At times, I struggle finding the right balance of:
1) personal time with God & self examination
(My eternity – I am no help to anyone if I am blind myself)
(Love God, Obedience, First Fruits)
2) providing for my family’s spiritual needs
(Our eternity – they are a part of me and assigned to me unless cast off)
(Obedience, Follow His example – Treat my wife like Christ treated the a church, as first fruits unto Him, special and set aside)
3) providing for my family’s essential physical needs & survival
(the boundaries of this temporary realm that we must operate within – I do not want to be worse than an unbeliever & our ability to operate effectively should not be hindered by our willingness to work and provide for our families)
4) providing for those within my watch/territory’s spiritual needs
(bigger/expanded “our” eternity)
(Obedience as a watchman)
5) helping make sure those within my watch/territory are equipped to provide for their own physical needs
(teach a man to fish – hand up, not just hand outs)
(Obedience, following Christ’s example – He doesn’t leave them in their need, asking them to keep coming back to Him, He provides means for them to self sustain going forward)
6) offering to others the love of Christ through the actions of a humble servant (love God who we cannot see by loving those who we can – establish loving relationships)
(Obedience, Law of Christ)
7) Sharing the gospel, baptizing, ministry of reconciliation in my actions and words
(My spiritual job, with eternal wages/consequences)
8) Providing for my family’s future -education, positive/profitable wants
(Sowing seeds, empowering my seed to continue carrying the ministry of reconciliation to the ends of the earth)
(The result of my physical wages/consequences of my faithfulness)
9) Providing for my family’s enjoyment – unprofitable wants
10) Providing for the future of those within my watch/territory
(Flowing out of the abundance of the blessing/reward – sharing the blessing)
11) Realizing that I don’t have it all together and my plans aren’t perfect, but His are – rely on the Holy Spirit & Word of God
At times, I question whether I’m supposed to jump out of the boat and start trying to walk across the water in a leap of faith – or if I’m supposed to refuse to move ahead without the Holy Spirit of the Lord moving with me into the promised land. I let anxiety creep into even how I’m choosing to serve the Lord. Second guessing my choices and my priorities trying to get my life lined up with God’s will.
So, I eventually learn to be still and listen.
Colossians 3:23 ESV
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Proverbs 13:4 ESV
The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12 ESV
For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.
Proverbs 14:23 ESV
In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.
Philippians 2:14-15 ESV
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 ESV
And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
Proverbs 12:24 ESV
The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
Proverbs 16:3 ESV
Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.