From the desk of Steve Shultz:
Man was created to enjoy both useful labor and the results that follow from creative and practical labor in every field of life.
In these days, the Wisdom of God calls us to revisit the very way things were in the original Garden of Eden. Some of this article will surprise you. But you're going to enjoy and learn from what you read here.
Rick is Spot On!
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The Fruit of Our Labor
Continuing with the matter of understanding people, again we should not be surprised by how those who do not know the Lord put their trust in government. It is all they have to trust in. Even so, governments are failing and will continue to fail. The Great Commission is to offer the world a hope that will never disappoint.
Those who have hope and give hope are going to be the brightest lights in the times to come. The Gospel means "good news," not bad news. The Gospel we have been given to preach is the best news this world has ever heard. The King is coming, and His Kingdom will be established on earth so that His will is done here just as it is in Heaven.
Cultivate and Accomplish
As the sure word of prophecy declares, He is going to restore earth to the paradise it was originally created to be. Even the lion will lie down with lambs, and children will be able to play with cobras. We are promised that there will be no more sickness, pain, or death. There will be no child abuse, and no one will hurt anyone else.
Say to the righteous that it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their doings. Isaiah 3:10
Also, as we are told in such places as Isaiah 3:10, the righteous will eat the fruit of their own labor. That is a shocking thought to many who have a concept that in paradise everything is provided for us. In truth, that would deprive us of something vital to our well-being. If you think you are going to rule with Christ, you will be shocked at how much work ruling is.
Man was created primarily to have fellowship with God and secondly to work, to cultivate the garden. Work was not a curse from the Fall, but toil was. Toil is to work with great and painful effort. However, work that is not under the curse of the Fall is needful for man’s fulfillment. Psychology is right when it maintains that a human being will go insane if deprived of meaningful labor.
We were created to accomplish things. If we are deprived of this, we begin to lose our basic humanity. That is why those who live off entitlements are deprived of a vital part of their very being. They are captured in a terrible prison. The Kingdom of God will not do that to people.
Christian Missions and the CIA
A few years ago, I had an interesting conversation with a couple of CIA agents. They told me of a study by the agency that focused on Christian missions. They knew how much Christians had spent on missions in virtually every nation, and they knew the results. I was amazed that they had done such a study, and I was just as amazed by the results. I felt that every church and missionary organization needed to hear what they concluded.
These agents shared the story of South Korea after the war. They said Christian missions swarmed South Korea supplying the devastated country with an abundance of resources. The CIA went to the State Department to ask them to stop these missions from giving so much, because no one was motivated to produce anything if they could go to the mission and get items for free.
When this charity was finally cut off, the South Korean economy kicked into gear. Now it is the sixth biggest economy in the world. Even more importantly, South Korea had the highest conversion to Christianity in the world over the next half century. Some of the greatest churches in the world, and some of the greatest Christians, were raised up there.
This common saying is true: If you give a man a fish, he will have one meal, but if you teach him how to fish, he can feed himself for the rest of his life. Even though it is usually given with the best of intentions, unlimited and unconditional charity can be destructive.
We learned this when we started digging fresh water wells for villages in Africa. The leader of our ZAO missions made a deal with the first village that if they would dig the hole, we would supply the stone, pipes, and other requirements for the well. When our team got there ready to complete the well, it had not been dug. When they asked why, the leader of the village said that the missionaries always did everything for them. Our team started to leave and the leader protested. However, the team said they would only do their part if the village did theirs. The leader got some men and dug the well. Because they had their own time and energy invested in it, they had ownership and were careful to maintain the well.
We found out later that there had been about 8,000 wells dug in that region of Africa by various missions and charities, but few were still working. Many wells were not functioning due to the lack of just a $5 part. No one maintained them, and no one had shown the natives how to maintain them. Not only was about $10 million wasted, but this also had tragic consequences for people who might have been better off if they had not been given the wells in the first place.
When we partnered with a village, we taught them how to dig and prepare the well or water source, and also how to maintain it. The whole tribe experienced an important pride of ownership in the well that was elevating. This could be transferred into building schools and church buildings. When people get engaged in the work, it is transforming. When we do everything for them, we are hurting them.
As we learned at the Katrina disaster, though we had to provide everything for people at first, it was important to get them working and doing something quickly. Although this was hard to do because we felt sorry for people who had lost so much, it was crucial. If people sat in their grief all day, it was much worse for them. They could become very volatile. If they were given something constructive to do, it was amazing how quickly they would start recovering.
Rick Joyner is the founder and executive director of MorningStar Ministries and Heritage International Ministries and is the Senior Pastor of MorningStar Fellowship Church. He is the author of more than forty books, including The Final Quest, A Prophetic History, and Church History. He is also the president of The OAK Initiative, an interdenominational movement that is mobilizing thousands of Christians to be engaged in the great issues of our times, being the salt and light that they are called to be. Rick and his wife, Julie, have five children: Anna, Aaryn, Amber, Ben, and Sam.