Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spiritual Luddites

Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets.
      Slothful in thought:
      Who were the Luddites? Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed labor-saving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment, also believing that these labor-saving machines threatened to replace the artisans with less-skilled low-wage laborers, leaving them without work.
      The Luddite fallacy is the simple observation that new technology does not lead to higher overall unemployment in the economy. New technology does not destroy jobs – it only changes the composition of jobs in the economy.

Does this argument sound familiar? Change is a hard adjustment for a lot of people, especially in the church. Warnings of catastrophic events are predicted if there is any change in the holy venue of the predictable Sunday service. They are basically saying, "There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets if anything is changed to my discomfort. This is how we have always done it," is a common statement for the justification to continue in the safe environment of personal churchiness. 
      Like the Luddites, there is a notion to break, destroy, or rebel against any new idea that is prejudged to bring an uncomfortable adjustment to the known routine. At the same time these same members are saying, "Why are we not growing as a church?" The problem with this thinking is that we become slothful in the commission that Jesus proclaimed before He was lifted up into glory. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 
      We tend to lose our creative ability to go forward by faith in the changes the Holy Spirit has been sowing within our hearts in order to meet the needs in this present time. 1 Chro. 12:32a And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do. We must become people who know the times, and the time to communicate Christ with the next generation is now. 
      This will not be done with the old manner of doing things, even though the old story of the cross is still true and vibrant in our times. Slothful thinking will not meet the energy of a new generation. The eventual result of slothful thinking is a slothful work ethic in life and in the church body.
      Slothful in work:
      Have you ever worked for a Mr. Laban? Most of us have at one time or another. Gen. 29:15 And Laban said unto Jacob, Because thou art my brother, should thou therefore serve me for nothing? tell me, what shall thy wages be? How did you overcome this difficult time in your working life? You worked through it, developing a work ethic until God moved you to something else. 

      Laban was Jacob's uncle who had tricked Jacob into different contracts and obligations. Laban was as tricky as Jacob. He would change the conditions of payment to Jacob because God continually blessed whatever Jacob did at the expense of Laban. Laban would try and manipulate the favor back to himself. Gen. 31:41 Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. 
      People and Christians alike complain about their jobs and their work. Learning a work ethic comes from doing actual work and not just theorising about one day finding work or maybe getting a job. People want their own companies and their own way of creating wealth; however, we have to learn how to work and be honest at it.  
      If we are not faithful working for another man, even a Laban, then how will we succeed working for ourselves which can prove to be a lot harder. Luke 16:12 And if ye have not been faithful in that which is another man's, who shall give you that which is your own? The slothful says things are too difficult to try harder. Again, change is hard. 
      Staying committed to honest work will take effort, but if there is progress then the lions in the street will stop to exist and you will be at peace with what God has given you to do and accomplish. Was Laban actually paying Jacob, or was it God paying Jacob through what God had given Laban? 
      Your supply does not come from the company you work for. The supply comes from God through the company. No need to be slothful because you are working for God. Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
      Work was ordained before the fall of man. Gen. 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. We were created to work with the ethics of God in our hearts. Ask anyone who has lost their job. One of the things they remark on is that they now realise that work was a privilege and truly was fulfilling. 
      Bob Dylan sings Times They Are A Changing. We are to embrace a God-led change. To remain in a Luddite state of mind will cause us to revert to old things that just do not work anymore. Let us ask God to show us a new way that will work. It is a prayer the Lord is trying to answer. Isa. 43:18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 

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