“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
II Thessalonians 3:10-12 (NAS)
10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat.
11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.
12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.
Paul gives very clear instruction and direction to the church in this passage concerning how they were to apply their time and resources. He told them to mind their own business, work and lead a disciplined life. You see their lives were turned upside-down when they received Jesus and were baptized in the Holy Ghost. They spent their time meeting in houses, learning more about Jesus. It was all so new and different for them. They gained new friends and lost some old ones. Everything changed for them. Some of them were called into full-time ministry. They left their jobs and went out preaching. But in the course of time, these new Christians needed to find some direction for their lives and Paul supplies it here.
The same thing happens today when we get born again. Everything changes for us. We are different on the inside. We learn new things, some of which are totally contrary to the things we have learned in the past. In the world, we are told to hold on to what we have, but God tells us to give. In the world we wear ourselves out to supply our families with the basics, but God tells us that if we will obey and serve Him, He will meet our needs. This can be confusing for new Christians. Indeed, some people think that because God helps us we can sit back and do nothing and He will just do everything.
It does not work that way. God will help us and bless us, but we must do our part. We must be disciplined and we must love to work. Working with God on your side is different from doing it all by yourself, by the sweat of your brow. It is much easier because you have the mind of Christ. He leads you and gives you wisdom so that your labor is productive. He blesses the work of your hands; but, if your hands are not working, He has nothing to bless. If God has called you into ministry, He will not call you out of your job into NOTHING. He will call you into a time of study or preparation or He will call you into ministry which is WORK. Usually there is a transition time. One thing phases out as the other takes over. You start to minister and you get so busy ministering that you don’t have time to do secular work.
Some people claim that God has called them into a life of faith, so they quit working. Many times it’s not a life of faith, but a life of hope. “Gee, I sure HOPE that God comes through for me while I sit here doing nothing!” God will bless the work of your hands not the seat of your pants. Whether you work in business or in the ministry, it is all WORK. Being called of God is no excuse to be lazy. There is a joy and a satisfaction in working hard and doing something worthwhile with your life. When you make up your mind to discipline yourself, to work hard, and not be lazy or sloppy, God will begin to bless the work of your hands.
Psalm 128:1-4 (NIV)
1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive
shoots around your table.
4Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.