by Pastor Adekoya
LEARN PATIENCE ALONGSIDE WITH DILIGENCE
21:5 KJV: The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
ESV: The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
In waging war against poverty, diligence is a great and an indispensable weapon. We however see here that the diligent can yet end being poor if he lacks the ability to “wait” till his profiting appears. Many of us have tried so many things in this life but not with as much success stories. Yes, it is written that whatsoever we do shall prosper. So, why are we not getting the expected results from some of the enterprises or projects we embark upon?
The truth is that, especially as born again Christians, anything we do is bound to succeed and prosper in our hands. But, there is time to everything. It is not that we couldn’t have succeeded in that business or executing that project, but we couldn’t *wait* till success comes as an output as a result of our input of time, energy and other resources. So, we come out of that adventure poorer because a lot had been invested with nothing yet to show!
Even in our walk (of faith) with God, the hasty gets nothing from God because, impatience is a spiritual token of unbelief.
Isaiah 28:16 KJV: Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
ESV: therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation: ‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’
I purposely make use of the word “wait” here which as well means to be patient, persistent and or to persevere. Being deligent and “waiting” doesn’t sound like they have anything good in common. Waiting slightly or somewhat seem to associate or relate to or suggest being indolent, idle. But it is as well irrational to be diligent (you know how to work hard) and not know how to wait! You will find yourself trying many things and dumping them before the time is ripe for you to have the desired result.
Waiting does not in any way connote nor denote being slothful or folding your hands doing nothing while you keep wishing for something good to happen. It rather implies the virtue and the ability to keep at what you’re doing until you get the result you envisioned. Every adventure is like mining, it takes continued effort to get at your target.
Habakkuk 2:3 KJV: For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, WAIT for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Someone here needs to learn to wait!
Remember, however, that waiting means to be persistent doing what you’re doing either as led, as inspired or as counselled UNTIL the adventure begins to yield the desired result. Remember, every enterprise, every business operation is like a mining adventure. It takes patience and continued efforts to lay hold on the treasure beneath.
AMP: The thoughts of the [steadily] diligent tend only to plenteousness, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.
EMPHASIS ON INTEGRITY
In our dealings with the people around us, especially when it comes to business transactions or anything that has to do with money, nothing gives you a sense of worth, security, dignity and serenity like integrity. For how long will one continue to hide from neighbors, lie to cover up, live with a guilty conscience and/or continue to soil his name in the mud (especially as a believer in Christ) because he has not embraced integrity as a virtue?
Probity, integrity, justice, righteousness, uprightness are all interchangeable words and are a great virtue to be found with us, especially as believers in Christ (even if just for the sake of to Whom we have to do!).
“No one” might be hundred percent clean (especially when we take a look behind us at yester-years) but all can consciously work towards leading a life of integrity.
No unjust weights/balance…
No ungodly or dubious dealings…
A life of integrity makes you a worthy character and a role model.
A life of integrity causes the name of the Lord to ne glorified in you and through you.
A life of integrity guarantees blessings for your descendants, and not curses.
Below are a number of verses in this chapter alone, that points to a life of integrity.
3. KJV: To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
6. KJV: The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
7. KJV: The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
8. KJV: The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
15. KJV: It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
21. KJV: He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.
27. KJV: The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
EMPHASIS ON GIVING.
Most of the times, we come across teachings and instructions that are not entirely new or strange to us. However, the more a subject is emphasized upon, the more it gets internalized and forms a habit or character.
In one of the previous chapters, we read that he that gives to the poor lend unto the Lord and that Lord shall pay or reward him back. That’s interesting what an investment strategy, so to speak!
Now, what happens to those that ignore the poor?
13. KJV: Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
Oh, that’s nothing to be desired!
The fundamental reason God wants and does blesses us is so that we might be a blessings. I always find myself not connecting in my prayer times whenever am tempted to pray for God to bless me or use whoever He choose to be a blessing to me. Having been instructed long ago by the Holy Spirit, I’ll quickly change the prayer to “Lord, make me a blessing to everyone that comes my way this day, this week…”
God blesses us to make us distributors of His blessings. He wants and empowers us to HAVE so we can GIVE! But, the natural man is both covetous and greedy!
26. KJV: He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.
ESV: All day long he craves and craves, but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
NIV: All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.
So, there is a connection between giving and righteousness! In other words, giving is a righteous thing to do. Again in other words, it is righteous to give!
Remember, the righteous shall flourish like Palm trees. So, if it is a righteous thing to give, it means that your flourishing as a righteous one is tied to your giving while the greedy is only treading the path to penury.
Just yesterday while in a discussion with a friend I last met in 2016, the Lord through a statement he made convicted me of doing wrong for not being consistent in teaching His people under my overseership to give. That in as much as they don’t give consistently, they cannot be consistently blessed!
I hate been seen as a beggar or as a needy. My life has always been able the desire to do something for someone and I get often “sick” within whenever I can’t help the situation.
Since March when we last physically gathered as a church, I do everything possible and continue to take advantage of every known means to reach out to them as members, to encourage them and guarantee their spiritual stability. I continue to pray heartily for them to be sustained and have testimonies even at this time that the world is fighting a pandemic and experiencing economic collapse. To the glory of God, testimonies are trooping in: fantastic job with less academic qualification, business running and booming but, I deliberately never have asked them to give, not even an offering!
Instead, I invited them all (as many that could come) to have at least a meal in my house. I thought am being caring and loving by telling them to hold on to what they have and be sustained due to the pandemic and the effect on the economy. Though I taught them to reach out to anyone around them that is in need, but not asking them to GIVE, not just to me but especially for the furtherance of the gospel is doing them evil. Though I have those who are doing that without me asking but if all must be blessed, all must give!
I share this with us to wake us up that you might not be asked to GIVE at all times by your Pastors but wisdom says, the righteous gives and does not hold back.
Remember, to every for of giving, there is a blessing and for every flow of blessing you experience, giving is encouraged.
Let me wrap up here with this statement: You don’t have just by working, you have by giving. And, you don’t have more by just working harder but by giving more abundantly.