The work ethic is important. It has often been said that what you get out of a particular thing is determined by what you put into it. Sometimes we get a miracle mentality. Donít misunderstand me. I believe in miracles, but the work principle is very important. Things donít just happen; there is a cause and effect. Iím not talking about working for something or meriting favor. It has to be the Lord working through us, yet there is a preparation that is our responsibility. We donít get to the place where it is the Lord working through us without preparing ourselves for the Masterís use. Do you remember what is said about the Bride of Christ? The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. Revelation 19:7.
Matthew 10:18-20 And you
shall be brought before governors and kings for My sake, for a testimony
against them and the Gentiles.
19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak.
20 For it is not you that speaks, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you.
Some have had the attitude that when God got ready to speak then He would speak through them. So they gave no thought of how or what they should speak and waited for God to tell them what to say. It doesnít work that way. It is our responsibility to first create the well for the Holy Spirit to draw from. If you havenít given yourself to the water of the Word, there wonít be anything for the Holy Spirit to draw from. You could say, ďWell, Heíll reveal it to me. Heíll just tell me what to say.Ē No, it doesnít work that way. Thatís the miracle mentality; it doesnít just happen! If we think we are going to become what God wants us to be without putting forth some real effort, we are sadly mistaken. It is going to take some work of preparation.
You donít become one who can speak the Word without giving your life for it. It is not a matter of just studying the Scriptures. Many Christians discipline themselves to study the Scriptures, but they never become a fountain of the Word because they havenít learned to partake of the Word with their spirit. It is not what you accumulate in your mind but what you assimilate in your spirit that counts. Learn how to eat the Word. When God wanted Ezekiel to speak His Word to the house of Israel, He first told him to eat the Word. Moreover He said unto me, Son of man, eat that you find; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll. And He said unto me, Son of man, cause your belly to eat, and fill your bowels with this roll that I give you. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness. And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get unto the house of Israel, and speak with My words unto them. Ezekiel 3:1-4. Eat the Word! If you donít eat the Word, you canít speak the Word!
If you think you can pick up your Bible two or three times a week, read a few chapters, pray a little, and youíre okay, youíre wrong! You are not going to get anywhere like that. It takes work. It takes labor. Iím not against watching TV, but you donít make headway with God becoming a couch potato. Itís going to take work; itís going to take sacrifice! SACRIFICE!
Hebrews 13:15 says: Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name. Iíve heard many preachers explaining that to mean praising God when you donít feel like it. That isnít what it means. The Book of Hebrews is based on the Old Testament. When they offered up a sacrifice something died. Your sacrifice of praise is not a sacrifice of praise until it comes out of a dying experience. Some dying of self takes place, and because there was some dying, praise and life can come out of sacrifice. Many Christians are goat-Christians. They donít want to die and they will fight it, but there will be some real sheep that are led to the slaughter of self (Romans 8:36). Now letís look at a few passages of Scripture that has to do with work.
Exodus 34:21 Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in earing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
Man is created on the sixth day. Iím talking about the Body of Christ. Each day in Genesis chapter one speaks spiritually of a relationship with the Lord. There is a day one relationship, a day two relationship (that is when the dividing takes place), third day relationship, etc. Six days you work; the seventh day is the day of rest. There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from His. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Hebrews 4:9-11. This is what Moses is talking about in Exodus 34. There are six days of preparatory work. The work is not good deeds; it has to do with your relationship with the Lord, and as you work you will find Him working in you. In Habakkuk 1:5 God says, ďI will work a work in your days.Ē In your days, in your relationship He will work a work. You see, it is really God that brings forth the increase, but it is in your working that He does it. I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. I Corinthians 3:6. As you are laboring to enter His rest, He is working in you Ė He is working in your days. Listen to what Jesus said to His disciples. And He said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creatureÖAnd they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. Mark 16:15,20.
II Thessalonians 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
You start working, you start preparing yourself, work in the Word, work on practicing the presence of the Lord, and you will start eating. That is the principle of appropriation. When you work properly on your relationship with the Lord, your spirit will start feeding on Him. He is your life; feed on Him! It is the principle of giving and receiving. Give of yourself in the will of the Lord and He will give of Himself to you. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38.
ďOkay, Iíll give money.Ē No, no! Give the spiritual treasures you have received from working in the Word. Give love, give forgiveness, give Christ. Bless and curse not. When you give it starts coming back to you. Appropriation is a lot easier then. Are you having trouble appropriating? Then start giving and you will start receiving. If you donít work, you wonít eat. Donít spend time in the Scriptures, donít worship, donít practice His presence, and you will dry up spiritually.
Set your heart to labor, to enter His rest; set your heart to work, give yourself to it and the next thing youíll know is that the Lord is working with you. Do you want to be a ministry? Then set your heart to be a laborer. The Lord is looking for laborers. There arenít enough of them. The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2. A lot of people will say they want a ministry, but there are not many willing to do what it takes to have one. Are you willing to do what it takes to become what God wants you to be? Are you willing to make yourself ready?
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose