things. (NLT)
Most Christians are following the commandments and are aware of the sins they are committing but don’t seem to realize there are many sins of omission.
Sins of omission are the things of which we are supposed to be doing as children of our Almighty God. Witnessing, feeding the hungry, showing love to one another, encouraging one another, lending a helping hand, testifying of the greatness of God, reading God’s word, fasting, praying, praising God, and faithful attending in church are just some of the responsibilities of a Christian. These and many others are expected of a true Christian. These are things that we should be doing continuously. Unfortunately, these are the areas we as a church are lacking in. These areas seem to be of less importance to the modern day church and Christian.
Colossians 3:23-25 Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ. But if you do what is wrong, you will be paid back for the wrong you have done. For God has no favorites who can get away with evil. (NLT) Again, God will hold us accountable for our Christian walk and the work we do for Him and others.
Christ has commissioned us to go forth and work diligently. Besides forgiveness of sins, our Christian works also set us apart from the world. 2nd Timothy 2:15 Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. (NLT)
1 Timothy 4:8-10, Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true, and everyone should accept it. We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe. (NLT)
We must evaluate our current walk with Christ. Are we doing the things, which are pleasing to God?
Ephesians 5:16, Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. How true this statement really is.
In 2nd Thessalonians 3:6, Paul actually commands by the authority of Jesus Christ to stay away from any Christian who lives in idleness and doesn’t follow the tradition of hard work. Think about that…
Procrastination is a major problem in the church world. We think we have all the time in the world to work, witness, help, learn and grow. We forget people, our loved ones, are dying and going to hell every day. People are starving to death daily all over the world. People are committing suicide and on all forms of drugs because they think there is nothing better out there. Christians are becoming less and less involved daily and we think we have all the time in the world. Shame on us!!
Luke 14:16-24 explains of an important feast where several invitations were given out. Of course those with invitations were too wrapped up in their own lives and materialism to attend the dinner. What happened is others were invited who were actually willing to attend and they were the ones who reaped the benefits. It is a sad thought that Christ is preparing a supper for us in Heaven as we speak and the invitations have been sent to each Christian, some are going to be too busy, too wrapped up in self and miss out the ultimate blessing of the Lord, eternity in Heaven? We really need to get our priorities in order.
We need to identify that there are demonic forces set in place and working constantly to keep us from doing the work of the Lord. The devil is unleashing every stronghold possible in these last days to take our focus off of the work of the Lord. The devil doesn’t want any Christian to make a difference to someone in need. He will try to hinder any thing that we may do to lead someone to the Lord. The enemy is attacking our minds and bodies. Until we take notice, stand firm against the tricks of the enemy, renounce and rebuke these evil spirits, we will be held prisoner to the devil and his slick devices. Now is the time to WAKE UP! I hate the devil and every one of the evil forces associated with the devil. I sure don’t want to fall in to any trap that he has set before us.
Now more than ever, we need to be aware of the devils devices. We need to recognize what the devil is trying to accomplish. We cannot just sit idly by and allow the devil to rob us of our Christian responsibilities. This usually happens one step at a time so it is not as easy to recognize. First you may not be reading the Bible as much, not praying as much, more tired around church time, soon you are missing service after service. Excuses won’t stand forever. When we start slacking in one area, it seems to spread to other areas of our Christian life.
These demonic forces are deceiving many with lies. The devil tries to make us believe that someone else can do this job or that job. We must remember no one can do our jobs like we can. The devil has many blinded to the lie that we are not wise enough, not worthy enough, not spiritual enough, not talented enough to do the work of God. The devil loves to trick people into believing we are nothing, unimportant, or useless. He tells us we have nothing to give, nothing to offer, that we won’t make a difference. ALL of these are BIG, FAT, UGLY LIES.
Satan is the father of all lies. It is what he does best. Don’t believe him. There is no truth in him.
We all have something to offer. God gives everyone a talent. He equips each of us with the ability to work for Him and others. In John chapter 3, verse 27, reminds us that God in heaven appoints each person’s work. (NLT)
Romans 6:6-8 God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to other, do it gladly. (NLT)
1 Timothy 4:14-15 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecies spoken to you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. (NLT)
Lets start with a new attitude. Step out of the old man and in to the new man. Lay down the past and press to the future. We must press in and be dedicated to our responsibilities of the Lord. We must evaluate where we stand with God.
*Ask God to remove any slothful spirit, any laziness, selfishness, or procrastination spirit from our life.
*Ask God to give a renewed strength, revived spirit, and a new zeal to serve God and others.
*Ask God for awareness of any spirit that may be trying to disrupt the work of God or interrupt the flow of the Spirit.
These are the last days. Be about the Father’s business!!!
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Cindie, After 26 years as a Christian in the workplace, I could not agree with you more! Great column. Sincerely, Dan Blankenship, Author of THE RUNNING GIRL