A shiftless sluggard puts his fork in the pie, but is too lazy to lift it to his mouth. Prov 26:15
I wouldn’t generally describe myself as lazy, but I can be “unmotivated” – it is a much nicer word, isn’t it? For instance, I love a clean house, but if I can pay someone else to clean it – I will. I would love to be an expert in my field, not for my own glory, but for the confidence that would result. But, when I think about studying and taking classes, I feel like… I am too old and tired for all that stuff. I would love to lose weight, and I know what I need to do to make it happen, but… exercise… really?? And those cookies…
If I were more motivated, I would be more confident when I bring people into my house that it is actually clean, I would be more confident in my job and I would be more confident as a healthy individual. I know in my head the things that I need to do to get there – I am just simply too lazy to do it. I can think up a thousand excuses: the weather, the kids, the stress, the time, the “woman thing.” Essentially though, it comes down to the fact that I don’t want it enough to put the effort into it. I have got my proverbial “fork” in these pies, as I know what to do, but I am too lazy to lift it to my mouth.
What about the things of God? I would love to be close enough to God that I always recognize His voice and direction and to always to be walking confidently in His will. But confidence comes with experience and effort. Now, I go to church on Sunday (unless I am too tired or vacationing…) and I say grace before my meals, I talk about God stuff with likeminded people and I pray when things are not going very well in my life. None of these things profits me much, nor require any amount of effort. They don’t bring me any closer to God than I was last week or last year. I have my “fork” in the God things, but I am not eating.
Getting to know God and walking confidently with Him requires effort. God has told us:
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. Jer 29:13
I love those who love me, And those who seek me diligently will find me. Prov 8:17
But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deut 4:29
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. Matt 7:7
This seeking, knocking, searching, and asking are all activities that require effort. But God promises that when we do them, we will find Him.
Even the disciples, when they were asked to wait for the promise of the Holy Spirit, did it with effort. They didn’t sit around the upper room watching TV and eating snacks waiting on the Lord. There wasn’t just one praying and the rest received the Spirit by virtue of the fact that they were in the same room. The folks downstairs didn’t receive the Spirit, and the house next door didn’t. Only the disciples. They were active in their waiting: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” Acts 1:14. And “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” Acts 2:2
God is here. He is on the periphery waiting with His presence and power to be found by those who are seeking. It is time to lift the “fork” and “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps 34:8)