Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest”–your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.
When I read these verses I usually think of their warning about laziness. But what stands out to me in these verses this morning is more about taking initiative. I believe we often sit back and wait for direction from a boss or pastor because we fear failure. We want to be able to point to someone else when failure comes and say, “they told me to do it that way.”
This is not leadership in any form or fashion. The ant doesn’t wait for a directive from a leader. She knows what must be done, and she gets to it. No delay. No hesitation. Many times Christians will use the excuse of “waiting to hear from the Lord” for their complacency. Certainly it is important for us to make space to wait on the Lord and hear from Him. But when we leave our prayer closet each morning, it is impossible for us to say, “I’m not sure what God would have me do today.” God’s word is crystal clear:
LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE, MAKE DISCIPLES
Often it is our pride that keeps us sidelined. Our pride says, “If I fail, people will think less of me.” What a lie! Consider these perspectives on “failure.”
I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.
To simply settle for the status quo way of doing things and waiting for someone to give you step-by-step instructions is not the way God wants you to live and lead.
Being used by God to change the world will never happen without risk. But really, how risky is it to try valiantly and courageously to do something at the very center of the heart of God? Our great God who has all the supply will never leave us. Our great God who knows the path and will guide us in this pursuit if we are simply willing to step out in faith will accomplish things through us beyond what we could imagine (see Ephesians 3:20). What appears to be great risk in the eyes of the world is no risk at all when founded upon the will of God. But this will not happen through the life of someone who is unwilling to take initiative and lead.
So today, do not sit back. Do not wait. Get to the task at hand without wavering!
Rest in Jesus,