I was watching our young pup as she worked at extracting the remaining hidden piece of a dog biscuit from her rubber treat-dispensing toy. Not so long ago, Sparky had derived great pleasure spending many hours diligently working at mining every speck of biscuit from this toy. But now, after making a few feeble attempts at dislodging the treat with her tongue, Sparky dropped her toy at my feet, repeatedly alternating glances between her toy and my face. I rose to my feet and stood on the toy, crushing the concealed dog biscuit. As she gobbled up the bits and pieces, I suddenly realized that my well-intentioned assistance had fostered a lazy attitude towards her bone-chewing activity.
Then it dawned on me that when we cease to pursue God intentionally through the reading of His Word, we, too, can lose our zeal. When we start skimping on or even skipping our daily dose of God's Word, the busyness of everyday life subtly creeps in, crushing our spiritual drive and devouring the time once allowed for fellowshipping with our heavenly Father. Meagre and irregular doses of His Word (our spiritual food) eventually cause us to become spiritually lazy. Our diligent efforts to pursue the things of God are soon replaced by a preference to be fed small bits of the Word prepared for us by others. It is rather like fasting all week and then eating only dessert on Sunday — an easy meal plan that won't satisfy or sustain us for long. Our minimal effort seems only to fuel our laziness while simultaneously diminishing all of the positive benefits and joy that once resulted from our discipline and diligence.
Today's Scripture clearly tells us what will be the rewards of a lazy soul or a diligent soul:
Proverbs 13:4 – The soul (appetite) of the lazy person craves and gets nothing [for lethargy overcomes ambition], But the soul (appetite) of the diligent [who works willingly] is rich and abundantly supplied. (AMP)
I believe that the Holy Spirit brought Sparky's behaviour to my attention as a reminder that a disciplined and diligent searching of God's Word should be a joyful, exciting, and rewarding experience, and that sometimes the easy way isn't the best way. Time spent in the Word is time spent with God — we should overflow with joy! Not only does the Word keep our mind, body, and spirit strong, but it provides us with permanent benefits — because it is eternal. Glory to God!
God wants us to thrive and to be in good health so that we can do His work and enjoy our lives. Our weekly doses of the Word are better taken like a vitamin supplement, to enhance the wisdom gained through our own daily efforts spent exploring the depths of His Word. Like Sparky's toy, God has given us His Word, with hidden wisdom and benefits inside. It is up to each of us to search the Word with a holy hunger so that the treasures it contains will be revealed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us Your Word and all of the treasures hidden within it. You gave us Your Word for our benefit, so ignite within our hearts a powerful desire for You that moves us into action. As we read the Scriptures and listen to godly teaching, speak to our hearts and draw us closer to You. May we be filled with joy and shine brightly for You in the dark places of this world. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
Listen to this devotional
Listen while you read: "O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go" (Lyrics)