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Success never happens by accident. Success happens because someone has done what is required in order to succeed, be it in the natural or the spiritual.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, 0 sluggard? When wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man. (Prov. 6:6-11)
Let's read it from the Amplified Bible:
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise; Which having no chief, overseer, or ruler, Provides her food in the summer, and gathers her supplies in the harvest. How long will you sleep, 0 sluggard? When will you arise out of your sleep? Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to lie down and sleep; So will your poverty come like a robber or one who travels [with slow but surely approaching steps] and your want like an armed man [making you helpless].
There are fifteen ways of the ant for us to consider:

1. First of all, the ant is the most laborious insect in existence. Laborious means that the ant gives more hard effort than any other animal or insect in existence.

Look at this not just in the natural. What's true in the natural is also true in the world of the spirit.

Success never happens by accident. Success happens because someone has done what is required in order to succeed, be it in the natural or the spiritual. One of the hardest working people I have ever met is Kenneth Copeland. That is a hard-working man. So is Fred Price. These are hard working people. Jerry Savelle. When I was staying in Jerry Savelle's house...You know what happens when you stay in Jerry Savelle's house? Jerry has a gym in his house. You have to get up with Jerry at the crack of dawn. He doesn't make you, but if you don't, you feel bad. When Jerry gets up, I have to get up with him. You have that guy in there on the treadmill, lifting weights, etc. They work hard, starting off every morning on a dime every day.

In the world of the spirit, if you don't pray every day, you get what you sow. This is true in the natural, but it is also true in the spirit. Ants are successful. They are successful because they are the hardest working insects.

2. They are the most highly industrialized of all of the insects. In other words, they are company-oriented. Ants are not individuals who go their own way. March to a different drummer. Ants are company-oriented. They all operate together. The ant goes and gets his piece of food, so that the whole community can be blessed by his efforts.

3. Ants collect food in proper season. When it's time to take care of business, you will find the ant taking care of business. The ant will "make hay while the sun shines," so that when the time comes to eat, they can do it in rest.

But people don't do that. Most people I know operate from a crisis management situation. They only do stuff when the heat is on. They pray only when tests and trials hit them. They exercise only when the doctor says that they are going to have a heart attack if they don't. They start to save only when they come to find out that in five years they have to retire, and they don't have a dime.

These are not individuals who are like the ant. He said, "Consider the ant, you sluggard." You are not going to be able to get up and have an anointing when you minister, sing, preach, usher or anything else if you only pray when you get to church.

4. Ants are fondly attached to the young. Ants always protect the young ones. If there is a younger ant, the older ant is going to look out for him. The young are important.

5. Ants have keen foresight for others. Foresight means looking forward. Ants are always looking out for other ants in the community. They are looking down the road to find what another ant would need. He said, consider the ant. Consider her ways.

6. Ants work quietly without show. They do their work, and don't try to do it so someone else can see them. Ants don't need other ants to come and clap and say 'Good job. I see what you are doing. I'm giving you some praise' in order to keep working. They are internally motivated. They have self-motivation.

7. Ants work unwearyingly until the work gets done. In other words, ants don't get tired. They don't give up and quit because they get tired. They keep going.

The time to believe God and learn how to use your faith is while everything is going good. The time to believe God for healing is while you are well. The time to believe God for finances and sow seed is while things are going good. The time to walk in love is when everything is going good. Do it now, so that when the time comes you can draw on the reserve you have already laid back there.

8. Ants work together in astonishing systems of organization for the good of the whole community. Ants are organized. Ants work for the good of all.

Aren't you glad God is organized? If God wasn't organized, some of us would be lopsided - your nose might be in the middle of your chest. There's no telling where the rest of you would be. God is mighty organized, is He not? The sun is placed in its proper place. If that sun gets too close to us we will burn up. If that sun gets too far away, this planet would be too cold for anything to live on it. God is organized - and the ant works in great organization for everyone's benefit.

That's what took away the breath of the queen of Sheba. She came and looked at Solomon and she looked at the order of his men, how they stood, how they offered sacrifice, how they walked, how they smiled when they worked, and said that it took her breath away.

Organization is not organizing out the Spirit. Part of why things happen is that your own house isn't organized. Some of you couldn't tell me where your blue socks are, but then say, "God, give me this great responsibility."

9. Ants are ingenious carpenters and masons, building their own systems of homes and underground tunnels. Ants aren't waiting on the government to give them a welfare check. Ants aren't fighting for somebody else's money. Ants are out there doing for themselves what they have to do. If they need a tunnel, they tunnel their own hole and not look for someone else to do it.

That ought to be true with the people of God. The people of God who are standing on the Word of God shouldn't be wondering whether or not somebody is going to give them something. We ought to be the ones looking to give to somebody. He said, consider her ways. God said it in the Bible. He said look at the ant. That is your best example.

10. Ants keep their homes scrupulously clean. If I were to invite myself over to dinner at your house tonight, would you have to fly home an hour ahead of me and work like a mad dog just so I could get in the door? If you don't care enough about being clean where you live, how do you expect somebody else to give you responsibility for something else?

We don't have to go to your home. All we have to do is go to your car. Where's the trunk? Oh, can't put nothing in there.

11. No ant exists without a definite job in life to help meet the needs of the community. Every ant has a job and an assignment. No ant is sitting on the pew waiting for God to tell them what to do. No ant is waiting five years to hear the voice of the Lord. "We need workers." "Well, Lord I need a voice from heaven." THIS IS THE LORD - GET UP AND USHER.

Every ant has a definite job—period. No one is sitting down just watching other folks work. The other ants kill an ant that watches others work, because it is a burden to the community. And all these non-working folks doing nothing, sitting on their butts in the church and on the street, they are a burden to the community. If you don't have a job that's one thing. But if you aren't looking for a job, that's another thing. You're saying, "I'm believing God by faith. I know the job is going to come." You are sitting there with your feet up, watching television, talking about a job coming by faith. Abraham said show me your works and I'll show you your faith.

12. Ants fight to the death to protect their homes and young from enemies. Protect your own house. You talk about folks in your own family. I don't get that. Tearing up your own house, and then talk about your own church, and your own people in your church, and it's your church. Now, if that's not stupid, I don't know what is. I said it's stupid. Why would you talk about someplace you go? If it's stupid, you are stupid. If you can't say "Amen," say "Ouch".

13. The ant's social life compares to that of human beings in many respects. In other words, the ant is a social being, and will be with other ants - that is, ants that do all the other things. If you don't do all the other things, they kick you out.

14. Ants are intelligent and wise. They are always learning. They are always learning how to do new things. Ants learn lessons. If there is a problem, they learn how to avoid it the next time.

Some people fall into the same sin 50 times, because they don't consider their ways. They keep falling into sex sin 50 times. I tell you, take the X-rated movie out of the VCR. Turn off Showtime, HBO, Cinemax, etc. Stay away from watching Pretty Woman. And stay away from so and so. You know what I'm talking about. When you see them, go the other way. Don't walk, run. Get out of there.

15. Ants carry out their life's work without being forced to do so by a guide or overseer. Ants are self-motivated. They don't need the boss over their shoulder. They don't need the pastor over their shoulder. They don't need anybody else over their shoulder. Ants will do what is required of them because they have their own motivation. They have drive. They are going to just do what is required simply because that's all they know to do, what is required to win.

That's why there are millions of ants. You can rub out an anthill, come back tomorrow and they will be right back. That hill will be going right back up. They are going to do just what they need to do to win because they have self-motivation. They don't need the queen ant. They don't need anybody else. On their own, they have drive.

If I could find more people who are like the ant, if there were more people who got up and prayed because there is an internal drive in them and they realize the value of it. People don't do things because they don't realize the value of it. If you really understood the value of prayer, you would pray more. You would get in the Word more. You would confess the Word more. You would serve more.

Bless God, guess what? You would have more victory. You would be blessed coming in and blessed going out. You would be blessed in the basket and blessed in the store. If you would be like the ant, you would win. Consider her ways! They are intelligent, the Bible says. And if you do it, do it God's way, you are going to get results.
Keith Butler Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Keith Butler
Web site: Keith Butler
Keith Butler has been an ordained minister since 1974. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds diplomas from Canada Christian College and Rhema Bible Training Center. He serves in ministry with the support of his lovely wife, Pastor Deborah L. Butler, and their children: Pastor Andre Butler (granddaughters Alexis, Angela, and April), Pastor MiChelle Ferguson and husband Pastor Lee (grandson Lucas), and Minister Kristina Jenkins and husband Pastor Joel (grandsons Andrew and Austin, and granddaughter Alyssa).

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