This Week's Scripture & Reflection: Galatians 6:9
Known as a universal expression and prominent recurring song lyric, the phrase “Money makes the world go ‘round” definitely seems like a fitting description of the world we inhabit! You can travel to any state, country, or island on any day of the week and find somebody working somewhere! Even after you leave your actual workplace, work can still feel like a never-ending ordeal because there always seems to be something else to do or complete. Interestingly enough, there was a time when working was not so strenuous; in fact, it was never meant to be strenuous. Prior to the Fall, Adam cultivated and tended to the Garden of Eden as God commanded him without any strain, or loss of energy or vitality. It was not until after he ate from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil that the ground became cursed and work consequently became a strenuous activity that would cause pain, exhaustion, and a need for rejuvenation (cf. Genesis 3:17-19). One of the most common ways in which people rejuvenate and temporarily escape from the high-demands of work is by taking a vacation! Whether that time is spent outside the country, the state, or inside the state but outside your home, vacationing provokes ultimate relaxation!
In today's passage of Scripture, the apostle Paul interestingly enough warns the churches of Galatia not to relax! In verse 9, he admonishes the Galatians towards steadfastness and perseverance saying, "And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Upon a first reading of the last clause of this verse, it’d be easy yet understandable to assume that the apostle Paul is talking about fainting in the sense of passing out, such as someone might do after standing outside in the intense heat of the day or after seeing a famous celebrity they admire. However, this term "faint" in the Greek language actually means to "relax". Is the apostle Paul sincerely warning the Galatians not to relax? Yes and no! He's not speaking from the context of relaxation that refers to taking a break from work and other tasks to rejuvenate. What Paul is really doing is emphasizing the lax in relax, the type of attitude and disposition that is characterized by a lack of urgency, intensity, and care! In essence, Paul is admonishing the Galatians not to become lax or slack in doing good!
This is the very real reality of working in a fallen state; it’s called weariness! And weariness can cause you to become slack in the work that you are doing! Consider that one project you started with so much enthusiasm and vitality: the sheer excitement of actually bringing that vision to life seemed to be all the momentum you needed to last you throughout the entire journey! As you continued to work on it, however, you started to grow weary and exhausted, naturally because of your fallen state, but also because you grew both discouraged with its overall progression and doubtful that it would ever be completed. Before you knew it, your passion had gradually reduced to indifference and your liveliness had shifted to passivity. Especially in the present state of the world today, millions of people, believers and unbelievers alike, have found it difficult at one point or another to maintain the intensity and vigor in which they operate due to the instability of the economy and the uncertainty of the world’s health & safety!
Thankfully, the apostle Paul offers us something in this verse to anticipate with joy, on the condition that we do not faint or relax in our well-doing: the promise of reaping in due season! We cannot afford to become lackadaisical or even indifferent concerning the work that God has called and anointed our hands to do because due season is approaching! Even more so, we do not know exactly when due season will arrive. However, if we continue to evade our work or remain lax even now, we will fail to reap the fruit of what we started to sow when due season arrives! The apostle Paul stirs us to even greater steadfastness and perseverance in I Corinthians 15:58 saying, "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." When we know and are assured that our work in the Lord is not in vain, that none of it is futile, we can continue to work faithfully and guard ourselves against weariness!
This does not mean that we will always escape weariness for there is more than enough in this life alone that can weigh us down. However, we do not have to remain weary; the Holy Spirit, our great Helper, dwells inside those of us who are believers to empower and strengthen us in any form of weakness! As we abide in Jesus Christ, like the true life-giving vine that He is, He will supply us with the necessary nutrients we need to consistently bear fruit! Whatever the Lord has called and anointed your hands to do in this season and in life, do not relax; do not become slack and lose the intensity and vigor that you presently have! Satan would love for you to relax, in a non-rejuvenating manner, because he does not want you to fulfill the assignment that God has given you because that very work threatens the progression of his kingdom of darkness! Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Tap into the reservoir of power that is available to you through the Holy Spirit, and continue to work until and even after due season arrives!