NO SUBSTITUTE- 22/9/2014
MEMORISE Proverbs 22:29: Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men.
READ: 1 Samuel 17:34-37
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.
Bible in a Year: Judges 12-14
There is not a single person whose story cannot change in life. David was an unknown man – at least to the army, yet, within a very short period of getting to the battlefield on a visit, he was already standing before King Saul. This is a manifestation of the scripture in Proverbs 22:29. If David had not been a diligent person, when his brother rebuked him, he would have been discouraged (1 Samuel 17:28). Consequently, he would not have represented the nation of Israel against the enemy. There are many of us, who retire after praying for five minutes. There is no substitute for doing it right because nobody gets a miracle that way. There are students who study once and say they already know it all. No wonder they keep on failing. Some people become discouraged after failing an examination once or twice and spiritualise it by saying God did not want them to pass. Our God is a God of success and He has no substitute for excellence and great accomplishment in the lives of His children. If David had not been diligent, he would have ended up like any other ordinary soldier. To make it to the top, you have to be diligent. You need to apply yourself to the things of God for Him to take you to where you ought to be. If you are a hardworking person, there is no doubt about it, God will reward you. God does not bless the lazy. If you have failed as a carpenter, you cannot succeed as a pastor. There are people who feel that ministry is an escape route from the realities of life. Far from it! If you cannot work with people successfully, how do you think you can please the Lord? You must be diligent to be successful (Proverbs 21:5). God never calls a lazy fellow.
It takes diligence to get to the top and it takes diligence to remain there. The problem many people have is that they work hard to get to the top, but when they get there, they relax. You need to work twice as hard to remain at the top than was required of you to get there. This is true both in the secular and in the spiritual world. Many Christians were diligent when they became born-again, but as they matured spiritually, they relaxed. To remain where you are, you have to keep running. If you do not keep moving, those who are behind you will catch up with you and surpass you. More importantly, you have to be diligent to make it to Heaven. 2 Peter 3:13-14 says,
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Key Point: If you don’t want to die in poverty, you must be diligent.