The Implications of SLOTHFULNESS
There are a number of ways for me to approach this subject. First of all, we should understand that we have God in Christ in us if we are born again of God's Spirit. In more simpler terms, God Almighty has made a dwelling place for Himself within us.
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through [in] the Spirit. -- Ephesians 2: 22
When I first heard and understood this Scripture, I was fascinated to think that God would live inside of me. It really is simple when you understand the new birth. God is Spirit and that Spirit was upon Jesus Christ. So when we use terminology such as Christ in you, it is the same thing as saying that God lives within you.
This teaching is extremely important if you want to manifest the more than abundant life. It was once said to me that this type of lifestyle involved always keeping busy. Of course we take time to relax whenever we can.
In the second place, we need to understand the true and simple meaning of the word ‘slothfulness’. It is referring to a person or an attitude of a person that is lazy and wastes time. This type of person opens doors to the enemy in their mind. It is a very dangerous habit to get into and difficult to break. Let me keep this real simple for you. Have you ever felt stressed or anxious or tired for no particular reason? And then maybe through someone's advice, you have heard it said time and time again that the best thing you can do is to keep busy. If you take this advice, how many times have you noticed that you started to feel better? The world will make you lazy and has many, many ways to get you to waste your time. There is another Scripture that has come to mind that I must share with you. The reason is so that you do not misinterpret the meaning of keeping busy as per God's definition and not the world’s. There is a major difference. I am referring to being a busybody and I will let God's Word explain the concept to you. Again, when I first understood completely the following Scripture, I was somewhat amazed at the Word when it was rightly divided. I also asked myself if I were going about this principle in the wrong way because it is easy to do.
For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. – II Thessalonians 3: 11
BUSYBODIES -- people who do, with pains, what is not worth doing; over-doing but accomplishing nothing.
I thought it to be quite a deliverance to learn that we can be busy most of the time, but what we are doing, is simply not worth it -- it accomplishes nothing and it's a waste of time. This is how tricky your personal adversary can be. He can get you to waste hours and days and years of your life and you can only get set free from this if you know the Word of God rightly divided and begin to apply it in your life.
Let me add this in conclusion. You can be busy, but not be doing God's Will. You must be doing what the Word of God says you should be doing, not what the world says you should be doing. This is your own personal walk and relationship with God Almighty. Everyone's walk with God is different. You must learn how to walk by the spirit which is to walk by revelation such as Word of Knowledge and Word of Wisdom. Utilizing Word of Knowledge, this is where God will tell you what to do. Working with Word of Wisdom is where God will tell you how to do what He just told you to do. It's really that simple. These are referred to as the revelation manifestations of Holy Spirit. When I finally understood the above verse, I really had to ask myself if I was keeping busy doing God's Will or was I working so hard to keep busy, not doing God's Will, but wasting my time and in actuality, accomplishing absolutely nothing.
As I said, there are a number of ways to approach this teaching. I am going to approach it in the following manner.
Trying to make these principles as simple as I can for you, we are going to go back to the book of Ephesians and move up one Scripture.
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: -- Ephesians 2: 21
Now pay particular attention to the word ‘temple’ in the above verse and make an effort to understand it according to the context of the complete verse. God is saying that when all of us that are born again work together and stay together, that our bodies are referred to as being the temple of God. This is a group of born again believers -- more than one. Now if you take one individual believer, that individual body that has God in Christ in him is simply referred to as a ‘tabernacle’. This is a simple concept and one that you need to understand. You, alone, your body, is referred to as a tabernacle for the Lord Jesus Christ. So that body that you are in is rather important, wouldn't you say? It's just like a box of brand-new tools and a car that needs to be repaired. You can sit on that box of tools and do absolutely nothing and accomplish absolutely nothing. You can misuse the tools and hang them from your ceiling as ornaments. Or, you can stop being slothful, open up the toolbox and fix the car. It is that way in our lives and the enemy can trick almost anybody and he is tricking multitudes of people into keeping busy but accomplishing nothing. I am going to get into some detailed examples of an industrious believer as compared to a slothful lazy, good for nothing, person of the world.
Before we do that, I want you to take a look inside your Lexicon, if you have one, and look at the third definition of the word ‘tabernacle’. This will make these concepts as simple as possible and very easy to understand. Why? Because the definition of tabernacle is simply ‘a dwelling place’. And who is it a dwelling place for? We already went over this. It is a dwelling place for God Almighty. Can you imagine that God's Spirit lives within your body? Can you just imagine the potential that we have? Once I asked my teacher “What do I do if I have a decision to make and it’s not written specifically in the Bible?” She said “Ask God”. Let’s turn to the Book of James where you will see how loving God is towards us in this and all subjects. Then we will get to actual examples of slothfulness and the implications it can have on a person’s life.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. -- James 5, 6, 7, 8
Literal Translation according to usage: If you don't know what to do at times with the knowledge that God has given you, when it comes to making wise decisions based on the proper application of the Word, ASK GOD WHAT TO DO. He will answer your questions willfully without a second thought. He will answer the need/question/prayer freely, with simplicity and with a readiness of heart. God does not scold or reprove you when you ask Him for wisdom. Word of Wisdom is one of the nine manifestations of the spirit that is available to you. You must believe when you ask, without hesitation, without separation or strife within yourself, without doubt or indecision, without fluctuation or unsteadiness, without trembling, BUT WITH POSITIVE BELIEVING. The man who wavers will not receive anything from God. That man is double-minded (two-souled) separated within himself entirely. He is unsettled, not standing fixed, not steady, and inconstant in all his ways.
Can you imagine how many times we should go to God and we do not?! It’s the world that distracts us from doing so. Try to remember. Although I said we would get right to actual examples of slothfulness, there is one previous point regarding the concept of ‘tabernacle’ that I would like to review from God’s Word before we move on.
I beseech [beggingly implore] you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable [rational/logical] service. -- Romans 12: 1
Literal Translation according to usage: I beseech (exhort; call to one's side; implore; beg) you therefore, brethren, by the mercies or compassions of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, dedicated and fit for His acceptance, which is your rational or logical service.
Look at the literal: “dedicated and fit for His acceptance, which is your rational or logical service.” THAT’S WHAT GOD EXPECTS OF YOUR BODY. Why? Let’s go back to the ‘tabernacle’.
For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. – II Corinthians 5: 1
Don’t misunderstand the verse. “Our earthly house of this tabernacle” is because His Spirit dwells within our body. If that earthly body were destroyed, we still have the spirit of God, not made with hands, but eternal in the heavens. Our body, referred to as a ‘tabernacle’ is a temporary dwelling place for God. Destroy the body and God’s spirit is still there. So that tabernacle is very important to God, isn’t it? Why? Because God can work within us on this earth. Bluntly said, we are no good to God if we are dead. Should we take care of the tabernacle or do we choose to be slothful resulting in premature aging along with a host of other illnesses? It’s your choice.
II Peter 1: 13 and 14 clearly illustrates that the tabernacle is referring to the human body. I am going to let you look them up on your own. Otherwise! – you may get SLOTHFUL – hitchhiking only after someone else’s teachings and never researching the Word of God on your own.
Now we should move on to actual examples and the organized patterns of confusion leading a person and businesses to lead a life of slothfulness – as so deceitfully designed by the god of this present world. Don’t take this teaching too lightly – this is how the adversary gets to kill people.
Before I begin with examples, I need to go over one Scripture that will set the stage for the conclusion of this teaching. From this point on, I do not plan, at the present time, to go over many Scriptures because the following sums it all up.
And whatsoever ye do, do it [work] heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; -- Colossians 3: 23
Another Scripture says that we are to work until we are weary. To work is an honorable privilege and hard work brings much profit to a man. Now take a look at the following examples of modern man and his machines.
Example 1) I learned to work smart and not hard whenever I can. I clean my leaves with a pressure cleaner. This type of technique is twice faster than a leaf blower and twice quieter. Many of my neighbors are jealous of my idea and believe it or not, they don't like me because of it.
One neighbor came over to me and accused me (remember who the accuser is) of blowing some of my leaves into the corner of his yard where he has a fence. You must realize that you can never reason with a devil spirit so I just told him I never did such a thing. He bought a machine that sucks leaves into a bag even though he hardly has any trees near his property. Now here comes the SLOTHFULNESS. He even stopped doing this and actually hired a contractor to clean up the leaves in his yard. I am getting exercise and keeping my tabernacle in tip top condition. This man is conforming to everything possible in the world today and we know whose world it is. Who do you think is going to live longer -- this person or myself? Both him and his wife have contractors at their home sometimes twice a week throwing out good usable household items and replacing them with new items. Is this what God wants us to do? By being as slothful as these people are, the adversary has also moved into different areas of their life. They are under complete control of his commands. They do not do any type of exercise at all. There jobs are sedentary – the new second cause of heart attacks.
My wife is a marathon runner and a long-distance swimmer. I work out on a Soleflex machine and I swim a mile and I walk long distances. Do we take care of our tabernacle so that God can work within us in a most efficient manner? Who has the advantage? The slothful person whose muscles are just a withering away or the person who stays in good shape and takes care of himself. We also eat correctly and it greatly contributes to our perfect health which is what we have.
Example 2) Another neighbor who lives very near to me puts his trash out on the curb in kitchen garbage bags. He has a plastic garbage can, but honestly, he is too lazy to use the garbage can because then he has to take it back in when the trash is picked up. Can you imagine this? But that's not all. Very often, either dogs or crows get into his trash and his trash is scattered all over the street. This has happened about 20 times that I can remember. So he has to go out and clean up the garbage that's left on the street. Just plain stupid. He is the epitome of SLOTHFULNESS. Because he is subject to this devilish influence, again, the adversary has moved into multiple areas of his life. I saw him abuse his dog and reported him seven times. The authorities did nothing. His garage door is disgustingly dirty and yet he will not clean it. Devil spirits love filth. I got new garage doors that are very attractive and he came over with a spirit of negativism and said “I don't need garage doors”. I guess he didn't, but recently his wife backed into them when they were still down and well, they don't look so good. He looked at a beautiful Corvette that I own and he immediately started to find fault with this car which is in immaculate condition. I got him out of my garage quickly and I made sure he never came back. We both live in a wooded area and many times during a storm, many twigs and branches will fall on our yard. I walk around and pick up every one of them and he leaves his sit there indefinitely. He will mow his lawn and mow over all the sticks over and over again. As I said, this person is the epitome of slothfulness. He is always miserable, always negative, and actually quite dangerous. It took me about six months of trying to avoid him before he finally stopped coming around.
Example 3) There was a young doctor and his wife who used to live in this area. This doctor hardly ever did any work. The clincher was the day I saw two men come over in a company van and they had a box and a wrench in their hand. They actually called a bicycle shop to put a chain on their bicycle. This person was also very miserable and he was never going to make it as a doctor. All of these people would see me changing the oil in my own cars and I'm sure that made them feel uneasy. Eventually this doctor and his wife moved away.
Example 4) There has been a lot of snow this year and I am the only one who shovels my driveway by hand because it is good exercise and I enjoy it and the driveway comes the cleanest. Most people have snowblowers for tiny driveways and believe it or not, they are too lazy to get out the snowblower! So they let the snow and ice freeze on their driveway and let it go at that. You see, people, the adversary has them by the throat. He not only has a toe hold, he has a foothold and that's a tough one to break. Recently I had every type of blood test taken that is possible and all of the results came back perfectly normal. Do you think that would happen with people who are slothful and won't lift a finger to do any physical exercise? And the worst thing about this type of situation, is that these people are jealous of a person who takes care of himself and stays in good physical condition. They are subject to a spirit of jealousy from Satan.
Example 5) No one that I know in my neighborhood will lift a finger to fix anything with their own hands. They actually think that the cool thing to do is to call a contractor and shell it out – 90210 – you know what I mean. You'll never enjoy things that are done by someone else until you do it yourself. It's been said and it is true that if you want it done right, do it yourself. Yes, I understand, there are some exceptions. We have called a contractor at our home three times in 22 years. Can you imagine all of the money we have saved? And we enjoy fixing things ourselves. It's a great feeling when you get done. Try it.
Example 6) We only know of one person that belongs to a gym and that is the animal beater. Many people go to a gym just to show off and I hardly see this person at this gym anymore. My wife runs from our home on the weekends and she came back to me one day and said: “Do you know that not one person in this neighborhood does any exercise?” She works in a large medical Hospital and can tell you for a fact that this type of lifestyle leads to disease, premature aging, and premature death. THESE SLOTHFUL PEOPLE ARE KILLING THEMSELVES. It's a medical fact.
And let's not forget God here. God made you alive so He can work within you to continue to destroy the works of the adversary until Jesus Christ returns for the second time. Don't you want to please God? Don't you want to help Him? Then take care of your tabernacle -- take care of your physical human body. You will feel better and the rewards will be more than you ever expected. To me, there is nothing worse than being sick or physically hurt. If you stay in good physical condition, your muscles are strong and your resistance to sickness greatly intensifies. I had to teach this teaching, and as you know, I could go on with example after example, but there is no point because the point is made. This teaching is as simple as it gets and I want to show you what God has to say as we continue to stand and stand in a manner that pleases God. The following Scripture has always been a favorite of mine because it takes work to take care of yourself. I often wondered and said to God: “God, what is the point of all this work? Does it pay off?” And this Scripture answers all of those questions and may bless you to no end. So let's be industrious and ambitious and put slothfulness aside because it is self-destruction and surely no one wants to live like that. We want to live a more than abundant life and God tells us how to do it and He tells us what the end result will be.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. – I Corinthians 15: 58
Remember, slothfulness is only for losers and the true God want His children to be winners by working heartily unto Him. You now know your work is not in vain.