Today’s devotion is an excerpt from a Bible Study Series taught at Fellowship Baptist Church, titled “Spirit-Filled Worker.”
Spirit-Filled Worker Series – Lesson 3
Lessons from the Ant - Part 3
Proverbs 6:6-8, Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
In this lesson we go out of the classroom and to the ant hill. An insect is used for instruction. One of the smallest creatures teaches some of the biggest lessons. The teaching is not by words spoken but by ways shown. What is done speaks louder than what is said. God, our Creator, taught many kinds of creatures to care for plants and even trees. For example, the South American Bull’s Horn Acacia Tree is protected by the ant. The ant doesn’t need the tree for its survival, however, they do feed from portions of the tree but never eat too much from the tree to cause damage to the tree. The ants protect the tree by pruning off vines that come too close to the tree allowing plenty of growing room for the tree. These ants are aggressive enough to keep other harmful insects, and even birds, away from the tree. In one experiment entomologists removed the ants from a few of the trees. Ranging from three to twelve months, the trees died without the ant’s care and protection. Without the care and protection of the ants, animals ate all the leaves and surrounding plants overtook the trees. Without the presence of these ants the tree will not survive. Who taught these ants to care for the trees? You can’t get around this fascinating fact. Not evolution, but the Creator taught these ants to care for the tree.
Solomon dealt with a critical issue of the importance of a solid work ethic. This is one of the most crucial qualities needed for success in life. Solomon uses the little ant to illustrate the value of hard work. The ant has the discipline and diligence to work without supervision (Proverbs 6:7). One ant does not wait for the other to start, nor does it depend on another ant to do the work of both. Many people lack the work ethic of the ant; that is, they do not take the initiative to work on their own. This is what it means to be slothful: a person who will work only if a supervisor is standing over him or her. The person lacks initiative, divine purpose, motivation. The person is lazy. The ant prepares for the future (Proverbs 6:8). The ant’s society is not structured like ours, where each has someone above him to whom he is responsible. Neither does the ant have calendars and clocks or knowledge of the seasons. Yet the ant is found busily gathering and storing at the right time. The ant works all summer to gather and store its food because it knows that winter is coming. The ant understands the discipline of saving for the time when food does not grow. If an ant recognizes the need to plan ahead and prepare for the future, how much more should human beings? Just as irresponsible as the lazy person is the person who works hard but lives only for the moment. Failing to plan for the future for any reason is most unwise.
The ant’s success is seen in their:
Ants help each other carry burdens; injured neighbors; rescue those buried (Galatians 6:2; Romans 15:1) Each ant has a job, but none are more important. We are all members of one body (I Corinthians 12:12-27). This thing isn’t about you or about me. It is all about Him!
Each ant works toward a common goal. Thousands of ants may dwell in one ant colony, but every one of them pulls their own weight! You are important to God's work. He will use you according to your ability and, as you grow, your responsibility will grow (II Peter 3:18). God has especially gifted and equipped you for some type of work in the body of Christ.
Ant’s work continually. Ants never quit and they never go on strike! Ants are impossible to stop when food is found. The ant is motivated by hunger! Sprinkle a little sugar on the countertop and leave it there. When one finds it, it will return to the colony and bring hundreds with it! We are moving under the power of the Spirit (Romans 8:31). In our pursuit of doing God’s will, nothing should ever be able to stop us. No obstacle or critic can stop us if we are in God's will. We, who have tasted and found that the Lord is good, need to go back into the colony of the world and tell the others about Him. After all, believers are merely one beggar telling other beggars where to find the Bread of life!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for the work You’ve given me to do. Remind me to work with all my heart as if I’m working directly for the Lord Jesus Christ. Help me to embrace the dignity of my work. I want to work hard on everything for Your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.
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Thank you for reading Lesson 3 of Spirit-Filled Worker Series. Please visit this website tomorrow for Lesson 4 of Spirit-Filled Worker Series.
Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.