Stay Low and Hustle

When God’s blessings abound, two temptations crouch at the door and would rule over us. The first is the temptation to pride. Moses warned Israel that when they entered the Promised Land and their goats and gold multiplied, they would be tempted to say that their own power had gotten them their wealth (Deuteronomy 8:17). The wise man knows that God uses means. A successful business does not simply fall out of the sky. Cheerful children don’t appear out of thin air. And a pleasant and well-run home does not come out of nowhere. Skill is involved and there are tools of the trade that are both learned and applied. So when there is growth, it is easy to trust your skill, your system, and say with Israel, “Look what our own hands have done.”

The second temptation when blessings abound is laziness. Like that jackrabbit in the Tortoise and the Hare, we decide that a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest won’t hurt. And while we are resting upon last year’s victories, poverty is climbing through our kitchen window and emptying out the refrigerator.

The antidote to both of these temptations is faith. When blessings meet unbelief, you’re on your way to joining Nebuchadnezzar, with fingernails like buzzard claws and a mouthful of grass as if you were a cow in the pasture. You will no doubt soon be turning on your bed like a door on its hinges. 

But when blessings meet faith the opposite occurs. When blessings meet faith, the result is humility and even more hard work. 

Take a look around. God’s blessings overflow. So you must stay low and hustle. God looks upon the humble man who trembles at his word. And the hand of the diligent shall rule (Proverbs 12:24).

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