Everybody is in a hurry today and running out of time. Even the simple, slow-paced farm life is changing drastically. Some of the older farmers around can tell us how they started farming with a team of horses, milked cows by hand and farmed forty acres of land. Today, farming can be done with air conditioned, 4-wheel drive tractors; cows can be milked with computerized milking machines and many farms are over one thousand acres of land.
Weed control in the past was a time consuming, manual job. Modern chemicals have almost eliminated this weed problem. One can easily see that farming has changed more in the last eighty years than it did in the previous 4,000 years.
The advances in modern agriculture continue to accelerate by leaps and bounds. Since the result of this is a surplus of goods, we see the working out of God’s counsel in the fulfillment of Revelation 6:6, “. . . a measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny . . especially when we see our government offer programs to discourage production of com, wheat and milk.
All of these modern conveniences on the farm and in all our lives should give us more time for spiritual things, but do we use it for this? Now we have to stop and take a good look at ourselves. Are our minds full of facts and details that pertain to our friends, work, school, social life, cars, clothes, sports and what not, but very limited on the teachings of the scriptures? Are we out of balance? How many of us have reached the age of twenty and have never read The Confession of Faith and the Canons of Dordt completely through? How many of us have diligently studied them on our own so that we can say “These are not only my church’s confessions and beliefs, but also my personal convictions.” Never before has so much good literature been so easily attainable. How often do we spend a whole night at home, studying our Bible or reading a religious book?
God has given us an abundance of spare time that our forefathers didn’t have. For example, look at the time we save just from the development of electricity and all the electrical conveniences in our lives. Our high standard of living and our lack of spiritual mindedness makes one think of what Agur asked for in Proverbs 30:8, 9. He prayed that God would not give him riches less he be full and deny Him, and say “Who is the Lord.’’ We mustn’t fill our spare time with the seeking of earthly pleasures and treasures, but use it to God’s glory.
We must also be selective about what we listen to. We are called to arm ourselves with the same mind as Christ (I Peter 4:1). The devil tries to keep us from doing this. He fills the air around us with music of the world, in the grocery store, the restaurant, the shop, the dentist office, etc. In some areas it is hard to even pick up one Christian station on our radios, but we can almost always get a dozen ungodly stations.
We must be distinctive and antithetical. We must make the atmosphere around us cause our minds to look beyond the earthly, sensual and devilish to the things of the kingdom of heaven. We don’t want to listen to the trash of this world, our old man does, the world wants to, but as pilgrims we want to glorify God. What we listen to must testify that we are pilgrims and strangers here below. The fool of the world will continue to walk in the vanity of his mind. He loves the music of the world today. He listens to it as often as he can and as loud as he can. Never before in history has the child of God been confronted with so much wicked music all around him. The days are evil. We must listen keenly and attentively to sermons, family devotions and catechism instruction. The wise son and daughter can listen to tapes of Psalms and sermons. We can listen to them over and over during the week in our homes, at work and in our cars.
As a child of God, we want to be more spiritually minded. We realize that we must wait on God for His grace to have the mind of Christ, but He uses means. We must put forth an effort to read and study and listen to God’s Word, which is the only way He speaks to us.
God works in us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” in our pilgrimage here below (Philippians 2:13). In. these modern times we consciously live the antithesis. (Romans 8:5, 6) “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”