God has made human beings to be go-getters…striving to excel with their God-given talents…striving to best their difficult circumstances, whether Wall Street or the slums. Because he wired us this way, we feel uneasy inside when we become lazy…aimless…haphazard. This inward emptiness leads to sin. As the old proverb says, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Indeed, the strongest believer can fall if he is not busy—David fell with Bathsheba because he stayed home rather than going to war.
But God has also designed us to have our priorities right. “Wisdom is the principal thing. Get wisdom. And with all your getting, get understanding” (Prov. 4:7). We could paraphrase this, “Wisdom the primary thing. Go get wisdom. And with all your go-getting, go get understanding.” This is not talking about earthly wisdom and knowledge, as valuable as they can be. This is talking about the knowledge of God—his Word, his will, his ways. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10). God wants us to be go-getters in our relationship with him—to have a hungry and excited relationship with him. People that succeed in the world wake up in the morning excited to face another sixteen-hour day…their work is their play. People that succeed in Jesus (who progress in their discipleship) wake up every morning excited for another day of walking with him. They can’t wait to add something new to their faith, to learn something new about the will and ways of God, to give spiritual help to someone else, to promote the gospel and the glory of God.
So by all means be diligent. “Do you see a man diligent in his business? He shall stand before kings. He shall not stand before average men.” (Prov. 22:29) But make sure your priorities are right. Keep Jesus the hottest fire in your heart. Otherwise, over time the fire will die. You may still be a go-getter in earthly matters, but you will not be a go-getter in spiritual matters. We have a word for that…lukewarm.
May you find yourself in awe as you walk intimately with our awesome Saviour.
“Eyes wide open, brain engaged, heart on fire.”
Lee W. Brainard