It pays to be alert and observant in order to learn from those who are wise in the things of God to take note of the successes that God’s principles can bring. We can also learn from those who live in disobedience to the Lord, who bring about their own failures. In their case, we can observe what to avoid and how NOT to live our lives. One of many examples where we see this explained in scripture is in Proverbs 24: 30-34 where we are warned about the lazy, slothful vineyard owner:
30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down.
32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction.
33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.
This passage presents both natural and spiritual truths. In the natural world, most of us have seen how laziness in neglecting one’s property can leave the property in shambles. An owner or manager of a property who is more selfishly concerned with their physical ease is opening up themselves to their own downfall.
The same holds true in the spiritual sense. God calls us to do some good in the field of this world (Matthew 13:38). He calls us to be laborers in his vineyard (Matthew 20:1-16). Those who are slothful have no understanding of what the will of the Lord is and will neglect and dismiss God’s blessings for selfish ease. They open themselves up to be overtaken by the weeds of the world, which are destined to be burned up (Matthew 13:40). They have no stone wall of protection through the Lord Jesus Christ. Before they know it, spiritual poverty will be their final end, manifesting itself to rob them, like an armed man, of all the eternal blessings they could have had through Christ the Lord.
The true saints of God, on the other hand, are laborers worthy of their hire. We heed the call to “awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11) like the five faithful virgins did for the bridegroom. Unlike the slothful, our goal is to stir up the gift of God we have received by his anointing (2 Timothy 1:6), pressing onward in the goals the Master has set for us as we work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12). Our hope is to be counted successful in receiving all of the Lord’s eternal blessings by building on the foundation he has laid. We hope the Lord will consider our accomplishments as gold, silver, and precious stones (1 Corinthians 3:12). May it be so, in the name of the Lord Jesus.